The issue of work-life balance has been around for a long time. If you want to learn how to have a good work life balance, it’s going to take some work.
It presents challenges for any working professional, including a changing working environment. It’s something that a lot of people are concerned about these days.
UPDATED: JUNE 10, 2023
Work-life balance approaches for entrepreneurs
Before I go further, I will say that work-life balance (WLB) is a legitimate concern. However, it’s not what you may think. I will explain why toward the end of this post.
Throughout this post, I will discuss some suggestions that entrepreneurs can consider. WLB is something most people are concerned about, but it can also apply to entrepreneurs.
- Prioritize Things That Matter The Most
- Work Fewer Hours
- Create A Schedule
- Set Boundaries Between Work And Distractions
- Conduct Work That Excites You
- Have A Hobby (Hint: It’s Not Work Related)
- Schedule Personal Things As “Urgent”
- Build A Life, Not Just A Business
- Take The Initiative To Learn Something New
- Listen To Your Body
- Follow Systems To Save Yourself Time
- Understand When To Say “NO”
- Give Back To The Community
- Value Time Over Money
Prioritize things that matter the most
Between juggling business and personal responsibilities, you know what things matter more to you. You know what needs to get done each day and weekly as well.
The best approach to prioritizing tasks is to write a daily priority list. When writing it out daily, ask yourself: What are the three most important things you need to do that day?
If you write them down and focus on those three priorities, you’re already ahead of the game. Everything else should come second, or things that can wait until later or for another day.
In the long term, your priorities may change over time. In that case, your willingness to change and be adaptable will help. If that means working fewer hours or stepping back from your business for a while, then by all means do it.
Work fewer hours
Now that may sound impossible when starting a business, but some successful entrepreneurs work less. It certainly may not be the case starting out, as it requires a lot of time initially.
It will be hard to maintain a 4-hour workweek (based on the book by Tim Ferris). But it doesn’t have to take 100 hours a week to launch a successful business (like Elon Musk did when he started his first company).
Instead, what you can do is put a lot more time and effort into the early stages of your business; for example, putting in a maximum of 60-70 hours a week to seek growth down the road. As the business grows, start looking at delegating and outsourcing many tasks that take up a lot of your time.
If you hate bookkeeping or don’t like social media marketing, then delegate those duties to others that will do better than you. Delegating any administrative tasks that take up a lot of your time will result in fewer hours worked.
Create a schedule
Keeping a schedule makes working on your business much more manageable. A routine is essential for entrepreneurs, and it’s also necessary for successful companies.
Without habits and systems, it is nearly impossible for a business to operate successfully. Although we’re focused on the business aspects, it helps to set time for self-care in our schedules.
Here’s a brief outline of what a typical day may look like:
|A.)Morning: Start doing activities such as exercise, reading a book, journaling, or meditating
Take a break (ranging from a half-hour to an hour)- during that time, do something such as going for a walk, chatting with a friend via phone or video chat, or getting your body moving). Do something that will help you get over the afternoon dip.
|C.) Evening: Whenever possible, try to step away from your work. Your day may not be “over,” but try to relax and do things that will help you get ready for sleep.
Activities may include reading a book, taking a bath, or meditating.
Activities such as those described above are typical for someone operating on a regular schedule. The schedules of some people may differ, especially if they are night owls.
Set boundaries between work and distractions
When setting boundaries, it is vital to stay focused and take care of essential tasks. When you need “alone” time to focus, let others around you know that you’re not to be bothered. That is a good indicator when people in your business need to work as well.
You can set specific time frames when you need to focus (i.e. between the hours of 10 AM-Noon). Your team will know not to bother you during those hours and understand what your typical schedule looks like.
Building a business is something a lot more meaningful: to create the life you desire. So if you make lifestyle a critical factor in business, it’ll be less stressful for you in the future. Also, you’ll feel more fullfilled and happier in the long-run.-Eric T. Seil (Site owner of notimekillers.com)
Conduct work that excites you
Doing work that’s interesting and keeps you energized will make your days more enjoyable. Work is necessary for life, so why do things that bore you or make you feel miserable?
When running a business, make it a priority to do work that’s fulfilling. If you’ve ever heard common sayings such as “Follow your passion” or “Do what you love,” that should resonate with many people.
Now that may not be the case starting. There will be times you need to do tedious tasks until your business grows to a good point. That’s common for many new entrepreneurs.
But as I mentioned earlier, once you’re at a point of business success, outsource things you do not enjoy doing or that you’re not great at. Doing that in the long term will help you get to the point of doing something that you love the most.
People often tell my grandmother, who has been retired for some time, “Oh, find a hobby.” People who are retired often find that to be true.
For entrepreneurs, their hobby is their business. It’s great to do what you love, but you should also do other things besides work.
Sports like golfing and fishing, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, are popular hobbies. Either way, it should be something that gets you away from work and makes you feel refreshed.
It is also beneficial to find a hobby to avoid burnout. Everyone wants to avoid becoming like Jack in the long run.
