Do you know that popular quote that says that the first year of business for any entrepreneur particularly a solopreneur is usually the hardest? Well, nothing can be further from the truth.
What they also didn’t tell you is that in that first year, in order to get things rolling, you might lose yourself to your business. This also includes but is not limited to your family, friends, network and social life.
Depending on your perspective, this might seem like an investment in the long run. After all, the first five years are the most pivotal point of any business. After that, it’s supposed to get easier.
But does that mean you have to wait until your business has fully taken off to get your life and have a semblance of work-life balance? I think not.
Here are five simple work-life balance tips that I have found works for the new entrepreneur.
1. Separate your business from your personal life.
This might seem like a walk in the park but believe me, it is easier said than done. In a bid to be always available, accessible and offer excellent customer service, the thin line between your business and your personal life might be blurred.
So, it is key to separate them. This can be as simple as getting a different phone/WhatsApp number for your business. This way, you’re not tempted to respond to messages that are not urgent outside work hours.
2. Determine your work hours.
As much we live on the internet, it can be tough for internet-enabled businesses to switch off for the day but it’s important for work-life balance.
Entrepreneurs are known to work around the clock but by determining your work hours you are giving your business structure and leaving out time for yourself and your life.
3. Make plans ahead
It’s one thing for you as an entrepreneur to not have a social life, it’s another thing entirely to not make plans outside your business.
The great thing about making plans ahead and following through with your family and friends is that you’re completely distracted and not tempted to work. No matter how little it might seem initially, it means that out of your super busy schedule, you are making time for your loved ones and that is one of the keys to a balanced life.
So, draw up a special calendar and slot in some dates and fun activities for the next three months. This gives your friends enough time ahead to prevent a clash of schedules.
(TIP:Google Calendar is your plug)
4. Observe public holidays
As an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to become a workaholic. But as much as strong work ethics are admirable, it’s important to know when to take a break to re-energize and avoid burning out.
One of the most simple ways you can achieve this especially when you don’t have the luxury of taking vacations yet is by observing public holidays.
Turn off your work phone and emails. If possible, stay off social media and cultivate a habit of resting.
5. Learn how to rest
Everyone has their definition of rest but one thing is certain, it does not involve work. One of the key things I learned over the Christmas holidays is the ability to sit down and do absolutely nothing.
As difficult as it was initially particularly for someone that has worked all year, by the time I got into the state of inactivity and idleness, it was refreshing to truly rest.
Try it and see!
As a compliment, you can also find passive non-work related activities (such as listening to audiobooks) to pass the time.