The holy grail... is there such a thing as work/life balance in a small business?

I caught the end of ITV's Tonight programme this week: Shirkers or workers. I have to say I was about to surf on by as I thought it was *another* programme having another pop at the welfare state...

It wasn't - it was about productivity and a business was featured adopting 7 rules for the week such as a POWER HOUR and no scheduled lunch but a 6 hour day. And no social media breaks!

As a business owner I have quite a varied work pattern, and I have to be very flexible to change such as client meetings, pitches, doing the accounts... I also spent the previous 15 plus years in a 9-5 environment so I am hard-wired to be in an office and at a desk but I do sometimes procrastinate and feel I need to think outside the box to be creative and deliver the best for my clients. 

Some of the team featured in the programme said they felt guilty leaving 'early' and this highlighted an issue around presenteeism. Something I feel, which is silly as I am the boss, and was acutely aware of when I had flu and broke my toe (don't ask) over the last week. But if I am at my desk until 5pm or later and productivity wanes during the day is that any better or worse than finishing at 3.30 or doing a 9-day-fortnight but smashing the day's objectives?

Well, the team at Unique Luxury Stays, who were on the Tonight Show seem to have struggled with the early finish in particular, and as a business who needs to be there when we are all booking our holidays (typically outside office hours) I can see why. But what about someone like me and a PR business. I can access emails and all my files wherever and whenever. So can I work more flexibly and more productively?

I am going to give it a try, out are my late mornings and these usually result in a late finish. I plan to be in before 0900 two days a week. Think 5:2 diet and in is sectioning off a day for all business development, business planning and non-client meetings. I am thinking a Friday.

I will be adding in some email management and I think the power hour to crack-on with the to-do list is something that will work so let's throw that in the mix too.

Wish me luck!

Emma