As entrepreneurs of growing businesses, it’s hard to step away from work, shutting off electronic devices and simply relax. What is truly work-life balance? It means pausing your work responsibilities and focusing on your personal needs, which is crucial to yourself and your business. Studies show that 1 in 4 people experience high levels of conflict between work and family. Out of all the factors that influence this conflict, over half say the amount of time spent at work is the most consistent reason.

Do you ever find yourself caught up in not shutting your brain off even though you’re not at work or not being fully present around your loved ones? There is an increasing number of people in this situation in our post-Covid world. Between an increasing demand in availability and extensive use of communication, technology blurs the boundaries between work and home. Long work hours and highly
stressful roles hinder one’s ability to harmonize work and family or social life, which are directly associated with health risks, lack of self-care, substance abuse, depression and anxiety. Work-life conflicts are directly related to several physical and mental health implications. There is an increasing number of entrepreneurs who report high levels of role overload and strain. Studies state that work responsibilities often interfere with their ability to fulfill their responsibilities at home.

Proper work-life balance can help you avoid burnout while increasing productivity and your motivation. There are a wide variety of practices currently implemented by entrepreneurs to help them achieve work-life balance and help manage stress to shift focus on rebalancing work and life. So how do you find work-life balance with all the demands of your business?

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Time blocking. Review your calendar (by month or week) and block out times during the day to manage your workload i.e., team meeting 9am – 10am on Fridays and marketing project 1pm – 3pm on Mondays. You’re able to complete tasks and feel accomplished when projects are scheduled. Block times to check your mail at the beginning and end of your day. Make to-do lists for the upcoming week. Delegate tasks and utilize your team’s gifts and talents. Are you a morning person? Then schedule your toughest tasks then. Do you need a break mid-day? Schedule quiet time during your 15-minute break or lunch. Get outside, if possible and connect with nature. Quiet time or breaks help reset your mind and prevent information overload.
  2. Business Planning. Successful businesses are organized businesses. Set aside time, utilizing the time blocking method, for planning on a weekly basis. For example, Monday-Wednesday are often the most heavily-scheduled days for entrepreneurs. Thursday is typically utilized for meetings, travel, etc. Fridays are a good day to intentionally block out a few hours to focus on
    planning, following up on tasks set at the beginning of the week, goal setting for the next week, and overall planning out your next few weeks so your tasks and actions are aligned properly with your goals. Not only does this allow you to accomplish to-do lists and conquer goals, but it also removes potential anxiety and stress caused from a hectic work week.
  3. Self-care days. Scheduling mental health days are vital in this fast-paced world. We are flooded with too much information and not enough outlets to recharge ourselves and reframe our mindsets. Take a day or half day to rest (meditation, daily affirmations, massages, hiking, taking up new hobbies, napping, yoga, or days off to de-stress). Don’t forget to add it to your calendar.
  4. Establish healthy boundaries. An effective way to first establish boundaries is to say no. Not everyone needs you immediately. Set a goal monthly, quarterly, or annually to only volunteer at certain organizations you’re passionate about or connected with, attend conferences, events, etc. You cannot cater to everyone. Set your office hours and stick to it. With easy access to our emails, social media, etc., we feel the need to instantly reply, and people become accustomed to your immediate response. You won’t damage relationships if you are upfront with boundaries in the beginning.
  5. Take charge of your health. Diet and exercise are crucial to our survival as humans. Without these proper things, we become depleted rather quickly, which affects our work and our family or social lives. Our bodies need to release toxins and the necessary chemicals to stimulate healthy responses for better physical and mental health. Listen to your mind and body and take time for yourself. There’s nothing selfish about taking care of you. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

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