Too many hours can be bad for your health

Working too many hours can be bad for your health, according to Denise Sanders. She writes about a report that found a link between overtime and depression.

Small business owners often wear many hats. You must do the books, build widgets, develop marketing materials, return phone calls, and manage employees. For the typical small business owner this can easily lead to a 60 hour work week.

While it is sometimes necessary to put in long hours to build your business, you must also balance our work load with sufficient time to relax and enjoy life. Otherwise you run the risk of working yourself into an early grave.

This can create a real problem for the small business owner. He often can’t afford to hire someone to perform needed tasks. If he doesn’t do them, they don’t get done.

There are several solutions to this problem. The first is to prioritize– identify what is really important. Some tasks may not be as important as they seem. The second solution is to delegate or outsource when possible. Have your vendor make deliveries, or hire a part-time bookkeeper. The third is better time management in the form of systems. As Denise writes, “If you have the right systems in place, you can limit the emergencies and still maintain an accessible environment, being more productive in the process.”

Systems can eliminate many of the emergencies that rob us of time and energy. The stress of constant crises can be overwhelming and debilitating. They interrupt our work, both physically and mentally.

Systems help us get consistent results. They provide us with clear guidelines for our actions. In a sense, they are like a railroad track– they keep us moving in the desired direction and keep us focused. But without systems we can easily lose direction, and wind up in the ditch. That’s not a pretty sight for a train or a business.

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