Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to manage work/life balance as an entrepreneur

Choosing the life of an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It can become hectic, with the line between family and work being non-existent (including those who run home-based businesses). Maintaining a healthy balance between your home environment and work can be difficult, especially when you are always “on”. Especially when clients, suppliers and employees are able to reach us at all hours. You can get so bogged down with work that you will forget what it is like to have free time and can neglect your family and friends!

So what can you do to maintain a great work /life balance? How can you juggle your work and keep it from interrupting your family or social life? Our tips will help you maintain that balance while also helping you grow your business.

Manage your time

The most important part in managing time is not being able to schedule your hours, but in how to set priorities. Your work/life balance depends on what your life goals and passions are. Once you know what your priorities are, you must then analyze those items that compete for your attention. Decide what you want to focus on and discard what is not important in your life.

Be ready to communicate your expectations to people - which sometimes requires you to say “No” to certain activities. You have to help them understand that being an entrepreneur means working long and crazy hours. Have a discussion with the people close to you and plan for re-scheduling conflicts.

Make a schedule for your day - end your day at the same time, and try to stick to it. It’s not always easy as there is always work to be done. In some days, you might find yourself fighting fires with no one to help you, and you’ll be up late into the night. You must have strong self-discipline as there is no one who is going to be looking over your shoulder telling you what to do.


Although doing everything yourself makes financial sense when you start out in your business, you should consider hiring contractors, consultants and employees when the time is right. Micromanaging is a straight path to not only stress, but also making mistakes which can affect your business. The benefits of delegating outweigh the risks and costs, so giving others the responsibility of doing minor tasks from writing a blog to your accounting, you’ll focus on what you’re good at – which is growing your company.

Focus on your health

No matter how busy your schedule is, always make time for fitness. Even if it means going for a long walk around the block, just do it on a regular basis and get your heart pumping. A good workout:

• Helps reduce stress ,

• Allows you to maintain a routine,

• And focuses your mind.

Be it going to the gym or playing a sport, physical activity helps your body create endorphins which is known to keep people’s mood up.

Being unreachable

Running a small business means dealing with all kinds of issues and putting down fires. Your employees, suppliers and clients are constantly vying for your attention by phone and email. To avoid being overwhelmed by the constant barrage of emails and calls, unplug yourself from any communication device at certain times of the day and focus on getting your work done. Block out some time during the day to respond to emails or voicemails.

Get a life

It’s very easy to get sucked into the life of an entrepreneur. You are passionate about your business and you work hard to make it successful. In the first few years, you may need to work around the clock to get your business off the ground, but it will catch up to you, leaving you with high blood pressure, broken relationships and more.

To keep a balance, you must be able to walk away and spend time on things that you enjoy. As much as you put your focus on work, put the same on your recreational activities. Don’t forget about the most important relationships in your life – keep your lines of communications open between your family and friends so that you’re not isolating yourself from them.

Being an entrepreneur requires you to make many sacrifices; however, you have to realize the bigger picture –you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. If you don’t pace yourself and schedule regular fun time, you’ll definitely burn out.