How to Balance Work and Home Life
Entrepreneurs are known to be extremely hard on themselves. They overwork their minds and sometimes forget to take a break. When 24 entrepreneurs, founders, and business leaders were asked why work/life balance matters to them and why it should matter to other entrepreneurs, these are some of the answers that were received:
“Work/life balance is important to me because I’ve realized that being out of balance causes more stress, tension – even physical sickness, which gets in the way of productivity and halts my goals.”
— William Harris (@wmharris101), CEO at Elumynt
“Because like a racehorse you cannot constantly have it running races. It needs rest, time in the paddock, training and prep. You need to treat yourself the same. All the most successful entrepreneurs have a good work life balance!”
— Nathan Chan (@foundr), CEO at Foundr Magazine
“Work is fleeting. I’ve made great friends at work and built cool sub-communities. But you move on from jobs, and after a few months you don’t talk as much to those people — sounds cold, but it just happens. But family, that’s forever. To go home and talk to people who genuinely and unconditionally care about your successes and failures, that’s what really matters. I actually moved from Minnesota to Texas for a job, and my girlfriend picked up and moved with me, too. She knew no one in Texas and had to find a new job (when she already had an awesome one back home). How terrible would it be if she went through all that and we only saw each other for 2-3 hours a day? Life is about balance, and if someone is selfless enough to sacrifice for you then you need to be selfless enough to sacrifice for them — and for many driven entrepreneurs, that means trading time at work for time with your loved ones.”
— Sean Bestor (@sbestor15), Head of Content at SumoMe
[Answers from Zirtual]
From these responses, it’s clear that work/life balance is a genuine concern for entrepreneurs. As much as it is a concern, however, most entrepreneurs do not know where to start if they are to reach this balance. Here’s a few pointers:
1. Set a schedule
Create a weekly work schedule and stick to it. Whether you use your calendar or a tool such as Trello doesn’t matter. What matters is having a platform where you can have a bird’s eye view on what you’re supposed to be doing at any point in time, and then sticking to this schedule so that you may have balance in your life.
Of course, there will be times when an emergency will come up and you may change the schedule around, but the essential thing is that sticking to the plan most of the time will help you balance your work and life better.
2. Set expectations
Setting expectations is a crucial part of balancing your work/home life. There’s always going to be one more client to call, one more email to send or one more report to write. You’ve got to find it within yourself to set a limit with your work.
Setting boundaries is not just necessary for work but for home life too. Your family and friends need to understand that work time is dedicated to work commitments and they should exercise caution during these times.
Ultimately, though, the expectations lie with you. You should let clients and family members know when you are available and when you are not. This will prevent arguments, problems and failed relationships.
3. Block off most productive hours for your hardest work
While it may make sense to you to wake up early and work a 9am-6pm shift, this may not be the most productive for you in the long-run. Find out when you are the most alert, even if it’s in the evenings, and use that time to complete your most difficult tasks. This will increase your productivity as well as creativity.
4. Hire assistance
Probably one of the most valuable tips that an expert can give an entrepreneur is to hire additional help. Entrepreneurs shy away from this so much in the beginning of their journey and end up experiencing burnout. Don’t be afraid to hire assistance, Virtual Assistants can be found everywhere at the fraction of the cost of a regular employee and with the same skill-set.
5. Productivity apps
Finally, consider making use of productivity apps to get things done. There are apps for everything:
- Receiving reminders
- Blocking off distractions
- Playing productivity stimulating music
Apps like Balanced can help you to be more mindful on your productivity levels and in consequence keep your mind and body in check.
You can find productivity apps by searching “productivity” in the app store on your mobile phone or using the Chrome Extensions.