Work smart, not hard (or save 572 hours of personal time).
Forty per cent of Australian business owners and managers will sacrifice more than 10 hours of personal time, each week, in order to keep their businesses running during the summer holiday break.*
With one in ten Australian business owners and managers spending more than twenty extra hours of time to attend to business when supposedly on vacation. Younger business owners are also facing tough times, with almost half (48%) sacrificing more than ten hours each week.
As all business owners will recognise, it can be hard to switch off at the end of a working day or at the weekend, especially if you’re just starting out. Especially in the lead up to major holiday seasons, where family and personal time becomes even more of a focus, it’s important to find tools and resources to help you switch off and take time out.
Does it really have to be either, or?
Encouragingly, the Servcorp research found that business owners are already using various methods to help them work smart – to grow their businesses while managing their time more effectively.
Among these, the most popular are mobile devices, at 52 per cent, while others include a good accountant (31%) and secretarial and office support services (19%). What we need to recognise is that we do have the tools available to help us feel free to switch off our business brains and relax. When used properly, virtual tools can let us attend family lunches and drinks with friends without us having to worry that we’re missing any urgent requests or calls.
Avoid the holiday crisis
When we look towards any well deserved holiday period or break, it’s important to get your affairs in order to help you grow your business while managing the time you spend with family and friends.
Here are Servcorp’s top tips so you can successfully switch off:
- Set some boundaries – it sounds simple, but letting people know when you’ll be working over the holidays is the key to carefree fun in the sun. Set up a virtual call answering service that can help answer your calls and clearly states when you’ll be able to get back to them. A good service will allow you to set rules for who should get put directly through and when, so you can be confident that key clients can reach you for critical needs.
- Secure some support – if you want some free time over the holidays, it’s worth investing in secretarial support to help manage and divert queries so you can check in with your clients when you’re free.
- Take care of your cash flow – a good accountant can help you keep your cash flow steady over the holidays and take care of the day-to-day billing tasks that can’t wait to be addressed until you’re back in the office.
- Re-frame your priorities – at the end of the day there are plenty of tools and services out there to help you enjoy the holiday period and make the most of the time you have to spend with family and friends. Even if it’s just switching off your mobile phone, during family lunch, those four hours can make all the difference.
*Data according to research published 17 Dec 2013 by Servcorp.