I am continuing my series looking at the mistakes that entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses make and today I am looking at the issue of working too many hours.
If you are going to work at your maximum efficiency and get the most out of every hour you invest in developing your best it is vital that you try to achieve a work/life balance that works for you and your family.
Nobody can work continuously for twelve to sixteen hours a day, seven days a week and give their best.
The human brain doesn't work like that.
The economic law of diminishing returns kicks in.
For every hour you work beyond your own sustainable level you will be getting less and less output and the quality of the work reduces as well until it reaches the stage where potentially you are having a negative effect - making mistakes that will take longer to correct.
By doing less and passing the work to others you will achieve more and you will have the energy and enthusiasm to drive your small business forward.
You will also find that the reception you have when you get home to your husband or wife and any children is likely to be much better so you will find that your free time is more relaxing and much more enjoyable which will help you to relax and sleep.
This will then recharge your batteries so that the next day, you maintain your maximum efficiency throughout the normal day.
Remember you should be working to live and not living to work.
Corrective Action : Stop Working Too Many Hours
Easy to write, not so easy to do when you are a small business entrepreneur and the success of your business and the lives of your employees depends on you.
But it is simple maths.
You can get more done in eight hours working close to 100% efficiency and effectiveness than you can working for twelve hours at an average 50% efficient with every extra hour perhaps only adding about 30%.
In the time management mistake I gave you some tips on how to improve your time management including how to delegated.
In the short term set a maximum number of hours you will work in a day or a week.
Then using the time management tips create your time management plan to get the important tasks done when you are at your best. I am a morning person so I like to get the most important tasks done first.
Plan treats for yourself and your family that will get you away from work. Business guru Rich Schefren calls this "Miller Time". If you make commitments you have deadlines which mean that you have to finish that one hour task in sixty minutes.
It doesn't have to be going out although that is certainly important but it might be making sure that you are home in time to have a full family dinner three nights a week.
In the longer term you need to look at the big picture.
Your Primary Aim
What do you want out of your life? What do you want to achieve?
The book is excellent and the idea is that once you know where you personally want to go, you then make your business work for you.
It's now become a cliche but the essence is still very true.
You work on the business instead of working in the business so the business works for you.
Take Control Of The Hours You Work
You will feel better and your productivity will increase. You will become a much more effective small business entrepreneur.
Other entrepreneurial mistakes in this series have been: