Yesterday was National Boss Day. While my corporate counterparts may have been sucking up to a boss, I was thinking about ways to thank myself, the boss, for my hard work and dedication to my business.
I’ve come a long way from when I worked for a jerk. This awful boss demanded long work hours, rarely took breaks, and scheduled deadlines that were impossible to meet. She was annoying, a perfectionist, and impossible to please.
The horrible boss I worked for, was me.
When I reminded myself that I left the corporate world to get away from the exact type of boss I had become, I gave myself a break, gave up my awful boss habits, and finally enjoyed working for myself.
If you’re ready to work for a boss who is understanding, reasonable, and respectful of your time and talents, there are a few simple changes you can make.
Limit the number of hours you work each day.
When your commute is only seconds away, it’s easy to go to work early and stay late. Think back to the last time you walked into your home office to work on something for an hour, and then three hours later you were still working. The key is knowing when to stop working and when to start enjoying your personal life.
Keep your to-do list reasonable.
Keep in mind that you can’t do everything. Instead of making a long list of tasks to finish in one day, figure out which tasks you can move to another day or even another week. A long to-do list is overwhelming and can keep you from starting even one task.
Schedule at least one mini-vacation each year.
When you worked for someone else, scheduling two weeks off was easy. When you work for yourself, finding time to take two days off may seem impossible. Make a point to get away from your home office so you can recharge and reconnect with your family. You don’t have to leave town…just leave your home office.
Limit your weekend hours.
Depending on what type of business you own, and whether or not you can avoid it, limit your weekend hours. Some clients may only be able to meet with you on Saturday or Sunday, so it’s important to be flexible. Other than that, schedule all other appointments during the week. (Note to real estate agents: ignore that last suggestion.)
Establish rewards for completing difficult tasks and accomplishing major milestones.
A reward doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. A walk around the block or going out for a cup of coffee can serve as a motivator to get the job done. Even taking time off to shop online, watch the latest trending video, or read a book you downloaded months ago can be as good as a pat on the back.
Don’t expect perfection all of the time.
Before you retype an e-mail for the third time, or make another change on a proposal, ask yourself why. Perfectionism is a dangerous trap. Before you know it, your standards become outrageously and unreasonably high. Find a balance between what is acceptable and what could hurt your credibility.
When you work for the boss from hell, and the boss isn’t you, you can quit and do your best to find another job. But when you’re the boss from hell, you can continue to make yourself miserable, or take steps to improve your working relationship with yourself.