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5 Work-Life Balance Myths Small Business Owners Hear Often

Updated: May 18, 2023

Small Business owners who do not have a healthy work-life balance tend to burn out more quickly than those with a balanced schedule. As a result, those with a healthy balance have more motivation and are more productive at work. With over 48% of Americans describing themselves as workaholics, finding this balance is more important than ever.

Having a healthy work-life balance is essential for one’s health and well-being. Working over 40 hours a week can be stressful, but it can be even more stressful to try and balance family life with demanding job responsibilities on top of that. As a small business owner, you have probably struggled with finding time to take care of all the different responsibilities and passions in your life; especially just creating time for yourself.

There are many myths and misconceptions about work-life balance, particularly in the entrepreneurial field. Today, we’re busting 5 of these myths to help you find the truth behind work-life balance, and hopefully attain a happier life!



Myth 1: Working Long Hours is Essential for Career Advancement

There’s long been an idea that the longer someone works, the more productive and devoted they are to their job. However, facts show that this isn’t necessarily true. Many studies have shown that fewer work hours each week results in more productivity and more loyal employees. Furthermore, in a study of consultants, managers could not tell the difference between employees who worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to!

There’s a real cost to perpetuating this myth. 77% of American workers have experienced being “burned out” of their job, especially those who are younger and in lower-ranking positions.

Small business owners often feel the pressure to work long hours and keep their staff doing so as well, but at some point, you’ll actually get more done by letting the whole team rest and refresh for the next day. The quality of work isn’t determined by hours put in, but by experience and skills.

Myth 2: You Can Always Unplug for Extra Rest Time

A common theme that the overworked often hear is “Just turn off your phone!”. It can be frustrating to get work communications at all hours, on vacation, or just when you need a break. But many small business owners know it’s even more frustrating to hear this idea pitched to them over and over again! In a small company with few or no employees, there often isn’t someone to take over your responsibilities, particularly during holidays.

If you’re in this situation, finding a healthy work/life balance can be difficult. As an alternative, you might try shifting your hours to better match the times your personal input is needed. For example, your team might be able to handle the 9-5 just fine so you can switch off then- and then take over once they clock out.

Getting creative with your work hours can be disorienting at first but provide a bit more rest time in your life once you get used to it.

Myth 3: Money is All You Need to Guarantee Happy Employees

If you have employees, you know that wages and benefits are a major motivator for them. However, with the currently fierce competition for employees, pay is just the beginning of the conversation.

To attract and keep the best applicants, you’ll need to take a close look at how your employees are being treated. Eleanor Estes, CEO of one of the country’s top recruiting firms, points to three major things that employees want: recognition, culture, and growth.

When a team member’s good work or extra effort is recognized by management and leadership, they feel more valued and invested in the quality of their work. Strong company culture helps them feel like part of the team and makes them more comfortable during the time they spend at work. Finally, employees want to see opportunities for growth, so they can understand how they can realistically advance and become more financially stable working at your business.

Myth 4: The Less You Work, The More Relaxed You’ll Be

Everyone loves some time off, but there’s a limit to how much happiness and relaxation you can get from trimming your work hours. And in reality, many people find comfort and joy in their career or job responsibilities.

Entrepreneurs in particular have found that it’s not so much about the number of hours you work or doing something you love. It’s about the quality of how you’re spending your time.

By spending your free time (and work time!) in a mindful way and cultivating meaningful relationships, you’ll get more enjoyment out of your day-to-day life.

Myth 5: Scheduling Specific Breaks Helps Keep Your Morale Up

On the surface, this idea makes sense - you know you have a break coming up at noon, so you work harder at 11. You have to get your work done and besides, it should get you pumped up to know you’ll be able to rest soon. However, our brains don’t necessarily work this way.

Research shows that when we schedule our breaks or leisure activities, we enjoy them less as we associate them with the tight planning of work and obligations. Being more spontaneous about when you take a break tends to make them more enjoyable and relaxing.

If you do have to schedule leisure, even giving it a rough window of time in which you can choose to start anytime will help. For example, knowing you will take a break between 11:30 and 1:30 but just letting yourself start whenever it feels right.

3 Work-Life Balance Goals You Can Set Now

So, what else can you do to improve your work-life balance? By setting these goals, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and happier relationship with work.

  1. Strategize your business goals by quarter to give your actions and campaigns more structure. By implementing this type of structure and planning, your work should be more intentional and require less overtime to account for unplanned complications.

  2. Set boundaries with your employees and clients about your availability and expectations. Giving up oversight and pushing back against client requests can certainly be scary as a small business owner. Ultimately, however, these boundaries will ensure a healthier, less stressful workplace where everyone can grow and flourish.

  3. Take a day off when you need to! Don’t be afraid to spontaneously take some time for yourself. Constantly pushing yourself will cause you to inevitably reach a breaking point and something important will suffer. By taking a break on your own terms, you can prevent being forced to take a break later.

Key Takeaways

Finding the right work-life balance can be tough. Everyone has their own ideal balance, and discovering what that is takes time. And in this increasingly busy and challenging world, it’s no simple feat to meet those work-life balance goals even once you figure them out. Ultimately, though, protecting is important for preserving your mental health and enjoyment of life. By busting these work-life balance myths and focusing on the adjustments that really count, we hope you can get a little bit closer to those goals.

There’s at least one other way we can help. Zoek is here to take marketing duties off your plate and get you set up with a website and SEO package you can rely on. Our dedicated team of designers, content creators, and SEO specialists are ready to help you create the website of your dreams and give you one less thing to worry about. Just click here to get a free consultation and improve your work-life balance today.


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