Maybe you’ve heard the stories about how startup business owners dedicate their days, nights, and weekends to their work. One of the keys to a successful startup, however, is preventing burnout. There has to be a dividing line between work and life. Find balance without sacrificing valuable time with the following suggestions. Many are simple, so you can start working on balance today.
Find your resolve – Step one is about your mindset. Just like physical activity or facing your fears takes mental fortitude, so does finding balance between work and personal life. You may find it very difficult to find balance without an actionable plan.
Maintain personal relationships – Your family and friends are the ones who will be there if everything falls apart tomorrow, so make time with them and maintain personal activities. There may be times that you slip into an all-work mode, but try to stay mindful of what your personal relationships provide and never take them for granted.
Every day is a new day – Try to make your work and your life happier by avoiding stress. Prepare for your meetings ahead of time and stop daydreaming about the weekend or your vacation in three months. Instead, make every day at the office exciting in spite of mistakes or time constraints. Do your and stop expecting too much of yourself.
Make a schedule – Anyone can make a schedule. Be proud of yourself if you can stick to it! Schedule everything into your day including meals, workouts, and family interactions. You don’t have to get to every task, but having time allotted for balancing activities can help you make them happen more often.
Be present – During stressful times, you may find yourself preoccupied during certain activities. This can lead to further stress and anxiety, but it can also damage your personal relationships. Use your built in personal time to empty your mind from work related activities.
Use helpful tools – With smartphones, you can easily keep project management, scheduling, and other tools handy, whenever and wherever you are. Consider investing in a phone service like Booth that allows you to keep a different number that routes to your personal phone for business calls, so that you never have to worry about getting a professional call during your off time.
Say no – As an entrepreneur, you want to say yes to as much as you can to make a good impression. However, saying yes too often can make you start to resent your work or to be overextended. If you need to, use your work as an excuse to avoid taking on too many responsibilities at once.
Outsource – With many freelance professionals available online, you can afford to outsource some startup activities like administrative tasks, content writing, or updating and maintaining your website. Delegate tasks that aren’t directly related to revenue so that you can focus on networking, sales, and other development activities.
Be flexible – As an entrepreneur, you may work odd hours during the year. Being flexible with your time is good for any startup. Keep track, though, of when you close up shop early or stay late to see a true reflection of what you’re putting into your work.
Hire Smart – Focus heavily on hiring the right person to help you with your business. Identify the tasks that you most need help with, and then look for the skillset that can make that happen. Try looking at new graduates and anyone who can demonstrate a passion for learning with enough experience to get the job done right the first time.
Some successful business people like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg may argue that work-life balance is impossible to achieve. In many ways, she’s right. You may never feel completely balanced. However, everyone has a different definition of balance, and yours may not look like other successful entrepreneurs’. Balance may look like running a household, staying healthy, and taking care of children to one person while it may look like taking weekends off and spending as much time outside as possible to someone else.
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Define what balance looks like for you (what your work and personal life would look like ideally) and then make an actionable plan towards making that happen. As with any entrepreneurial endeavor, small steps and a sense of perseverance will ultimately take you to the place where you will be most fulfilled in work and in life.