Balancing Work and Life as an Entrepreneur
Establishing a healthy work-life balance is essential for maintaining your mental and physical health as an entrepreneur. However, achieving that balance can be an incredible challenge, particularly for driven individuals who are forced to keep up a fast pace while wearing many different hats.
The entrepreneur life makes it easy to ignore your own needs and run full steam ahead until you’re exhausted and burned out. This is the reality faced by many entrepreneurs just like you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Unfortunately, when your life is out of balance, every aspect of it suffers.
It’s not possible to apply a single path or formula that will work for everyone. However, when you understand why it’s important to achieve an improved work-life balance and learn how to do it, you can find the path forward that works best for you.
The Importance of Balancing Work and Life as an Entrepreneur
The life of an entrepreneur isn’t an easy one. Sure, it can be fulfilling, rewarding, and filled with satisfaction and joy — but it can also be incredibly stressful, leaving many entrepreneurs vulnerable to burnout.
Research released jointly from the Center for Economic and Business Research and Opinium revealed that 92% of small business owners struggle with mental health problems. Additionally, Harvard Business Review reports that one in four entrepreneurs report feeling burned out, with 3% reporting intense burnout.
By nature, you’re going to spend much of your work days hustling. Finding ways to keep work and your personal life separate, which means taking time off for things outside of work, can help strengthen your mental resilience. Ultimately, a healthy work-life balance can help you be more productive, particularly when you consider the long-term benefits.
It can be all too easy to get lost in your work and tend to your business while ignoring your own emotional and personal needs. Let’s explore some of the advantages you can enjoy when you strike a balance between your professional and personal life.
The Benefits of a Balanced Life for Entrepreneurs
In your professional life, you will likely experience many highs and lows while tackling a rigorous workload with minimal help. Finding a way to take care of your basic needs and enjoy other aspects of your life helps you support a healthy body and mind. In turn, these changes can foster improved productivity and drive your business’ success.
Additional benefits include:
- Lower levels of stress and reduced risk of burnout
- Increased resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles and challenges
- Better time management and overall engagement
- Increased opportunities for personal and professional growth
- Improved mental and physical health with reduced risk for stress-related diseases, including heart disease
Strategies for Balancing Work and Life as an Entrepreneur
We have all heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” Perhaps a better approach is one that is thoughtful and intentional with how you allocate your time — potentially the most precious resource you have. What that looks like for you depends on what you feel is necessary for a healthy work-life balance.
At a more granular level, the precise steps may be slightly different. However, these two strategies can help you start moving in a positive direction.
Setting Boundaries and Prioritizing Self-Care
No two days in the life of an entrepreneur are the same, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks you must handle. Establishing personal boundaries can help provide a safeguard of sorts. For example, you might decide that you won’t check emails before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. You might set a work schedule, whether you work in a traditional office or not, or balance late nights with a late start the next day.
Creating those boundaries can help you see the optimal ways to separate your work from your personal life. Working self-care into your day is mission critical. For example, you might start your days or enjoy a lunch break with meditation or a walk in nature. Take time in the afternoon to get a little fresh air or perform some type of physical activity. At night, stop working and give yourself time to wind down, rest, and concentrate on your personal life. Taking time to unplug can make a tremendous difference.
Delegating Tasks and Managing Time Effectively
When you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, you may have to take on the lion’s share of the tasks. At this point, it’s wise to map out tasks that are urgent and must be tackled immediately versus those that can wait. This helps ensure an effective use of your time.
Additionally, consider the tools you may have at your disposal. Software that automates particular tasks and hiring an employee or two can help shift your attention away from lower-level tasks. These steps effectively free up some of your time and mental bandwidth so you can tackle more critical, higher-level tasks.
Some ways to help manage your time include:
- Set deadlines and sticking to them
- Deal with tasks in priority order, one at a time
- Tackle critical matters during your most productive times
- Use apps and alarms to track your use of time
- Do breathing exercises or another restorative activity during your downtime, while on hold, or while waiting for a file to load
Take the Next Step with Your Next Act
Achieving work-life balance is a personal affair. It takes time, motivation, and dedication, and it is generally a smoother process if you have support. Your Next Act offers personalized one-to-one coaching for entrepreneurs to help give you some of the strategies you need. Your coach can help you begin saying no while learning to set boundaries and manage your time. Start building mental resilience, achieving an improved work-life balance, and enjoying your unique entrepreneurial journey. Call us at 518-583-7410 to learn more.