Happy twelfth birthday to us!
Rebecca Newenham created Get Ahead to provide not just outsourced support to businesses, but also flexible work options for herself and her team of professionals. The fact that we’ve been operating this long shows that we’ve got something right, so we thought we’d share twelve of our tips for building in flexibility and a healthy approach to work.
Managing workload while developing a career
- Stay in control of your time
Whatever you do, do it 100%. If you’re working, work. If you’re not, don’t. Be clear about what time you’re using for paid work, and what is for you and your family.
- Learn to say no!
You don’t have to accept every work opportunity that comes your way. Some work won’t be the right fit for you, and some might take up more time than you have. Saying no can also earn you respect, showing you only produce quality work you care about.
- Challenge yourself with variety or work, not quantity
It’s important to keep ourselves challenged. Without it, work can become stale and boring. But consider taking your work to a deeper level, or off in a new direction, rather than just taking on more of it.
- Celebrate your achievements
It’s OK to be successful! We hereby give you permission to be proud of your own achievements. When your client is happy, or you’ve tried something new or difficult and it’s worked, remember to celebrate. You might like to keep a Good News diary where you list your successes – look back on it on a bad day and it will give you a lift.
- Ask for help
Running your own business can be lonely, but strong leaders know when to ask for help, whether they need practical or moral support. As outsourcing experts, we are often asked for the practical side! But we know how to ask for help ourselves, using the expertise across the Get Ahead team and reaching out across our own business networks too.
- Be flexible
We don’t need to do a forty-hour week every week to be a business success. Being flexible, accommodating busy periods and quiet periods, and finding time for ourselves, are much more likely to drive our businesses forwards than unquestioning rigidity.
Managing real life and finding time for fun and family
- Be open about non-work responsibilities
We all have real lives – we are not either working hard or lying on a beach! Most of us have responsibilities to other people: many of us are parents, some of us are carers too. We might move house, get divorced, support a family member or execute a will. It all has to be done, and being open about the burdens we’re carrying helps clients understand our priorities.
- Factor in unpaid responsibilities
It’s easy to block off time for a meeting at school or a visit to a care home. But if you think you might struggle to go straight back to work afterwards, manage your diary accordingly. This is where it can be helpful to be open with your employer, team or clients – believe us when we say they’ll understand!
- Set goals for your personal life as well as for work
We all know about setting work goals, but personal goals can be helpful too. They can help us stay on track with physical and mental wellbeing, and ensure that we give as much time to family as to work. They can also make tough responsibilities more manageable.
- Guard your time
Time off is very beneficial. There’s an increasing awareness that taking breaks boosts productivity, but that only happens if the break really is a break. Divert your calls and emails and go away and refresh yourself in whatever way works for you.
- Nurture hobbies and interests
Hobbies and interests mean we can continue to be active even when we’re not working. This is great for our brains and our mental health, and helps us build all-round resilience too.
- Remember that self-care isn’t selfish
Don’t feel guilty for taking time off – you’re doing your business and your family a lot of good by taking time out for yourself.
The Get Ahead team love helping business owners build more flexibility into their working lives – we’ve learned it’s a great recipe for success too! To find out more about how we can help you, explore our site or contact your local regional director here.