Most entrepreneurs love what they do (one study shows they’re the happiest people in the planet).
However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that running your own business is hard work.
You need to:
- reply to emails at any hour
- manage payroll and tax
- chase up leads
- search for new staff
All that extra work can ruin your work/life balance.
One recent survey of small business owners found that almost 50% cancel social plans at least once per week because of their work. And half of entrepreneurs say they work more than 50 hours on average per week.
Of course, if you love what you do, doing some extra hours might not feel like work. But, managing your work-life balance is important if you are an entrepreneur. Let’s look at why, then see how you can manage your time better.
There’s nothing cool about being a workaholic!
Entrepreneurs tend to be very driven people. You’ve got an idea you’re passionate about and you want to share it with the world.
But, just because you can work long hours, doesn’t mean you should. The risks of not managing your work-life balance include:
• Losing the passion: if you work yourself to the bone, your business could become the thing you hate
• Damaging personal relationships: whether it’s with your partner, friends or family, working too hard means you spend less time with the people who matter
• Missed opportunities: sometimes you’re so focused on small tasks, that you fail to see bigger opportunities which could bring you a lot more value
• Burning out: if you don’t get enough sleep and spend too long under stress, your mental and physical health could take a hit
How You Can Get Back Your Work-Life Balance
So, how can you avoid these risks and get back your work/life balance as an entrepreneur?
1. Delegate tasks
The ability to delegate tasks is essential as an entrepreneur. If your company already has employees, you need to learn to hand over tasks to them, allowing you to focus more time and energy on strategy. If you work alone, there are countless online platforms where you can search for accountants, data-entry staff or web developers. Delegating these tasks allows you to give yourself a little time to breathe and focus.
Setting aside some time to exercise during the working week is wise. If you’re getting up at 5am every day and living off a diet of coffee and cookies, you will end up sick! It’s super important to dedicate a little time to your health at least once or twice a week. Whether that’s going for a run, visiting your gym or taking your bike for a ride, a good exercise session stops you from doing work at the same time, and your mind is focused on something other than work.
Entrepreneurs tend to take way less vacation than employees. That’s no surprise – if you’re uncontactable for two weeks, a lot of your clients may go elsewhere for business. Mini-breaks are a great solution therefore. Even if it’s just once per month, take a Friday off work and go away for the weekend. Get a change of scenery and turn off your work phone.
4. Re-evaluate your customer list
You know that client who calls you late at night with extra requests? The one who manages to get you to give them free advice or provide work for less than its real value? The one who sucks up all your attention? It’s time to evaluate if that customer is actually worth the money they’re spending.
Many entrepreneurs have at least one customer like this, and they can be truly exhausting. If the relationship just isn’t worth it for you, it might be time to ask if you’d be less stressed letting them go and working with a less demanding client.
5. Having clear boundaries
Last but not least, you should set clear boundaries around your work hours and your private time. Sure, there’s got to be some flexibility, but you should set yourself rules that you stick to. Turn off your work phone after a certain time in the evening. Focus on your family (and food!) during your evening meal. Give yourself at least one day each week where you do no serious work.
Balance Your Work And Life Like A Boss
Working yourself so hard you get exhausted and disillusioned isn’t clever. As an entrepreneur, you need to manage your time in a way that allows you to get some of those rewards of being a small business owner – using some of the money you’re earning, treating yourself, and spending more time with your loved ones.