Let’s not kid ourselves . . .  As small business owners we can’t deny that we suck at work-life balance. We grind endlessly. We don’t quit at 5.00 pm, we check emails all the time outside normal work hours, we feel guilty if we don’t “just pop in for a short while” to work at weekends, and we don’t take proper vacations, And we wear this as a badge of honour. There’s the old joke: “I own my own business so, yes, I get to choose my work hours. I get to choose which twenty out of twenty-four I’m going to work!”

The truth though is that it’s not a badge of honour and it’s not a joke; it’s a tragedy. It’s bad for our health (physical and mental), bad for family life, tough on those closest to us, and no way to live a balanced, fulfilling life. And we all know this.

So what to do about it? The first thing to realize is that it has to change. And the second thing to realize is that there’s no one-fits-all solution. But this doesn’t mean that you can delay finding a better work-life balance. What constitutes the right work-life balance will vary over time and have to be adjusted according to prevailing circumstances. So, it’s a work in progress. But “work in progress” is the key. It’s both something to work at and something that should always be in progress. If not, you will lapse back into choosing which twenty-two out of twenty-four hours you’re going to grind and your work-life balance will again be thrown out of whack.

if you have 9 minutes to spare for a humorous take on grinding at work, watch this Pardis Parker Ted talk.

Get off the treadmill and reconsider your work-life balance before it’s too late.