The entrepreneurial life can be fast-paced, hectic and competitive, leaving little time to enjoy anything outside of work. Even if you love what you do, it’s important to find some kind of work-life balance to avoid entrepreneur burnout. Here are some easy ways to get started:
Phase in the off button.
Think of that on/off switch as more of a dimmer. Completely shutting off from the work world takes practice, but is doable in phases. Start by turning off technology during dinner for the few weeks before an upcoming (and well-deserved) vacation. Once you’ve learned to detach yourself for one meal a day, add in a no-email time zone for one hour before bed and one hour after you wake up in the morning. Practice this approach and you’ll be able to enjoy your next vacation without obsessively worrying about the quality of the wi-fi connection in your hotel.
Pencil ‘me’ in.
Scheduling conference calls, meetings and flights is second nature to entrepreneurs, but penciling in personal time is a foreign concept to most. Set aside a little “me” time every day and make it official by putting it in your calendar. Treat this scheduled personal time as you would any other important obligation. You wouldn’t be a no-show for an important client call, would you? So don’t do it to yourself either. You could even try a shared calendar on your smart phone with a spouse or close friend. Having someone else hold you accountable for these mini-breaks will give you more motivation to follow through.
Spending way too much time on unnecessary tasks could be the reason why you’re struggling to find a work-life balance. For one week, analyze your daily tasks closely and find out where the major time sucks are. Make a list of these offenders and decide which ones can be eliminated completely. If some tasks are vital to business but taking too much time, see if you can delegate to someone else and refocus yourself on tasks directly related to the bottom line.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of business and forget to take care of yourself after hours. Make sure you’re sleeping enough, eating healthy and getting a decent amount of exercise (even if that means running from airport terminal to airport terminal). Think of it as a business investment. Shutting off from work early one day to catch a full night of sleep will lead to a higher rate of productivity the next day. Talk about a great return on your investment! Also, if you’re running your business from home, make sure you clearly define what area is your work space and keep it apart from your living space. When this line gets blurry, entrepreneurs have a harder time separating when work ends and the rest of life begins.
How do you find balance as a busy entrepreneur? Share your tips for success in the comments below!