The Growing Importance of Work-Life Balance
Entrepreneurs are learning the true value of a work-life balance. One of the biggest draws of working for yourself or owning your own company is the unique flexibility of the position, but it's sometimes difficult to separate work from the many responsibilities we have outside of work.
Every second of the day is a chance for entrepreneurs to grow and improve their business. A wasted second could mean a missed opportunity, so it makes sense for business owners to stay focused on their craft all day, every day. It can often be observed that entrepreneurs become obsessed with their work to the detriment of other important priorities in their lives, such as their spouse, children or community.
While a strong work ethic and drive to succeed is necessary for entrepreneurs, it comes with potential risks. A common downside of overworking is the risk of burning out. Burnouts caused by chronic stress can cause aches and pains, heart problems, mood swings and irritability. Furthermore, as entrepreneurs start feeling overwhelmed, productivity also slows down.
Nobody likes dealing with these unnecessary restraints, but they are preventable. Try these tips to help find a lifestyle balance that works best for you:
Learn to leave your work at work. Setting up boundaries between your time spent working and your time at home will prove to be beneficial to your overall mindset. Give yourself a few hours every day to unwind and take your mind off things. Unplugging from work is shown to increase happiness and reduce stress.1
Slow down a bit.
Manage your time strategically. It's okay to slow down and take a mental break when things get difficult. A study done at The University of Texas at Austin found that intentionally pausing to clear your mind from a task actually boosts one's productivity.2 Slowing down in a fast-moving society like ours may feel uncomfortable and counter-productive at first, but remember, the tortoise always beats the hare.
Plan, plan, plan.
Schedule the entire week out in advance before it even starts. Write down every meeting, lunch date and phone call you have to make. Staying on top of your daily tasks with a structured schedule provides much needed peace of mind as you make your way through the workweek.
Follow a routine.
During the week, get into a rhythm by following the same morning routine each day. Everyone has a different routine based on their responsibilities both in and outside of work. Find a flow that works and run with it. Give yourself enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done before you start your day.
Focus on you.
This one should be easy. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs struggle to find enough time to do things they love. If you like volunteering, set aside an hour or two each week to help out in your community. Make it a priority to see your child's soccer games or band recitals instead of working late. You won't regret making it to those important life events.
It's not an easy task to nail down a work-life balance that actually fits your unique lifestyle. It's a process that must be shaped over time and adjusted to meet your needs. By following a structured schedule, you can greatly improve your productivity and even have more time to spend on things other than work.
We should also recognize when it's time to relax. When work becomes too busy or stressful, take some time to remove yourself from the situation. Listen to yourself and trust when it's time to take a breather. You'll find a work-life balance that works for you in no time.
1. John Rampton. "Entrepreneurs Are Scheduling Their Days Down to the Minute for Ultimate Success." Entrepreneur. March 8, 2019. Accessed April 16, 2019. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/329377
2. Steven McConnell. "Increase Your Productivity by Mastering the Art of Slowing Down." Business.com. November 8, 2017. Accessed April 16, 2019. https://www.business.com/articles/increase-productivity-by-slowing-down/