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The importance of having a work/life balance

So, who reads books whilst walking the dog? I do. It’s true. I have perfected the art of semi-brisk walking, fully engrossed in my current read, carefully steered by my faithful friend Sam past any unexpected hazard (apart from the bramble bush I once stumbled into by chance and grazed my face on – way above dog height so he’s exonerated of any blame!). This crazy habit was borne out of necessity. Like most people, I sometimes struggle to find time to do the things that matter most to me. As an avid reader (50-70 books a year is my target!), I found it increasingly impossible to make time for reading – hence my somewhat unorthodox solution. What does this prove? Apart from ensuring that I read regularly and get the opportunity to have a bit of downtime and relaxation away from the computer whilst keeping semi-fit, it shows that the solutions to our problems aren’t always the most obvious and that sometimes help can be found in the unlikeliest of places. It also highlights the need to keep a good work/life balance.

How many hours a day do you spend doing tasks you wish you didn’t have to do or wish you had someone there to help you, even just for a few hours so you could free up some ‘me-time’? Are you overwhelmed by simple admin tasks and day to day organisation that it’s having a negative impact on you and your business? Small businesses and sole traders often think the only solution is to employ someone on a part or full-time basis to take care of this. However, many businesses simply cannot afford to do this or don’t want to commit to having someone on a regular basis to carry out work. This is where hiring a virtual assistant can make all the difference. A virtual assistant works for you as and when you need them. This means you aren’t paying for time spent having coffee breaks or waiting for you to conjure up the next task. It also means you don’t have to employ somebody and pay their National Insurance or pension contributions. Hiring somebody to do the more mundane tasks also frees up precious time for you to devote to developing and promoting your business as well as giving you the chance to take a breather, sit back and reassess the direction you’re travelling in. It means you can keep a handle on what really matters and focus on your business strengths, safe in the knowledge that your day to day admin is in capable hands.

Virtual assistants work in blocks of time, so you can effectively buy time to suit you. This can be especially helpful if you work irregular hours or need things doing out of normal office hours. When the clock strikes 5 I am still around to help because my workplace is my home. Hang on, I hear you say – what about your work life balance? Well, it works both ways. The time I spend walking my dog is my time whenever I choose to do so within the working day. I don’t have to walk the dog ridiculously early before dashing off in the car to the office, nor does he have to sit around waiting for me to come home at the end of a long day. He sits beneath my desk, content that we are together and secure in the knowledge that he will get his walks the minute I turn away from the computer and pick up my book.