Work Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

Nov 21st, 2019

WORK LIFE BALANCE FOR ENTREPRENEURS

What is work life balance?

According to Wikipedia it is a “term used to describe the balance that an individual needs’ between time allocated for work and other aspects of life.”

What are the other aspects of life?

The answer to that question is going to be specific to each person. Are you single, part of a couple, do you have a family, are you a caregiver for aging parents or other family members? The description of your life is very important to understand where balance can be achieved between work and the rest of your life.
Being an Entrepreneur is hard; there is so much focus on the creation of a business that it tends to take precedence over everything else in your life. Often statements like “I will work less when everything is established”, or “I will take time off when I can trust everything will be taken care of in my absence”, will provide justification for overworking. If you are embarking on the entrepreneurial road by yourself, working long and hard may seem to be the only way to accomplish your goals. However, working longer isn’t necessarily the best way to be more productive. It is essential to find a way to allow yourself to experience the rest of your life while growing your business.
Take the time to identify the areas in your life where you want to remain an integral part. A business is only a part of your life, know what makes up the rest and understand the value.

• Relationships with:
Partner Children Parents Family Members Friends Business Associates Community Organizations Faith Based Organizations
• Your Business
• Your Self
Life admin (doctor, dentist, paying bills, maintaining home, vehicle, etc.) Exercise, Healthy eating, Me-time, Sleep, Other commitments

Finding the right work pattern

Entrepreneurs can tend to be workaholics. There are certainly times in business when extra hours are required and those can be accommodated more easily if there is an established work pattern that flows with the other parts of your life. Not getting home for supper on a few occasions is much different than missing supper every day.
Being mindful that work-life balance as defined by you is very important. Your priorities and what’s meaningful to you are as unique as you. It is your responsibility to define clear goals and boundaries; for the business, as well as in your personal life. Be sure to schedule time in each area of your life that is valuable to you. Communicate with those important in your life what your intentions are, so everyone is aware of your intentions. The more you balance your life, the more successful your business can be.
There are many tips for achieving work-life balance. What follows is a list of a few ideas that may help you in your quest for that balance.

1. Consistent work is much better than constant work. Productivity is higher with regular schedules, time off and rewards outside of work. List making, prioritizing the to do’s is one way of being proactive in handling business and non-business responsibilities. Be realistic with your to do lists, plan on accomplishing 3-5 important things per day. If you have 10 things on the list and only accomplish 3 you will be discouraged, negatively impacting your energy levels and motivation. On the other hand, if you regularly achieve results with 3-5 to-do’s, your motivation will stay high and results will be consistent.

2. Schedule your day sensibly, allow enough time for each task, as well as breaks. Keep everyone’s calendars in sync. Google Calendar works well for this. This applies to employees, business associates, family, and friends. Build in downtime. Planning something you can do in the evening or on the weekend provides an extra incentive to manage time well so you don’t have to cancel.

3. Maintain an attitude of flexibility. Stringent schedules and expectations can often lead to increased stress when the results vary from the expectations. Life is fluid, adaptation is a necessary skill for a successful entrepreneur. Having plans and schedules are very important, but so is the ability to juggle on the fly without becoming overwhelmed.

4. Drop tasks or delegate those that take too much of your time or energy. Build trust with employees by sharing the workload. Include family and friends in the “those who can help” category too. Sharing responsibilities can lessen your load and provide connection between you and the people you ask to assist with work and home related tasks.

5. Schedule social media, email & phone calls. It is so easy to spend unnecessary time online; it can become a way to “take a break from the busyness” but it ultimately reduces actual productivity. Slotting 3-4 times a day to review emails, make calls, create online orders, etc. can quickly free up more of your time to be productive in other areas of your business and personal life. If your business is based in the on-line world make sure to disconnect regularly.

6. Save the most challenging work for a time of the day when you are at your peak. Research has indicated that midafternoon is the least productive time of the day. Making critical decisions or scheduling important meetings might be better earlier or later than the 2:00-4:00 pm time period.

7. Move it, move it, move it! Regular exercise can help to provide more energy, increase mood boosting endorphins and alertness. Taking time to go for a walk, do a few flights of stairs or scheduling in gym time can be very important for your physical and mental health. Often in the rush to organize and run a business the basics in life get forgotten. Simple things like eating properly or even drinking water get pushed aside. So, make a conscious effort to hydrate, eat healthy food and get in some exercise.

8. Take time for yourself. Quiet time is essential to review, assess and contemplate future goals for the business and your personal life. Relaxation, in whatever form you enjoy, is very important. When you are overtired, stressed and drained you cannot deliver your best self anywhere. Take care of yourself, enjoy watching a movie, reading a book, going for a drive; anything that helps you recharge. Joy in your life is created with multiple experiences, not just work.

9. Set clear, specific, measurable goals; short and long term. What is the ultimate goal of the business? Where do you see the business in 1,3, or 5 years? How do you create the growth required to make that happen? Knowing what you want to accomplish in each time frame can be broken down into smaller time segments to prioritize the work that needs to be done to reach the next level. For example, the next quarter can be broken down to monthly, weekly and daily targets. Utilizing tracking software can give a visual representation of progress.

10. Do what you love. The desire to create and operate a business needs to be based in passion. Successful businesses tend to stand the test of time when that passion can shift and morph original ideas into new concepts that then inspire growth and continued success.

There are many tricks to balancing one’s life as an entrepreneur. Taking time to explore and implement some of the suggestions will hopefully aid you in having a whole and happy life.
Always try to remember that your business is only one aspect of your life. In the words of Dolly Parton “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Do you have ideas for a business? Are you a Permanent Resident? Would you like information about business in Canada? Would you like to have an advisor at your disposal at no cost to you?

If so, please contact Aurora Project’s Business Development Manager,
Naty Delbridge @ 204 -441-3207 or email to naty@aurora-project.ca
or visit
www. https:facebook.com/auroraprojectconsulting to book an appointment.