For entrepreneurs and business owners, the pressure to work all the time can feel like the only way to get ahead. Entrepreneurs possess a unique combination of traits like commitment, perseverance, and motivation that can build a business from the ground up.
For many, the hardest part of the job is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. But work-life balance for entrepreneurs is essential for creativity, productivity, and the sustainability of any business. Read on for suggestions on how to develop a work-life balance that can help grow your business while creating a fulfilling life.
Can Entrepreneurs Really Achieve Work-life Balance?
Entrepreneurs can achieve a healthy work-life balance with proper time management and prioritization. However, for many, that means making a schedule and sticking with it, setting alarms or other strategies when it’s time to close for the day to ensure that work doesn’t consume all the time.
As with anything else, making a habit of establishing boundaries around work can make achieving work-life balance easier over time. Carving out time to build work-life balance for entrepreneurs can be challenging, but you can be up for the challenge!
What Are the Benefits of Achieving Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur?
The benefits of work-life balance for entrepreneurs include better health, happiness, reduced stress, and improved productivity. Yes, it’s that valuable to have downtime and life beyond business.
1. Improves Overall Well-Being
Achieving a work-life balance can provide you with better overall well-being. By balancing time for family, friends, rest, and recreation, you’ll enjoy better health, less stress, and an overall improved sense of well-being that isn’t solely tied to business.
2. Reduces Stress Levels
Stress is the biggest enemy of modern entrepreneurs. Achieving work-life balance can help balance the stress of entrepreneurship. You can use downtime to meditate, connect with nature, or do other activities that help you manage stress.
3. Increases Productivity
Our brains are designed for only about four hours of concentrated focus daily. When you push long hours day after day, you might feel you’re making progress, but your productivity by the hour is generally diminished. Instead, use working hours with a strong focus, and enjoy downtime for hobbies, social activities, and rest to rejuvenate your brain and creativity and improve productivity.
4. Fosters Creativity and Innovation
Our brains are generally the most creative during downtime. Achieving work-life balance can increase creativity, innovation, and new ideas to build your business. Yes, your brain is working even while you rest!
11 Practical Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur
If you’re ready to create a better work-life balance, here are 11 tips to get started:
1. Choose a Business That You Love
When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work! That goes for your team as well. Create a team that you can both work and play with. Build social or outdoor activities into your work week to improve the work-life balance for your whole team.
2. Delegate Tasks to Your Team
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to do everything themselves. Instead, trust your team and start delegating tasks. This frees your time to focus on creative tasks or close early.
3. Set Boundaries
As an entrepreneur, setting boundaries on your time is essential. Set boundaries on how long you’ll work on a particular task, when you’ll close for the day, or how long meetings will last. Time is a valuable asset. Setting alarms, reminders, or other alerts to create time boundaries can make achieving a work-life balance easier.
4. Build in Breaks
Breaks during the day can bring the benefits discussed above, from improved productivity to increased creativity and less stress. Take regular breaks throughout the day. Try not to work more than two hours without at least a 10-minute break. Consider a midday walk, weekly half-days on Wednesdays, or other weekly breaks.
And don’t forget vacations! As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you can never take a vacation. Europeans are famous for taking off the month of August. A longer break can bring bigger benefits and re-balance work and life when you return. Even if you can’t take a month, consider a long weekend every couple of months or other regular vacations.
5. Create a Schedule
Having a schedule can make sticking to work-life balance resolutions easier. Build a realistic schedule that includes time for exercise, family, friends, rest, meditation, and other rejuvenating practices. Consider daily, weekly, and monthly schedules to create sufficient time for work and life.
6. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking actually decreases efficiency. While it’s easy to think that we get more done when we’re doing several things at once, research shows the opposite. Focus on one task at a time until it’s done or until it’s time to move on to something else. Turn off your phone and notifications to avoid distractions and give yourself time for undivided focus.
7. Learn How to Say No
Saying no can be difficult but essential. Learn how to say no with kindness and respect but maintain the boundaries you need for your work-life balance.
Creating clear priorities can make it easier to say no to things that aren’t important. Consider social events that are important to you, and say no to the rest. Take on work meetings that align with your goals, and say no to the rest. If you need a day to focus, say no to meetings (if you can).
8. Unplug Every Day
Unplugging from emails, social media, news, and the information bombarding you daily via your phone or computer is essential to take a mental break. Whether you unplug while you exercise, walk in nature, or spend time with loved ones, time away from technology is essential to recharge our brains and improve well-being.
9. Find a Hobby
Hobbies can bring great meaning and fulfillment to your life. Research shows that people with hobbies may be less likely to experience stress, low mood, and depression. Consider painting, photography, hiking, archery, skateboarding, surfing, sculpting, collecting stamps, trading baseball cards, or anything else you enjoy.
10. Prioritize Your Health
Your health is your most valuable asset. The saying “health is wealth” is more important than most young people realize. Most people don’t worry about their health until they start to lose it. Prioritize both physical and mental health. Eat well, exercise regularly, get sunshine and fresh air, and balance your lifestyle to protect your health, and help ensure you’re at the top of your game for decades to come.
11. Give Back to the Community
Giving back to your community can be fulfilling personally. Many entrepreneurs find that giving back creates a sense of purpose beyond business. Volunteering or donating can be an important part of the work-life balance for entrepreneurs. When others around you are thriving, it also creates a better opportunity for your business to thrive.
Building Your Business
As an entrepreneur, you need support in every way. From one-person business ideas to starting a side hustle, doola can help.
Doola offers fast and free business formation services, whether you form a partnership or an LLC. Check out doola’s business formation and compliance services here. Learn more about registered agents, or get name ideas for your podcast to grow your brand here!
Need more ideas to make income fast? Find ideas for side hustles for physician assistants or doctors, side hustles for teachers, and side hustles for women or pregnant moms.
Is work-life balance just about having more free time?
No, work-life balance is more than just free time; it is about creating the habits and schedules to have a fulfilling life socially, physically, emotionally, and professionally. This can include hobbies, exercise, time with family and friends, and time for rest and rejuvenation.
Is it possible to maintain a work-life balance when starting a new business?
Yes, maintaining a work-life balance when starting a new business is possible, but it requires discipline. Consider the tips above to get started.
How can you overcome the guilt of taking time away from work?
To overcome the guilt of taking time away from work, remember that the time away can actually improve your productivity and creativity so you can give more when you’re at work.
Does work-life balance look the same for everyone?
No, work-life balance doesn’t look the same for everyone. You must consider what balance works best for you, your business, family, and lifestyle.
Can work-life balance change with different phases of entrepreneurship?
Yes, work-life balance can change with phases of entrepreneurship. As your business becomes established, you may be able to take longer vacations or have more free time. However, even in the early stages of entrepreneurship, work-life balance is essential for sustainability and well-being.