One of the worst mistakes we can make as entrepreneurs is allowing our commitment to our business to undermine our commitment to our family.
As entrepreneurs we do things that others aren’t necessarily willing to do in order to enjoy a life that others can’t – we work long hours, long past the “normal” business hours that employees work, we can’t remember the last time we had more than six hours of sleep in a night and our families plot a rescue mission to get us out of the office at a decent time for special occasions.
It’s a different kind of rat race and one that we enjoy or we wouldn’t do it – but when does the drive become more about putting work before happiness than building a successful business?
If you are in the process of building your own business, you know the routine: skipping meals, social events and even daily showers just so we can turn the vision in our heads into reality. Our commitment to the task is commendable but there comes a time when you have to take a step back and remember why you’re working the way you do. While it’s not always possible to avoid extensive hours in any given week, there comes a time when you have to be practical and bring balance back to your work/family life.
Here are three tactics you can use to help keep your life in balance…
- Keep yourself well: As an entrepreneur, a sick day for us – even just one – can be severely detrimental. Even though the urge to skip meals is strong, maintaining a balanced diet is the first step in keeping the work/life balance in check and staying healthy in the process.
- Tire yourself out, and rest yourself up: Exercising and a regular sleep schedule are equally important. Breaks during the work day may seem impossible, but a short break or two during the day isn’t going to hurt – take a few minutes for yoga or to read the next chapter in a good book or to have a short lunch with your spouse or kids.
- Make sure you have clear priorities: This means make the important things in your life top priorities and let the others fall in place where they may. Family should ALWAYS come first – not work. However, your work should come before the less important things – like television for example or spending unnecessary time on social media.
It’s not impossible to have a work/life balance as an entrepreneur.
Yes, 100-hour weeks are likely and sometimes those long weeks may come more often than not, but it’s important not to live your life that way consistently. Make small changes and you’ll find that soon where you have invested the greatest amount of time will give you the greatest rewards for your investment.
Question: what are your tips for maintaining a healthy balance between work and “life”? What areas are particularly challenging for you? Share your comments below.