As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you treat your business with the same compassion and nurturing that a mother provides for her children. You may find yourself working 12 hours a day, answering emails until 2 AM, or delegating work to your team while you’re at the dinner table, doing whatever you need to do whenever you need to do it in order to take good care of your business-baby. Entrepreneurs easily find themselves so deeply invested into the operations of their business(es) that it really becomes an indispensable part of everyday life, a non-negotiable, something worth sacrificing other essential parts of life to care for. Despite the thrill of growing in the entrepreneur game, the rewards of freedom and flexibility become meaningless if you aren’t nourishing your life outside of work.
In order to balance your time, energy, and attention in multiple areas without losing sight of goals or progress, you have to learn how to really honor those areas by eliminating the distractions of the others. I have tried hundreds of methods and systems related to mastering this balanced lifestyle, and I think I’ve found the magic formula to successfully and sustainably accomplish it.
Here are my top tips to create the perfect work/life balance:
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Know your limits and don’t overcommit to a workload that will require you to sacrifice your well-being or time meant for your friends & family.
Create a solid routine.
You want to try to adopt a routine that provides you with ample time to complete work tasks and sets aside established time frames for self-care, cleaning, hobbies, personal development, etc.
Your ability to be productive and adhere to a schedule you set for yourself is all pre-determined by the amount of sleep you get. If you’re laughing to yourself saying, “Sleep? How does one achieve that?” I highly recommend avoiding screens at least an hour before you lay down, giving your body the same familiar routine to follow each night before bed, and avoiding drinking liquids & eating too close to bedtime.
Give yourself enough time in the morning to slow down.
If you find yourself rushing through your morning, thinking about emails and projects the moment you open your eyes- you may need to wake up earlier. Ease your body and mind into the day, avoiding immediate stress upon waking up.
Stick to your schedule.
Don’t let meetings continue on for hours. Make people aware of your schedule and your priorities.
Always choose movement.
You’ve been there, I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. We have all promised ourselves that we were going to exercise or go for a walk and when the time came to do so, we debated ourselves and chose work instead. Do not do this. Give your body the care it deserves. And hey- exercise increases creativity and productivity, so you can do better work long-term by adhering to a strong workout regime.
Plan future events, vacations, and outings with other people.
Besides the necessity to have fun and make memories with people you care about, planning out your socializing gives you something to look forward to that isn’t work-related. You’ll also be held completely accountable to fulfill your plans by the people you included in creating them!
Create boundaries for yourself and for others, and respect them religiously.
Learn how to say no to anything that doesn’t help you grow professionally, emotionally, and mentally. Stop sacrificing your time and energy for people and things that prevent you from accomplishing your personal & business goals.
Kill the pressure.
Feeling pressure from outside sources is inevitable. However, a majority of the pressure we experience is brought upon us by ourselves and our own unachievable standards and expectations. This creates inner-turmoil and ultimately renders our abilities to succeed. Give yourself a break!
Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
Recognize your top priorities in your professional life, your social life and your personal life. Then, take stock of your mental, emotional, and physical health and find your major priorities there. Learn how you can best flourish in these specific areas in ways that bring you joy.
Take a break from screens.
Give yourself a day or a weekend to truly be present. Be mindful of the connections you’re making and learn how to recognize the little things as monumental memories that will stay with you forever- even when you’ve been glued to your laptop for 8 hours straight; those memories will encourage you to step away with ease.