What is your Best Advice for Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance?

Plato once stated that the beginning stages are the most important in any type of long-term work endeavor, and while this is certainly true, there are many entrepreneurs that take this advice a little too seriously.

As most of you know, being an entrepreneur isn’t simply a job, but a lifestyle, and this is especially true when running a startup. Between the long work hours and the addicting mix of excitement and anxiety that come with launching a business, many entrepreneurs tend to forget what really matters most, that being their personal life and their personal well-being.

Focus on family time for maintaining work-life balance
photo credit: Into Somerset

We spoke to eight different startup founders to see what advice they had for maintaining a health work-life balance. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Preserve Willpower

Get enough sleep and spend time with the people who love you. Without those, your willpower will evaporate.

– Preet Anand, Bluelight

2. Prioritize

You can have it all, just not all at once.

While you are getting your business started, know that you can’t do something that is all encompassing, like starting a business, as well as having a robust social life, quality time with your family, and extensive hobbies. When I figured this out, I was ok with having a crazy and imbalanced life because it was only for a period of time. So I decided to do two things well, my business IntelligenceBank and spend time with my family. Everything else sometimes happens but if it doesn’t, I’m not stressed because I know it will come at another chapter of my life.

– Tessa Court, IntelligenceBank

3. Cherish Down Time

If you are involved in a business that requires creativity, putting aside some time for yourself is indispensable, especially since those are the times where you can actually come up with crazy ideas and create new things. It is very important to spare some time and do the things you like to do during this time. As an entrepreneur, you are already working 150% more than any other friend of yours in the corporate world, and to be able to keep your efficiency high you must spend some time on your own and enjoy these time-outs during the day.

– John Kagit, Socialeyes

4. Create a Task List

This is probably the most difficult part of any startup. I would say that completing a task list for the next day is critical. If you know what work should be completed within a certain time scale, you are much more likely to succeed. Within any business, it is critical not to become distracted with email during the day – email is consistently the destroyer of productivity. In many respects, the best option is to turn off your phone or email client whilst working on core tasks. Easier said than done, but needed to avoid burnout.

– Robert Sturt, WAN procurement expert for Techtarget

5. Don’t Mix Work-life and Personal-life

My best advice for maintaining a healthy work/life balance would be to manage your time wisely. Set a cutoff time for work emails and phone calls everyday, and set aside time for leisure and family. When work and home-life crossover, relationships can begin to suffer, and thats not healthy for either one.

– Muneeb Mushtaq, AskforTask

6. Work to Live

Work to live, not live to work.

– Justin Ashurst, AppInstitute

7. Minimize Distractions

Minimizing time-suckers while being organized and knowing your own limitations and your company’s will allow you to accomplish your tasks faster, increase your productivity, be more efficient and ultimately get you out of the office earlier. Figure out what you can do to minimize disturbances while still being a team player. You cannot afford to be distracted.

– Tim Nichols, ExactDrive

8. Separate Work and Social Time

Make time to separate yourself from work. On the weekdays, I like to attend networking events. When I’m at these events, I try to avoid talking about work as much as possible and focus on socializing and enjoying the company of the people I meet.

– Kevin Holmes, FoundersNetwork