The old saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Apart from that, working can become boring after a while and lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Schedule personal things as “urgent”
If there are things that matter to you personally, make sure to set time for them. If your physical health is necessary for your well-being, schedule a time each day to exercise.
For me, I make sure to work out two-three times each week. They are usually 30-minute workout videos that help me to stay physically and mentally fit.
When it comes to scheduling personal things like “urgent,” ask yourself: If it’s on your calendar, then DO IT. If not, then don’t do it.
Build a life, not just a business
When building a business, you’re not just providing quality service or a great product to offer. But instead, you’re building a business to incorporate lifestyle.
Building a business is something much more meaningful: To create the life you desire.
So if you make lifestyle a critical factor in business, it’ll be less stressful for you in the future. Also, you’ll feel more fulfilled and happier in the long run.
There’s more than just focusing on getting funding for your business or having to work so many hours a week. That can lead to burnout and unhappiness, and that shouldn’t be your ideal lifestyle.
Take the initiative to learn something new
Whether it’s for business or personal reasons, it’s good to set time to learn something new. Whether it’s a skill or a hobby (i.e., playing the piano), it’s worth looking into doing in your free time.
By incorporating more time into learning, you’re better able to balance your personal and professional tasks. Indeed, if it’s something you invested in, you better make sure you’re making the most of your time.
Using the example of piano lessons, you should maximize your time if you’re paying for them. If you’re not, then investing in that is not a wise choice.
Listen to your body
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs I follow made this mistake early on in their careers. Starting a business can lead to neglecting your health, and it’s not the best thing to do.
Your health needs to be prioritized, and that’s extremely important for entrepreneurs. It’s why it tends to lead to more burnout and stress if you neglect health often.
The human body runs like a machine that needs regular care and attention. Taking care of yourself matters a lot, so it’s not selfish to think that way.
To put it simply, taking care of yourself is essential for the success of your business. As a result, when your body asks you to take a break or rest, you need to listen to it. That may sound odd, but it’s the truth.
Follow systems to save yourself time
Maintaining good habits and having systems in your business are great to help you stay accountable. It helps you stay focused on the priorities you need to take care of.
If you work at certain times of the day, that will help plan out your day better. Starting your day earlier than usual can help if you need to get things done. For example, you are coming into the office earlier than you usually would.
Some of the best examples include the Pomodoro technique and time blocking. The Pomodoro technique is working in 25-minute chunks, followed by short breaks in between.
On the other hand, time blocking helps you plan out what specific tasks you’ll do daily or weekly. It’s easier to see what you need to get done on a given day or week. In the long haul, it can help enhance productivity and save you a lot of time.
Understand when to say “NO.”
Learning to say “No” is a skill worth mastering. It’s not easy to say no, but it’s necessary if you need to prioritize tasks in your business.
It’s never a good idea to say “Yes” to everything. Saying yes all the time takes away your time to meet demands from others.
There will be times when you have to say “No,” especially when you need to take care of things in the short run. When running a business, you have more power and authority. So when it’s not convenient for you, you’ll have to say “No.”
Give back to the community
There’s nothing better than giving back to your community. Whether it’s at the local level or around the world, giving back is a great thing to take part in.
Many successful entrepreneurs take part in philanthropy. When you’re involved in addressing typical issues, such as poverty or hunger, it’s a big step forward in helping others get out of those unfortunate situations.
While your business is flourishing, philanthropy should play a key role in your life work. Giving back to others makes a difference and helps you achieve personal fulfillment as well.
Value time over money
Although money is necessary for anything we do, it’s essential we use our time to our advantage. For entrepreneurs, time is something not to take for granted.
Time can be your greatest asset, or it can be your worst enemy. If you don’t use it wisely, you can’t make it up or get it back.
Sure, you can lose money and feel bad about it. But you can always make more money regardless of your situation. That doesn’t work the same way with using time.
Your time is something you should be willing to invest in when growing your business. When you outsource work, you buy people’s time. You get more time to do other things that matter more to you and your business in exchange.
Any successful entrepreneur understands the importance of utilizing their time. By understanding the value of time early on, your business will grow even further, and you will experience much more success as well.
WLB is a concern for many working professionals, but it equally matters to entrepreneurs as well. We discussed a few tips that will help any entrepreneur to focus on the big picture.
The reality of WLB depends on a person’s lifestyle, in my opinion, whether it’s real or not. Their choices and their preferences for living the best life possible.
In this regard, I’m afraid I have to disagree with the notion that employers should implement WLB universally. It’s ultimately up to each individual to decide how they want to live their lives.
But those are my thoughts. In the meantime, WLB is an issue that will be around for some time. How employers and employees move forward remains to be seen.
Your turn: As an entrepreneur, do you value work-life balance?
I would like to know your thoughts on WLB. Are you concerned about WLB as an entrepreneur?
Are you making any efforts to work around WLB? Which of the tips discussed earlier is your favorite?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’ll get back to you promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.