For most people, one of the key draws of the entrepreneurial life is the opportunity to run your own life and control your own hours like the grown-up you are. What no one tells you, however, is that where before your boss may have controlled your life from 8 to 5, now the business controls your entire existence for all time. A business, like a baby, is a black hole that consumes all your time and energy. This is why work-life balance is so critical for entrepreneurs and perhaps even other people who work from home. Check out these 7 tips on achieving the ever elusive work-life balance.
1. Fixed Working Hours
Make a schedule and stick to it. There will never be an end to the fires you need to put out, the sales you need to make and the deals you need to close. Ruthlessly block out your working hours and set apart time for the rest of living including family time and self-care and don’t allow yourself to be sucked into working outside of designated working hours.
2. Time Management
Self-discipline particularly as pertains to time management is one of those life lessons that we’re ever learning and growing in. Slot out time for different types of tasks that can be bundled and handled together, for example, replying to email. You could set apart time to reply to your email or social media queries etc. rather than replying to each tweet in real time.
3. Separate your business from your personal life
In the early stages of the entrepreneurship journey, the business and the owner are almost synonymous. In a bid to always be accessible and offer excellent customer service, the thin line between your business and your personal life might be blurred. Separation of church and state is key even if it’s as simple as getting a different phone or phone number specifically for the business. This way, you’re not tempted to respond to messages that are not urgent outside of work hours.
4. Take Breaks
Take breaks throughout the day. It may seem counterproductive, but research shows that taking breaks rejuvenates you and restores your focus on the tasks at hand, perhaps even allowing you to see it with fresh eyes.
5. Track Your Time
Tracking is said to be one of the first steps in changing your life. Tracking your spending can help you see where you may be wasting your money just as tracking your time will help you see what activities take up the lion’s share of your time allowing you to adjust accordingly to ensure that the activities taking up your time are the ones growing your business in leaps and bounds.
6. Ask For Help
We live in a culture that elevates the lone ranger mindset and celebrates people who ‘made it on their own’. This is a dangerous mindset that negates all the ways in which people have helped us not to mention luck that has befallen us. Society works best when we work with each other. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or incompetence, it’s an acknowledgment of your humanity and your belonging to a community. A community that is eager to help you and that will celebrate your successes with you.
7. Take Time Off
One of the joys of employment is the observing of holidays which most entrepreneurs fail to do. Make yourself observe all national public holidays like the rest of the working class. Learn how to take time out to rest and rebuild your energy.
It’s best to remember at all times that you are a finite person with finite resources that can only be recharged through rest. Go easy on yourself, cut yourself some slack and take time out to rest. Go off on a holiday or staycation where you don’t touch any work for three days, maybe even five.
Here’s hoping something resonates with you and you achieve at least some semblance of work-life balance.
Check out these free apps to help with accounting and bookkeeping so you can use that time saved to just chill.