A better Medway

Here are some ideas for you to try to help manage a healthy work-life balance.

Use these tools to create some time in your schedule when you can leave your phone and computer and take some time out.

Emails and managing your time

We spend around 28% of our day looking at emails. This means that for a quarter of our day we are getting distracted.

If we keep our emails open in the background of our laptop, tablet, or phone, that can mean up to 11 distractions in an hour.

We can reduce this time by:

Setting boundaries

Make sure you have set an instant reply message. 

This should let clients know when you are next in the office and a timescale when you expect to respond to emails. It should also include the name of anyone who they can contact in your place and their contact numbers.

Make the most of Outlook

The ‘Create Rule’ facility in Outlook lets you push emails straight out of your inbox and into a folder ready for dealing with at another time. It also lets you push emails onto another recipient.

For example, if you set up a rule for anything which says “invoice”, it can be sent to a folder ready for you to deal with on your admin day.

You can use the 'Quick Steps' facility to see all your regularly used folders in a handy box at the top of your inbox. You can also move messages into that box with just one click.

Find out more about using Outlook

Reframe your thinking

Turning negative thoughts into positive ones can feel hard but there are techniques you can use to help. As with most things, it takes some practice.

One of the best ways of approaching problems is to see them as challenges or turning weaknesses into strengths. This will help you to frame your thoughts in a more positive way. 

Here are a few tips on how to reframe your thinking:

  • how can I look at this differently?
  • am I making assumptions?
  • could I learn something from this?

Consider using a virtual assistant  

You do not need to do it all alone. Consider using a virtual assistant who can assist you with all aspects of your business, such as:

  • administration
  • social media
  • book-keeping.

A virtual assistant is an extra pair of hands when you need them. You can hire them for as many, or as few hours as you need. This means that even when the budget is tight, it is possible.

Ask fellow business owners for recommendations or go along to one of your local networking sessions.


Aside from networking helping to grow your business, it gives you the opportunity to share ideas and coping strategies with people who are in the same situation as you.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask friends and colleagues which networking groups they go to. Seeing a friendly face can really help in the early days.

Not everyone likes to network. It is important that as a small business owner you're not overwhelmed at the thought of having to join a group.

It is just as important that you find ways to make sure you do not feel isolated or cut off. This can easily happen if you work alone and long hours.

You can try online groups, Professional Associations, or local Chambers of Commerce.

Find out more

These suggestions are based on top tips written by Tracy-Anne Barker for our work for yourself, look after yourself guide.  

Tracy-Anne is a Management Trainer and Business Coach and fellow small business owner.