I started an online business primarily to contribute to the well-being of as many people as possible. Many more people than I could impact face-to-face in clinical practice. Secondary to my altruistic motivations is the lifestyle benefits of online business: The opportunity to work from anywhere with a WIFI connection, the luxury of working from home with my dog at my feet and my yoga pants on, and the excitement of creating something and sharing it with the world.
Starting any new business requires a huge amount of work. I’ve done it before and had clear expectations about that fact. However, I had naively neglected to take into account that with online business, there are no “office hours” and your work day can continue as long as your WIFI connection remains stable. Yep, that means every waking minute.
So, I am in the process of finding strategies to disconnect in this brave new world of perpetual connection while still building a fledgling business. I know this is important not just for work/life balance, but for positive mental health, preserving passion for the business, and maintaining creativity.
Here are the tools I’m using to work a little smarter:
- Checking and responding to emails for a specified time period each day (and closing the mailbox at all other times) to avoid interruptions.
- Charging my phone anywhere other than the bedroom overnight to remove the temptation to manage social media when I should be dreaming instead.
- Disconnecting WIFI on my desktop during times when I’m creating (writing, designing, brainstorming etc) so as not to fall into the procrastination hole that is the web.
- Sticking to a quitting time. I chose 5pm as the time beyond which I would only post my final Instagram post and do no other work. This has been difficult to adhere to given that much of the communication with my overseas web developers happens in the evening if I don’t wish them to be held up waiting for my response.
- Planning future processes as I go in preparation for a Virtual Assistant to take over. (Let there be hope!)
- Going outside every day for a time to reconnect with the real world and nature, breathe fresh air, and reflect on what matters.
It’s a work in progress, but I believe these things have helped. Do you have other tips? I’d love to hear about them if you do. Catch me below and share your ideas!
Dr Rebecca Ray – Clinical Psychologist and Happiness Enthusiast
Founder of Happi Habits
More articles on My Health Career:
- Private practice psychology – for the love of it – by Dr Rebecca Ray
- Hiring secrets from Richard Branson and Naomi Simpson
- 4 areas of health sector change in the NAB Health in Focus Report
- Psychologists are human too – let’s talk about burnout – by Dr Rebecca Ray