How entrepreneurs can maintain a work-life balance

How entrepreneurs can maintain a work-life balance

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Date21 Feb 2013
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Posted ByAdmin
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When budding entrepreneurs first establish their own start-up company, they will obviously want to invest all their available time in the endeavour as they try to ensure it is a success. This can prove to be very risky to personal health and wellbeing, as well as family life.

It is important for business owners to give themselves time off so they can wind down, relax and spend time with the people they love. This can reduce stress levels and ensure that when they return to work they are more focused than ever.

"Many entrepreneurs struggle with fear that if they're not working every minute that they could possibly be working, their business will fail and they will regret not having put in more time," Elizabeth Saunders, founder and chief executive of Real Life E, told the Young Entrepreneur Council.

She explains that it is important to let go of this fear to secure a healthy work-life balance, leading to "meaningful productivity and accomplishment".

A key part of this is timetabling time in any given week for activities outside the sphere of work. Set aside a weekly period for a sport activity or a social visit to the pub with friends, not forgetting an annual holiday to truly chill out over a few days. This gives business owners something to look forward to and a motivation to manage time better.

Although smartphones are a mainstay of modern businesses, boosting productivity to no end, they are also a curse of sorts, as they prevent people from clocking off at the end of the day. Always having business emails within an arm's reach or being contactable by business partners or employees means that owners are never truly disconnected from their work life. Taking the big step to turn a smartphone off will ensure that entrepreneurs can actually relax when they've finished the work day. People can always leave a voicemail message that can easily be picked up the next day.

"Think back to times you enjoyed before emails and mobile phones invaded your life and set out to recreate them now. Creating and enjoying some quality time at home will have you returning to work more refreshed too," said Chris Kaday, business consultant, coach and mentor at ChrisKaday.co.uk.

A good way to establish when to end the work day is to set very clear deadlines and to stick to them. Without having a boundary there, it is very easy for business to spill into personal time. This could be based on a task that needs to be done by the end of the day, remembering to make sure that it is a realistic aim, or just simply committing to leave the office by 18:00. If there are multiple tasks, try to spread them out throughout the day, giving each one a set time period to ensure there is complete productivity.

Entrepreneurs may view their business with the same care, adulation and affection as they do their own children but, as chartered psychologist Dr Rick Norris explains, it should not become their life.

"It is important to remember that there are other things in our life, which are equally, if not more important. So if we're spending time building relationships with family and friends, that's a tremendously effective way in helping to reduce the stress at work," he said.