It's easy to let your business life seep into your personal life.
Think about it: When you're an entrepreneur, there's a lot on your shoulders. Not only are you responsible for the overall success of your business, but your daily to-do list is constantly pulling at your mind and begging for attention.
You're tempted to check your work email during a dinner with friends.
You're up late at night finishing 'just one last thing.'
You're working on the weekend to get a head start on the week ahead.
But when these situations become regular occurrences, the work becomes less enjoyable and your relationships suffer. You get tired, burnt out, and generally uninspired.
So how do you find balance between your two worlds? Here's a few work-life balance tips that will help you find a happy medium.
1. Turn Off Push Notifications on Your Smartphone
If you're in the habit of letting your emails and social media notifications come through as they are received via push notifications on your phone, it's time to turn them off. When you can decide when to check your emails and social media, you have less distractions and can focus on what you're doing without a constant 'Ding!' going off beside you.
2. Outsource Tasks
You don't have to do it all! Hire a freelancer or a virtual assistant to help execute the day-to-day tasks that keep you in the details instead of thinking big picture. This will free up your time to focus on what the future holds for your business instead of only what's happening right now.
Like Virgin CEO Richard Branson says, 'Once you have learned to delegate and free yourself from micromanaging, you need to take the opportunity to focus on the future. Finding time for aspirational thought is vital.'
3. Be More Active
One of the wonderful things about being an entrepreneur is that you can set your own schedule. Setting aside time to exercise will help you de-stress and stay healthy throughout the year. You might even find that some of your best ideas come while riding a stationery bike. Who knew?
It's proven: One study showed that people who exercised during the workday were 23% more productive than those who didn't.
4. Take a Vacation
No, this doesn't mean a workcation. This means a fully unplugged time to decompress, clear your mind, and enjoy life. You're not confined to a few days of PTO each year; you decide when you want to take time off. And you work hard as a business owner--it's well-deserved!
Schedule it: If you have trouble making vacation plans, put it in your schedule at regular intervals throughout the year. It's okay to have established blocks of time for adventures.
5. Establish Working Hours
Boundaries are a beautiful thing. When you have set working hours during the week, you have a defined time frame for work, just as you would if you were working as an employee. Plus, when you started your business, did you long for the days you'd spend working until midnight? Probably not. No more answering emails and phone calls on the weekend. It can wait.
6. Work Smarter, Not Harder
In a world where there are so many resources available to make life easier, it's surprising how many entrepreneurs still aren't taking advantage. If your budget is tight and you can't afford to bring in support, start using tools that simplify and organize your business. These might be:
7. Get a Mentor
Having someone to call on with outside perspective will help you identify those times when you need to take a break. While you might not be able to spot it, your mentor can be the one to say, 'Hey, you look tired. Are you over-working yourself?'
Your mentor doesn't run the risk of getting fired by you (and isn't your spouse), so they have the right amount of knowledge about you in both work and personal environments to make that call.
Work-life Balance Tips: The Bottom Line
For entrepreneurs, the important thing to remember is the word balance. It will look different for different people, but it feels the same across the board: You're happy, your friends and family are happy, and your business is doing well.
When you feel one start to slip, it's time to check those scales again.
Your turn: What would you add to this list of work-life balance tips?