Owners and managers of small meat processing companies frequently find themselves being torn in many different directions. They often feel they need to be involved in every decision and aware of every new development in their business. It is easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed, and frequently that results in poor work-life balance which can lead to decreased productivity. In some cases it can also affect a person’s health. Owners and managers of small meat plants need to be concerned with two types of work-life balance; personal work-life balance and organizational work-life balance. Organizational work-life balance relates to things a company does to help employees maintain a work-life balance. This article addresses personal work-life balance as it relates to the small meat plant owner or manager. 

Think About Your Values

Spend some time thinking about what is important to you. If you want work-life balance you will need to make it a priority. It is not easy to achieve work-life balance, but if you have established it as a priority when you are faced with challenges, you will be more likely to stick with it.

Practice Good Time Management; Plan, Plan, Plan

At the start of each week, make a note of the things that need to happen that week. Put both personal and professional activities on your list. Calendars, diaries and to-do lists are all helpful tools. Look at the big picture to get an idea of places where you can save time. Leave blocks of time to get your “think work” done.

Control Your Cell Phone

Be cautious about giving your cell phone number out to everyone. Do not list it in your email signature or on business cards. It can result in you receiving calls at all hours of the day and night seven days a week.

Work Smarter Not Harder

Multi-tasking makes it difficult to focus on one thing at a time. Often you do your best when you tackle one thing at a time and fully focus on it when doing so.

Outsource Small Things

Look at your to-do list. Some things just aren’t worth doing yourself. Getting someone else to do those costs less money than the time and effort it takes you to do it. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

Do Simple Exercises

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk pause every hour and do some stretching exercises. Take a short brisk walk at lunch. Regular exercising during the day will help to keep you energized. When you do not take breaks, your mind has a tendency shut down.

Eat Well, Sleep Well

Looking after yourself is a key to having a balanced life. Get plenty of sleep so each morning you feel rested and energized. Being tired can be counterproductive. You may end up spending a lot of time at work but not get much done. Your body is your most valuable tool take care of it.

Take Breaks During the Day

If you leave relaxing until “everything is done” you will never take any time to relax. Down time is a fundamental aspect of a well-balanced life. Make it a priority and put it on the calendar with your other priorities.

Remember: Taking an occasional day off or a vacation can help boost your creativity, reduce stress and help prevent burnout.

My August 2019 Independent Processor article will discuss organizational-balance.