You’ve probably heard from fellow entrepreneurs that if you want to succeed, there is no work-life balance and you better kiss your social life goodbye. They may also forgo sleeping, eating and exercising, just to get ahead of the game. Feels like there’s this struggle story competition going on.
Though cutting corners is tempting, it can’t be good for your health. If you want success fast, you could work 800 hours a day but that’s not sustainable. There is nothing wrong with taking things slower and living a balanced life. Even if you’re in a hurry, there’s still a healthier way to do things.
Know when you’re free
This one sounds like common sense but common sense isn’t so common. It’s easy to feel like you have no free time but with good planning, you can make time. It all starts with getting on a schedule and knowing when you’re free. Having your schedule on your smartphone is convenient but it’s good to also keep an IRL planner. With planners, you can track your schedule,notetake, see how much free time you have and be held accountable. When you plan your days, write down your goals and note blocks of time when you are free. Be hands-on and open to making adjustments. Make sure everything is on fleek: colorful planners, chic pens, and cool post it notes. Use them all! The more you plan ahead, the easier it will be to find time to do the things you love.
Know your needs
It’s OK to use friends and family as your soundboard, but in the end of the day, you need to know what your needs are. Self-awareness is super important in being able to know what advice to take and what to leave. Always take advice with a grain of salt. You’ll hear all sorts of things. Don’t sacrifice your personal life or social life just because you’re being told to do so.
Even if you do this for the first few years…that adds up to thousands of days of not building meaningful relationships. What fun is that? Having your own business can get isolating, especially when most of your interactions are strictly business. Don’t make the problem worse by taking yourself out of the social scene altogether! Plus, social situations are also networking opportunities. Your friends and family are on your team.
The key is realizing how much time you’re going to devote to work and how much leisure time you can afford to take. Once you have that number, you’ll be able to balance things better. For example, you might be so busy you only have a few hours a week to socialize if you’re lucky. To make matters worse, since you started your own business, you feel like you need new friends because your current ones act like Eeyore. If you grew up with Winnie the Pooh, you know Eeyore. He’s a vibe killer. Why not go to a meetup every week to meet new like-minded people? Give yourself a break from your phone and stay engaged. If your schedule is crazy, even going for coffee or lunch with a friend for an hour will help you stay energized and connected.
Break some hearts
There’s times when you’ll be all in and there’s times when you’ll just have to say no. Get your priorities straight. Do you really need to go over to your friend’s house all day Saturday for a 90s sitcom marathon? Sounds like a good time but the answer will be no if you’re already behind the 8 ball and time is not your friend. Look at how you’re doing and whether you’ve earned your leisure time or not.
When all else fails and you feel like you cannot live a balanced life, pick two things you can find time for. For example, you may not have much leisure time but can make time for sleep and exercise. Choose two things that you know you can balance, how much time you’ll devote to each and stay committed to them.