Any entrepreneur will tell you how difficult the balance between life and your startup can be. It seems next to impossible to find a healthy balance for spending time on your startup, and investing as much time as needed, while also finding personal time for your life.
Doesn’t one have to sacrifice?
The answer is simple; no. It’s not as difficult as many think to find a balance between your personal life and investing time in your startup. You simply have to begin with designing your startup around your life, even while it’s still in the beginning steps, and you’ll find that as it grows it falls into place.
So, you may ask, how do I balance my personal and business life? Let’s find out.
Make Yourself Commitments
For the fast-paced, busy entrepreneur, finding time for the simple things is impossible. It’s easy to get caught up working on that last-minute project or spend too much time jotting down that last idea. In these cases, what’s often cut first is the extras; your kid’s soccer game, that early morning workout and date night are all suddenly pushed to the back burner.
You need to be making commitments and then, no matter what, stick to them. Promise yourself to always show up to your kid’s soccer game and, even if it means missing a big business opportunity, show up – no matter what. Creating boundaries and being willing to stop when necessary from the start will ensure that you’ll still have those boundaries as the company grows.
Schedule everything; every minute and second of your day down to when your head hits the pillow at night. This sounds extreme, but it’s beyond necessary. Once you get in the habit of it you’ll find that scheduling your days out is liberating. Something is freeing about being able to prioritize the most pressing issues while scheduling time for other things.
There are multiple resources available to help you schedule your days out. The more detailed your schedule is, from the big tasks down to the minor ones, the better. This will also give you the availability to look back at the end of the week and see what you’ve accomplished. This will give the motivation for the approaching week.
Focus On Your Energy More Than Your Time
We’ve all experienced walking into our home after a physically and mentally exhausting day at work and being in a daze. We’re with our family, but are we actually with them? A lot of us are guilty of answering a ‘no’. There’s a difference between being somewhere and really being somewhere.
This means that finding a balance is more than simply dividing up your 24 hours to give half to work and half to your personal life. You have to be dividing your energy as well. It’s pointless to be dividing your time with personal and work life if you’re not present for either.
So how do you split your energy? There’s a simple answer; care less about work. Work responsibilities are always a given, while we tend to be more willing to cut corners with personal responsibilities. Spending another hour at the office to finish up that report feels like more of a priority than your evening workout.
But, when you focus less on work, and just a tad bit more on your personal life you’ll find that things may just start to balance out. When you walk through the door, be willing to stop thinking about anything work-related. The second that you walk out of the office door should be the second that you’re both physically and mentally done with work. Tell yourself you’ll deal with it tomorrow, even if there are consequences. Fully be present in your personal life.
Know Everyone’s Schedule
It’s not merely enough to know your schedule and manage to split time between work and personal life, you have to know the schedule of those around you as well. It’s pointless if you’re scheduling time to work 60 hours a week, only to miss the big meeting on Friday because you scheduled family time. Taking a Wednesday afternoon off a week ahead of time for date night, only to find out your significant other is working, is pointless.
Learn your family member’s schedules and ensure that they don’t collide with yours. If you want to spend time with friends, ask them if they’re busy weeks in advance to avoid having to cancel. You’ll find that by knowing more than just your schedule, finding time will become easier.