How to Maintain Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur
When you think of professionals who lead an integrated work and life, an entrepreneur seldom comes to mind. That’s because the perception of an entrepreneur is someone like Elon Musk who works over 80 hours a week. Work is their life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are specific things that you can do. Here are some tips to maintain work-life balance as an entrepreneur to banish burnout.
Define Your Priorities
The first step in maintaining a work-life balance is to know and understand your priorities. Every entrepreneur needs to have a clear vision of values and goals that are meaningful to them. Spend some time figuring that out. Create your personal constitution and do one with your staff for the business. If you’re unsure of how to craft a personal constitution, the book, The 3 Gaps by Hyrum Smith will help. The process will take about seven hours, but you’ll have a blueprint to guide your work and life.
Take Time to Recharge
You need time when you’re completely off to recharge your batteries. To be completely off means no email, texting, or other smartphone usages. You need time for your family and friends. Protect your weekend and vacation time. If you have to get a second smartphone for personal use, do so. Turn off your work phone at a specific time, for instance at 6:00 pm. When you signal to employees that there are times when it’s necessary to shut-off, you signal that work-life balance is important. This changes the company culture. If the nature of your business is a 24/7 one, develop a system where different people are on call after hours.
This is related to having time when you’re completely off. One way to make that work is to have set office hours. This may be hard for entrepreneurs to do because the business is their baby. Success is often tied to long hours. And there are times when you have to work longer hours to get a project going, but it shouldn’t be the norm. On the other hand, life gets demanding at times and could be at the same time as when work is demanding. Boundaries help you to manage that. When you have office hours for yourself, you’ll tend to keep them. Your definition of success should be more than about how much money you make.
Learn to Delegate
Many entrepreneurs have a hard time delegating because the business is their ‘baby.’ You’re doing others a disservice when you don’t have confidence in their abilities. What are the things that only you can do and the things that feed your soul in the business? Delegate the rest. Your family and friends will thank you when you have more time for them.
Schedule everything, not just what’s work-related. There is truth to the adage that what gets scheduled gets done. This means scheduling family time. When you schedule every aspect of your life, it’s easier to say ‘no’ to things that are not important. You’ll also be more productive because you know what you’re supposed to do at any point in time. Evaluating your schedule tells you if there is a balance between work and life.
Use Scheduling Services for Social Media
Don’t let social media take over your life. As an entrepreneur, you MUST have a presence on social media. But don’t let it take over your life. You can use scheduling services like Buffer, Hootsuite and MeetEdgar. MeetEdgar has office hours where you can talk to them about social media strategies. They’re very hands-on about social media and will help you to succeed. In addition, decide on the types of articles, you’d like to include on your status updates and rely on schedulers a lot more.
Focus on Your Health
Get moving. Getting and staying healthy is important. You’re able to enjoy your life more. If your schedule feels and looks like it’s out of control, perhaps it’s time to combine things. What if you have a meeting while you go for a walk or play golf? Think about this and you can get creative.
Stimulate your mind. Physical health is important. But so is your mental health. You need a healthy mind to operate your business. What’s a skill that you’ve always wanted to develop. Take a course, or attend a seminar, or read a book on the topic. You’ll be surprised at how what you learn can help you in your business.
Feed your soul. Self-care is very important. What kinds of things make you happy? Find a purpose – something that you believe in. That cause will feed your soul. If you’re unsure of what your purpose is, then volunteer for non-profit organizations that interest you. You’ll find your purpose.
There are nine activities to help you maintain a work-life balance. All are important activities for you to engage in. So that you’re not overwhelmed, why not start the process with defining your priorities and two others. Try them for three months then add more activities. Evaluate your work and life to see how much they’ve changed.
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