Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult in today’s culture that celebrates being always on. In fact, 94 percent of 1,000 professionals surveyed by the Harvard Business Review said they put in 50 or more hours a week at work. What’s more, nearly half that group clocked in more than 65 hours a week.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs who wear many hats, from CEO and parent to CFO and spouse. And of course, everything in between. Managing your work responsibilities and your personal responsibilities can make you dizzy. When you start to lose balance and your work life takes over your personal life, everyone loses including your business.
You’ll know you’ve lost balance, stuck in a cycle of overworking yourself, when you start experiencing the symptoms of burnout. According to MayoClinic, these include:
- Lack of energy
- Cynical or critical of your work
- Hard time concentrating
- Unexplained headaches or stomach problems
- Changing sleep habits
To stay healthy and sane as an entrepreneur, live by these work-life balance rules.
Rule #1: Work smarter, not harder
Many entrepreneurs are under the false impression that you have to put in 80 hours a week to jumpstart a successful business. While there will be times when pulling an all-nighter is necessary, you don’t have to burn the midnight oil night after night to be a success.
Instead, you have to find ways to work smarter, not harder. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Remove all distractions, including social media.
- Complete your most difficult tasks first, rather than procrastinating all day. Here’s a bonus guide to fighting procrastination.
- Keep a lean and mean to-do list with only the most important, impactful tasks.
- Delegate tasks that don’t require your expertise. Here’s how to become a master in task management.
Working smarter also means using the best tools available to increase your productivity and lower the stress level. Hubgets enables you to reach both these goals and enhance your business communication. Give it a try 🙂
Rule #2: Practice the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule is a powerful tool for supercharging productivity and growing a new business. The 80/20 rule states that 20 percent of your activities should yield 80 percent of results. In other words, focus on a short list of important items that will generate the most significant results. In doing so, you will remove unnecessary distractions and allow yourself to work on the tasks that are most important to growing your business.
This requires you to continually look at what’s working and what’s not and eliminating the scraps. Not only will this allow you to maintain better work-life balance, but it will ensure that you and your business are running at their best, instead of wasting time on things that don’t matter and don’t drive results.
Rule #3: Ask for help
Many entrepreneurs are reluctant to ask for help. Your business is your baby and you want to manage every detail, every step of the way. However, trying to do it all alone, especially as your business is growing, will only lead you straight to burnout. That means your work isn’t as good as it could be and your personal life is likely taking a backseat.
Let go of control and seek help in areas in which you’re not skilled. Bring on a project-specific contractor, bookkeeper or virtual assistant. If you don’t want to spend money on help in your business, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Perhaps your spouse can pick up the kids from school a few days a week, giving you more time to finish up projects before they get home.
Rule #4: Work a normal schedule
One of the biggest perks to being your own boss is having the ability to set your own hours. However, we often fall into the trap of not setting a schedule and working 10- to 12-hour days with no time left for a personal life. Working longer is easier when your office is in your home and your business is your life.
Set specific business hours to help you prioritize your tasks, stay organized, and get things done without overextending yourself. Set your business hours during times of the day when you know your time will be uninterrupted and when you know you’re most productive. This ensures you’ll get more done and leave time for your personal life.
Resist the urge to work outside your set business hours by sharing your schedule with family and friends. This accountability can help you stick to a regular schedule once and for all.
Finding the balance between life and work
Use these rules to avoid working 12-hour days. Instead, make time for the people and things that you love. When you do, you’ll find that you enjoy the work even more and feel less burnt out. And your business will see the result.
And that’s a win-win that’s worth working for.
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