Practicing Work Life Balance
The life of a bakery owner is a busy one. For some, days can start at 4 a.m. or earlier, as they look to make sure baked goods are prepared fresh for morning customers. Days may not end until late at night, if the bakery is looking to keep up with a particularly heavy demand.
In between those times, and after hours, the person in charge of operations is also in communication with employees. The rise of the internet and electronic communications has completely changed how people stay in touch. Instant access has allowed business owners to stay connected to their businesses at all times, which can be a great thing but can also complicate their personal lives.
The pressure of always being “on” can create a great deal of stress for these people. This is a challenge that needs to be navigated, especially when they have others focuses such as additional businesses, family life, pursuit of an education, or anything else.
If you are a bakery owner with a busy schedule, here are three simple ideas, courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, for managing your time so that you can balance work alongside everything else.
1. Batch like tasks – Set aside time each day that is protected. Use this time for particular tasks that require more attention and focus, things that can get lost in the shuffle when you get busy.
A great time management tool can be found here.
2. Set communication guidelines – The temptation to always be “on” is great. You want to be there for your employees at all times, and especially in cases of emergencies. For many bakery owners, the option of switching “off” at a certain point in the evening may not be an option, but for some it may be a good exercise to communicate to your team the point in the average night when you won’t be responsive.
At the very least, you can pass along some of the communication responsibilities to other employees. That is where the third tip comes into play.
3. Start delegating - Training staff members on various tasks takes time, but the return on investment can be huge for a business owner. Delegating tasks can empower employees to take ownership of their roles. Just be sure to have an accountability system in place to make sure tasks are completed properly in the period following training.