Jun
21
Add Time to Your Day: Tech Tips for Better Work Life Balance

Burning the candle on both ends? This post provides easy ways to strike a better work life balance and to relieve some pressure with the help of technology.

As a business owner, you’re expected to be everywhere, give explicit instructions, and do everything (if you want it done right)—all just to put food on the table. How can you get a little relief from carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders?

Technology can come to the rescue. These seven tips can help take away a little stress, so you can focus on what matters most to you.

Get the ebook

Does your team have what it needs to stay innovative and inspired? “The Psychology of Workplace Collaboration” ebook explores how organizational psychology can help you understand what you and your team needs to succeed. (Requires registration) Link here.

 Work life balance tips

  1. Virtual face-to-face
  2. Delegate to your virtual assistant
  3. Take your time
  4. Sleep better at night
  5. Increase your throughput
  6. Declutter your devices
  7. Use some psychology

   1. Virtual face-to-face

Can’t be everywhere at once? Sometimes you should just trust technology to help avoid stressful situations, like city traffic. Stay in your cozy office and make good use of Skype for Business. Host your face-to-face meetings without wasting valuable time travelling from point A to B and back again.

Use Skype for Business to present ideas, concepts, or your products and services. Use video conferencing to share your screen in real-time, then:

  • Walk through proposals with your customers and prospects
  • Leverage third party information on the fly during your presentations
  • Mark up your documents together—real-time collaboration
  • Use OneNote to take and share notes during and after sessions
  • Record your meetings so you can have them transcribed later
  1. Delegate to your virtual assistant

Can’t afford a personal assistant? Try Cortana. She’s the employee that never sleeps, never complains, and never asks for a raise!

Cortana, the voice-activated virtual assistant included with Windows 10, can help you track tasks, store preferences, notify you of your flight, even help you find a great restaurant.

  1. Take your time

Master your domain—your email domain, that is! To become an email maestro, you can turn to productivity gurus.

Inbox zero (a term coined by Merlin Mann) refers to his way of dealing with email. He suggests dealing with emails as you first read them. Decide then whether you delete it, delegate it, answer it, flag it for later, or forward it as an FYI. This way, you can stay on top of email and not face the anxiety of unanswered emails piling up.

If you can’t see yourself doing that, then try scheduling fixed times for email in your day.

  1. Sleep better at night

I know it sounds basic, but many business owners and developers work long hours without getting enough sleep. And, as we age, our sleep patterns change. You might start snoring or tossing and turning and think it’s normal.

Some disruption is normal, but when it happens nearly every night, you need to act. Can an app help you sleep better? Maybe. There are certainly lots of apps out there. To help speed up your research, we picked three that you could check out.

Sleep cycle: This 99¢ app from Northcube for iOS and Android phones records the percentage of sleep quality and the average time in bed. It uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to track your sleep phases, and the app wakes you during light sleep.

SleepBot: Free and available for iOS and Android, this app contains a motion tracker that uses a smartphone’s accelerometer. SleepBot breaks down your sleep history by date, bed time, wake time, hours slept and lost.

Smart Alarm Clock: For $2.99, you can download the Smart Alarm Clock app for iOS that records noise disturbances while you sleep. It leverages the iPhone’s touch-screen capabilities to let you browse stats and graphs of your sleep disturbances.

  1. Increase your throughput

Make more of your time by focusing on your personal productivity at work. Increasing your desktop square footage, for example, can boost your productivity by up to 30 percent. For developers, that might mean adding a third screen to your desk!

Per Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, scientists increased their productivity by 36 percent when they added a third monitor.

  1. Declutter your devices

Are you a self-described earliest adopter (or do you prefer pre-early adopter)? If you download the latest app before they’re even popular, you’re likely juggling too many apps on your devices already. Re-evaluate your attachment to your apps!

Ask yourself: should I download a new app or initiate conversations using apps I already have?

Some apps and tech add joy to our lives, but not necessarily for a long period of time. If that time has passed, I strongly suggest de-cluttering your devices and removing the apps you no longer want to manage.

  1. Use some psychology

When I say psychology, I don’t necessarily mean therapy! I mean, become more successful by trying to understand how you and other members of your team like to work. You can download the Microsoft ebook on workplace collaboration below.

Get the ebook

Does your team have what it needs to stay innovative and inspired? “The Psychology of Workplace Collaboration” ebook explores how organizational psychology can help you understand what you and your team needs to succeed. (Requires registration) Link here.

This article is part of a series written by Microsoft in partnership with Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada.


Women's Enterprise Centre

Women’s Enterprise Centre is the leading full-service business resource for BC women who are starting and scaling their own ventures. We offer business loans up to $150K, business advice, skills training, mentoring, resources and a supportive community to help women entrepreneurs realize their business potential. Connect with us today for personalized support for your business!

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