Work-life balance is a hot topic as more and more of us come to realise the insidious effects of stress on our mental and physical wellbeing. For a whole generation of people, achieving some kind of synergy between a focused career and a fulfilling personal life is now more important than other motivators such as status and job title. In fact, it’s a big driver behind why many choose to go it alone and set up a business, and yet, becoming a entrepreneur, at least initially, generally means less free time. As you work to establish your business and before you can employ other people, your time and energy becomes pretty stretched. But the idea that running your own business and being able to decompress are incompatible isn’t true. Achieving a balance doesn’t have to be impossible. There are ways that you can combat stress and try to keep things in balance, with a few simple tricks to make sure that you get the time away from the grind that you need and that ultimately will help you to run a better business!
It’s a simple thing but something we tend to forget in today’s always-on, twenty four hour culture, when our emails are constantly calling for attention. Combat the low-level pressure by setting working hours that work for you – and being strict about sticking to them. If you let work seep into every area of your life, things can quickly get or if hand, and before you know it, you’re heading for a burnout. Better to set your working times and then give yourself permission to switch off outside of those times. There’s very little that won’t actually wait a few hours while you get some downtime. Many find that doing a split working day allows them to feel like they are more contactable while also factoring in some time away from the desk.
Hobbies may seem trivial when you’re trying to get a business off the ground, but actually having a more relaxed focus in your life can be incredibly valuable, helping you to let off steam. Even better if you balance a sedentary desk job with some exercise that you enjoy – whether that’s fitting in an early morning run, or getting some practice in with your taylormade m4 driver on the fairways. If you have a creative hobby like painting or music, that can also benefit your business by encouraging you to think laterally. Think of your hobby as an asset that encourages diverse and adaptable skills rather than time away from work.
Have a recurring intention to spend more time with your family, but find yourself forgetting or blowing out plans when a work commitment comes up? Use the power of scheduling for every aspect of your life. Put family occasions and hang-out time in the diary, just as you would a business meeting, to ensure that you factor in time for them and don’t get double-booked. An app like Google Calendar can help you to share dates with family, social circles and work contacts all in one place.