Is work-life balance even real? I go back and forth on this a lot. On one end, life is always unexpected (no matter how well you plan, and can never truly be balanced. There will be some days and seasons of your life where you focus on certain things over others.
Maybe you’re at a stage where you must work extremely hard or maybe you’re in a place where you’re focusing on your mental and physical health. It’s difficult to establish a balance with some areas of your life may need more attention than others for a time.
Still, the idea of work-life balance sounds nice, especially if you’re always overworking yourself and getting burnt out. If you find that you don’t have time for loved ones or what you truly value, you’re likely looking for a change. I don’t always like using the phrase work-life balance, but for now, let’s use it to represent a healthier lifestyle and a more manageable schedule that allows you to manage your time and energy properly. Here’s how you can improve your work-life balance as an entrepreneur.
Setting boundaries for yourself is undoubtedly one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your work-life balance especially as an entrepreneur. Some of the most effective boundaries include:
- Not checking your work emails after a certain time
- Turning off your phone or placing it in another room for a set time to limit screen time
- Avoiding working weekends
- Not bringing your laptop with you on vacation
Be very intentional with the schedule you set since you do have freedom and flexibility to set your work hours. Show up for yourself each day whether it’s a meeting or an important task. That way, you can get some productive work done each day. In the past, I’ve felt guilty for not working all day long and it’s often because I procrastinated and didn’t stick to my schedule.
If you stick to what’s on your calendar and focus on your top 1 to 3 most important tasks, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with stopping work by a certain time each day and dedicating your undivided attention to other areas of your life.
Learn to Say No
When a new or existing client contacts you about taking on some additional work, it can be extraordinarily difficult to say no. After all, the extra income that your company can earn from that additional work can take you to new heights.
Unfortunately, while constantly taking on new work and new projects can help to grow your business, it can also eat into your personal time, causing you to feel burnt out and exhausted. If you don’t feel like you can handle any new tasks without becoming stressed, don’t be afraid to say no to the offer. Your mental health will thank you.
By forcing yourself to avoid work from time to time, you can learn to relax and enjoy spending your evenings or weekends with your friends and family and taking care of other priorities. One thing that also can help you say no more often is getting crystal clear on your main focus. If opportunities come up that don’t help you reach a specific goal, you can say no with ease and set realistic expectations with the people in your life.
Add Personal Time to Your Schedule
If you find it difficult to tear yourself away from the office, consider adding personal time to your official calendar on your computer. Doing so will ensure that you do not schedule any meetings or calls during that time, allowing yourself to relax and unwind instead.
Adding personal time to your calendar will also make your computer remind you about your upcoming relaxation period, giving you something to look forward to as you go about your daily business.
A great way to prioritize self-care and improve your work-life balance is to schedule it early in the day or make it part of your morning routine. That way, you aren’t waiting until you crash at the end of the day or week to consider self-care. Taking care of yourself and scheduling downtime should come first even if it’s only just a few minutes each day.
Price Your Services For Profit
As an entrepreneur, you often have the freedom to set your own rates. Even though I’ve spent the last 5 years freelancing, sometimes I still make the mistake of not charging enough for my services. It’s important to value your worth in the marketplace and price your services for profit. If you don’t, any dream you had of achieving work-life balance will not be possible.
I have a friend who’s a web design and refuses to charge more for her services. She does great work, but sometimes her work-life balance and even client projects suffer because she is always strapped for time. She can’t afford to take a day off or rest on weekends because she’s not pricing for profit.
Avoid this mistake by determining how much you need to charge to make a reasonable profit and afford to stash some money away for the future. Focus on up-leveling your products or services to meet the price point you set and be firm about it. If you don’t price for profit, you will just either resent the work, let clients and customers down, or both.
It can be difficult to figure out how to balance your work life and personal life as an entrepreneur. However, it is by no means impossible. By following the tips outlined above, you can continue to be a successful entrepreneur while still being able to improve your work-life balance and enjoy your life as well.
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.