Equilibrium between your work life and the time that you have away from it is possible for entrepreneurs.
Finding a balance between your personal and work life as an entrepreneur can be a full-time job all on its own. As if running a business, overseeing multiple employees, or juggling endless meetings and deadlines wasn’t enough, many leaders find it difficult to take time away from the office — let alone even for a moment to breathe.
We’ve all heard how Elon Musk works 120-hour work weeks and insists that we do the same (or as few as 80-hours) if we wish to “change the world”. Although this may be excessive for some, the main goal is to find equilibrium between your work life and the time that you have away from it. It doesn’t have to be an equal split (let’s face it when you sign up to be an entrepreneur, it never will be), but mastering your time to avoid burnout is well worth the effort put in.
The trouble with being an entrepreneur is that the business side of your life will always blur and coincide with your personal one. Having them become hopelessly intertwined is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find some downtime for yourself either. Here are a few tips to help balance your life and mind, and continue staying productive in the workplace.
1. Prioritize your time.
Although much easier said than done, managing your time is necessary when running your own company — for both yourself and your work. This means that when you’re at the office, you’re maximizing your time and productivity, and when you finally have some time for yourself, you’re unplugging from work (or as much as humanly possible, anyhow).
Here’s a key way do actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk: turn your phone off two hours before going to bed. Yes, I said it. Completely power it down, then leave it in another room and forget about it. I don’t like to go to bed with my phone charging beside me because I can’t help resist taking a peek at emails before I got to bed, and then automatically seeing what’s coming in the second my alarm goes off in the morning. You’re ending your day and starting a new one with unnecessary stress and anxiety.
2. Be realistic.
Especially in this day and age, when the mentality of “work to the bone” is praised beyond belief, it can be almost impossible to shut off from your job entirely. I want to kick this notion to the curb by reminding you that you’ve worked hard to achieve your success and that the only way to continue this momentum is to be realistic with your own expectations. Everyone needs to take a break and they deserve to do so, too.
Some weeks may be busier than others, so it’s understandable that you’ll have to shift your schedule around accordingly to accommodate this. If you’re working extra hours one week, just make sure you’re compensating for it the next by blocking in some designated “me” time away from your duties to alleviate stress and keep burnout at bay.
3. Hire a business coach.
Feeling overwhelmed is an emotion that no entrepreneur is a stranger to, and sometimes seeking outside help is the best way to start managing it. I’ve both hired and been hired as a business coach, and I can’t tell you the clarity it can bring young entrepreneurs who tend to overanalyze and stress over situations that really don’t matter in the long run.
Hiring an expert, or someone who has an unbiased perspective on what might be best for your company is a great way to guide you towards success, both personally and professionally. By meeting with someone who can offer solid business advice, it will automatically help prioritize your workload, and oftentimes, reduce the number of hours you’re spending outside of the nine-to-five.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can be just the way to turn your work-life around into something that is much more achievable on the daily.