For entrepreneurs, work-life balance is an even more crucial issue than for those who work for a boss. Here is how to balance your business and personal life.
Entrepreneurs often feel that a 24-hour day is not enough. They are the type of people who work for 18 hours a day, even more. I often heard entrepreneurs nag that they don’t have enough time for their personal life. Yet interestingly, most of them don’t want to trade their life with any other jobs or professions.
Of course, entrepreneurs have all the fun of being-your-own-boss, but being a boss could suck your life into your business, if you are not careful.
I totally agree to what one of Noobpreneur.com’s writer was said to me a moment ago – We should build business(es) around our life, not the other way around. However, achieving that could be a daunting task for the rest of us.
Work-life balance in entrepreneurship
More often than not, entrepreneurs will experience a struggle in their work-life balance. They LOVE their business; they LOVE starting up; They LOVE seeing what they have been working hard for so long is growing nicely… and yes, they LOVE the freedom. Yet, all of those are having one side effect on most entrepreneurs: Lacks of time for personal life (or personal endeavours.)
Ah, freedom – Freedom for entrepreneurs is often misled and treated equally with freedom for other type of jobs.
For entrepreneurs, freedom is not always about retirement at the beach. More often than not, freedom means they don’t have to worry about their financial future so that they can do whatever they like in their life. And deep down inside, all they eventually want (or most of them want) is to buy more time for their personal life, in many forms – pursuing their hobbies, spending time with their family, hanging out with friends, etc.
While that is the end result most of us are dreaming about, the reality is that we are all struggling to work with some hint of personal endeavours here and there – e.g. traveling and city sightseeing while going abroad for a business trip.
Some entrepreneurs are coming to a point wherein their personal endeavour is to have more time for their personal endeavour :)
How to spend more time for your personal life and build your business around your life, not the other way around
I’m no expert in this, but here are some practical things I do (and am doing; and will do) to balance entrepreneurial endeavours with personal endeavours:
- Plan your off-work time – Like it or not, you can easily bury yourself in your business life, hoping that you will have a free time for your personal life – I’ll say: It won’t happen. You need to ‘budget’ your time in such a way that you HAVE TO take your free time for the sake of your personal life, even if your work in your agenda is not finished yet for the day.
- Hire or outsource – You work too hard for your business. It’s probably a good time to hire someone to relief a bit pressure off your back. If you feel hiring someone is cost-intensive and inefficient to your business operations, try outsourcing (The 4-Hour Work Week‘s Tim Ferriss even recommends you to outsource your life.) Outsourcing buys you more time either to refine your business strategies or to enjoy the free time for your personal life.
- Take a break, turn your communication gadgets and stuffs off – When you are having your well-deserved break off your business, you should break off on your communication means, too. Do whatever you like with your communication devices – drown it on the lake, etc (just kidding,) but never take business calls while you are on a break or vacation. Taking a business phone call could ruin your break or vacation in a snap.
- Use Pareto’s 80/20 rules – Do 80% of your daily workload in your most productive time of the day, and do the rest of 20% during your mini breaks of the day. Eliminate or outsource 20% of the workload that take 80% of your time.
- Automate your business – Related to hiring and outsourcing on #2 above, you must find a way to strategise your business so that it don’t require you to be around to run well (unless, of course, if you want to bury yourself in your business – it’s your call.)
One last advice: Make time for yourself or time won’t allow you to do what you deserve.
Any success stories to share, or any tips to add? Please feel free to comment on this article :)
Work-life balance for entrepreneurs
Image by thegnome54.