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Work hard, play hard.

This is something I remind my clients and team of on a regular basis. Growing a profitable business takes hard work and consistency, but it also takes a strong mindset. If all you do is work, that mindset will erode quickly.

As business owners, we tend to focus on our business long past the normal business day. For many of us, working into the late night hours or on the weekends is a common sight.

Contrary to popular belief however, this isn’t often the best thing for your business – or for your wellbeing.

If you are anything like me, you started your business so you could build a company that would make a positive impact and gain the freedom that being a successful entrepreneur offers. Having the right systems and a rockstar team in place will allow you to do both!

In order to gain this freedom, however, you have to be intentional about both building your systems and actually shutting your laptop. Read on to discover some of the strategies I use!

Calendar Blocking

One of the best ways to manage your time is to use a calendar blocking method. This isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of planning and the intentional choice to stick to it.

This is a tool I have used for years, ever since my days of owning a law firm. Calendar blocking allows me to plan in all of my necessary tasks for the week, stay on top of everything, and still have time left to breathe.

If you’re curious to see how calendar blocking could work for you, take a look at the video below. You can also find a free Block Calendar Template here – just click to download!

Choose to Shut Your Laptop!

Do you ever find yourself working late at night or on a weekend, simply because you can? This is one of the downfalls of entrepreneurship: you have the freedom to work whenever you want, but you also have no one overseeing your work hours.

I will admit, there are times that I will work late; if I have had a full day of client calls and have a webinar scheduled the next day, I will spend an hour or two finalizing everything for it that evening. That’s just how my brain works – I like to do my final prep the night before.

I don’t do this every night, though. When I’m done for the day, I shut my laptop and move from business into personal. I might head over to Pike Place Market and grab some fresh seafood for dinner or curl up with a glass of wine and watch a concert online. I choose to be intentional about doing something I enjoy that doesn’t revolve around work.

The reason for this is simple: all work and no play makes for a boring yet stressful life. When I’m stressed out, I can’t bring my best for my clients or my team – and as the owner and CEO, I need to be able to do that.

Choosing to shut my laptop and live the life I want to live allows me to be at my best!

Set the Example

Something that I’ve found is that it’s not just important for me to shut my laptop; it’s also vital to encourage my team to do the same.

In my law firm days, this meant creating a culture that emphasized balance. Attorneys are known for working insane hours; while I will admit to having pulled all-nighters and weekends in the past, it’s not something that I wanted to set as “normal” in my firm.

Instead, I looked for ways to streamline our workflows and keep an eye on my team’s workloads. When part of my team became overwhelmed, I figured out ways to either systematize their tasks or hire an additional staff member.

Now, I have a team that is completely virtual – one that is made up of people around the world. Because we all work in different time zones, each person has a different schedule. However, I am intentional about creating a culture that values taking time off. I want my team to work hard, but I also want them to be able to thrive and recharge.

By making the choice to take time for myself and by encouraging my team to do the same, I have noticed our productivity and morale increasing as well. When we as owners choose to thrive, it benefits everyone we work with!

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