Many entrepreneurs find themselves attempting to figure out how they should spend more time and energy: on their business or life. Yet, the fact is that it’s doable to have both. You just need to accept that to maintain a work-life balance you can’t do it all.
Even in the land where they are known for their work-life balance, the number of people not going to work due to stress is increasing. Sweden’s notorious culture of relaxed work hours and parental leave is what we strive to have in Canada. However, according to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, “more than 20% of sickness benefit cases across all age groups” are due to clinical burnout. No matter where you live, what you do, or who you are; it’s important to balance your work-life to maintain a happy healthy life.
I did some field research and asked entrepreneurs about their work-life balance, many didn’t hesitate to tell me they struggled with it all the time. After collecting their answers, I picked out the top tips and tools to manage a work-life balance that they’d share with other entrepreneurs.
It’s important to keep track of how many hours you are spending on your business. One of the entrepreneurs I spoke to uses CAATO Time Tracker to organize and time how long they spend on grant writing, emails, finances, meetings, and much more. The app allows you to look back and reflect on if the time you spent was necessary and worthwhile. Being able to see how many hours are put into your business allows you to re-evaluate.
In addition to keeping count of work hours, it’s helpful to use the Pomodoro Technique. This technique allows you to be fully present in your work when you work and to be rewarded with a break. Set a timer for 45 minutes to focus on your tasks, and once that time is up, go outside for a break, have a snack, or anything else. This simple technique allows you to be 100% there when you are working and in the long run allows you to spend more quality time with your friends and family. It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed when you are working, but the Pomodoro Technique can assist in your work-life balance.
Ask yourself, “is it worth my time and skills to do this task?” If you are hesitating with your answer, you should consider delegating the task to someone else or outsourcing it by hiring someone to do it. For example, maybe you need to do the accounting for your business and because it isn’t your background it takes a long time and energy to get it done. Instead of using your valuable time, think about hiring someone and using your time to maintain the work-life balance. It might cost you money, but it you will save your sanity by avoiding unnecessary stress. Use this spare time to surround yourself by things and people that centre you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Technology makes us accessible 24/7. Especially if you work with technology and rely on it. Frederic at WP Expert relates as he needs to be available if issues were to occur.
Unplugging can help you rejuvenate and let go of the stress that was pilling up. Make quality time and turn your phone on silent. Unplugging doesn’t mean that you need to be offline for a couple of days, it can easily just be an hour as you are eating dinner with your family, going for an evening walk and leaving your phone at home, or silencing your phone when you are at your kids piano lessons. By not reacting to the notifications from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. Resilient people will have the psychological strength to maintain a low stress life.
Everybody is guilty of getting distracted from work by scrolling through social media feeds or browsing the web. A healthy balance of work and life will increase your productivity. But how to achieve that mysterious balance everyone talks about. Here are a few tips you should try: schedule a set amount of time to work and then reward yourself with a fun activity. This will encourage you to work hard without any distractions. Turn off your notifications on your phone and computer to stay focused on your task. Make a list of all the things required to be completed. Crossing them off is satisfying and will motivate you to finish more tasks.
I began this experiment last year and have found it therapeutic to write down the good and the bad. Find an old mason jar, keep it in a safe spot where you often are and write down the professional and personal successes and failures that happen throughout the year on pieces of paper. Put them in the jar until the end of the year when you begin your reflections. This will allow you to learn from your failures and look at them as ways you can improve. The successes will motivate you to keep going and do the things you enjoy.
This is a challenging task for introverts as it will draw attention to yourself. Your followers on social media don’t just want to hear about your product(s) or service(s), they also like the inside scoop. It’s appealing to them because it makes businesses genuine. You can humanize your social media content by incorporating your personal life, showing the behind the scenes of your business, introducing your employees, and sharing your daily tasks.
One way of personalizing your social media is through videos. Videos are an emerging trend in the marketing world. Live and promotional videos have been rapidly becoming the norm across industries and are very popular with followers because it gives your brand authenticity. People love knowing more about the company and feeling like they are along for the adventure.