As a tradie running your own small business, you don’t get time to think about switching off – let alone actually doing it.
Each new job can add up to 2.4 hours of hidden admin to your work week. It’s easy to let those quotes, invoices, phone calls and emails interfere with life at home. But all that time spent working after-hours can take a toll on your wellbeing and relationships. Here’s how you can draw the line between work and home, without dropping the ball on your business.
Small business survival guide
Eat the ‘frog’ first
We often have a task we don’t want to do and keep putting it off (known as the frog). By avoiding something, we often aren’t productive and find ourselves distracted thinking about how bad that frog is going to taste. So, eat that frog first! Tackle it and get it out of the way. The task often isn’t as hard as you’ve built it up in your mind and frees you up to be far more productive.
Find a hobby
We know, it sounds like the lamest piece of advice in the book. Consider this though: crashing on the couch and watching some TV might seem like the best way to take your mind off work, but being productive in other ways – cooking for the family, kicking the footy – can give you a meaningful and easy way to truly switch off without even trying.
Set aside time to knock out your admin tasks – and stick to it
It’s tough to find balance, but setting yourself a few simple boundaries will ensure you have dedicated enough time to spend with loved ones each night. Your customers will always be the top priority, but it’s important to also treat admin is an essential part of your working week and integrate it into your day. To do this, set yourself up with the right tools to help you get admin, quotes or invoices done on the go and consciously make time to complete tasks while you’re between jobs. When you get home, you’ll have less paperwork and more free time to do things you enjoy.
Know when to put the phone down
While smartphones are great for staying connected, there’s a time and a place for them. The possibility of your smartphone buzzing with a new email or job at any time outside your working hours can lead to distraction, even if you aren’t conscious of it! With that in mind, start introducing a few limits on how and when you use your smartphone. ‘No phones during dinner’ rule among the family is a great one, and using the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature available on Apple and Android phones will let you silence calls and notifications between certain times of the night – which is perfect to eliminate stress while you sleep.
Take advantage of technology
You know how you spend ages messing around in Excel and Word, re-writing changes in scope, itemising quotes and searching for missing pieces of paper? It doesn’t need to be that frustrating! Apps just like Bridge help you save loads of time and make quoting and invoicing way faster. Having it accessible on your phone means you can get more stuff done on the go, and spend less time doing admin at your kitchen table.
Plan for fun
Pick a weekend each month to set aside to be ‘work free’ and plan something fun to do. That could be an adventure camping with the kids or as simple as walking to the local cafe and reading the paper. If you don’t consciously set time aside, you’ll constantly find yourself chipping away at work.
Put aside the guilt
Last of all: it’s okay to switch off. When it all comes down to it you work hard and deserve time out to do the things you love. By using our tips to work smarter, rather than harder, you can ensure that you’re taking care of your own well being.
Ready to start quoting like a pro? Get started with Bridge in just 15 seconds on our FREE plan. You’ll get unlimited quotes and 3 free invoices to send each month.