Entrepreneurship: Balancing the Scale Between Work and Your Personal Life
Successful entrepreneurs know that challenges at work have a direct impact on their personal life and vice versa. So it doesn’t matter if you are new to the entrepreneurial hustle or have been at it for years, if you desire success, then it’s important to have balance in every area of your life.
We’re all wired with a self-regulating system that alarms at any sign of disharmony in our bodies. Our immune system is designed to maintain homeostasis and balance. Think about the last time you felt a cold coming on, your body’s regulating system immediately warned you with sniffles, chills or achiness. What was your response? You probably loaded up on Vitamin C, kleenex, and citrus because imbalance triggered your body’s alarm system and prompted you into action.
Now think about the regulating system you’ve put in place to maintain balance in your entrepreneurial hustle? What system do you use to stave off workinduced imbalance? Since your system is not an automated one like the immune system, it’s probably harder to name it. And this lack of automation is just one of the many reasons it’s easy to ignore signs of workinduced imbalance. You can also ignore imbalance because you have a deadline approaching, contracts to fulfill, networking opportunities, followup conversations, income generation, brand development, and the list goes on. So how do you avoid the inevitable crash and burn of a 24 hour entrepreneur? How do you avoid being the next victim who regrets having sacrificed his/her personal life for their entrepreneurial hustle?
Here are some tips to help you hustle smart and have balance in your work and personal life:
Tip #1: Get a Checkup
Are you even healthy enough to maintain the demands of the entrepreneur’s hustle? If you don’t know the answer, then it’s time to get a checkup. The rigors of an entrepreneurial lifestyle impact your overall health. And if your physical and mental well being are poor, your business will suffer. Schedule a comprehensive physical exam with your healthcare professional to include a discussion around your mental and physical capabilities.
Tip #2: After your CheckUp, it time to Checkin
Checkin with yourself. If you can’t remember if you’ve eaten for the day, then consider this an alarm of imbalance. Similarly, if you don’t remember the last time you fulfilled your daily recommended water intake, then it’s probably overdue. Maintaining proper health and nutrition is the first step to a balanced life. When you don’t properly feed your body, your brain operates on fumes and your business decisions will reflect your malnutrition. So step away from work and take care of your personal needs. Eat breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. Keep a water bottle near and take regular gulps.
Tip #3: Set a work schedule
It’s ambitious to be a successful entrepreneur who's known for their work ethic. But if you work more than 12 hours a day, you’re inviting imbalance. It’s time to balance your work and personal schedule one day at a time. A simple way to do this is to model your work schedule after nature’s perfectly synchronized clockday and night. During the day, the sun operates for 12 hours and then at night the moon takes over the remaining 12 hours. Plan a maximum 12hour work schedule that will allow you to effectively manage administrative duties, networking, and brand development. Some people assign the entire 12hour day to one task, while others split their 12hour day into multiple tasks. Copy nature’s example and plan the schedule that works for you.
Tip #4: Now that your work schedule is set, Schedule R, R and R time.
Does your work schedule include days off? While you may be comfortable working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s neither realistic nor sustainable. Just like you commit to singularfocused energy during your scheduled work hours, commit the same energy to your personal life. Avoid imbalance by including a day or two of “R, R and R”: R elax, Restore and Reset. Each week, relax your stress away. Take a walk, sign up for Karaoke night, enjoy the sunset. Then restore your energy levels. Workout and stretch out. Finally, reset your mind. Read your favorite book. Enjoy mindless daydreaming or meditation for a complete catharsis. Just remember, no work during your R, R and R personal time.
Successful entrepreneurship is not a passive phenomenon. It’s not something that happens to you, it’s not confined to the “lucky” ones and it’s certainly not automated. Instead it’s an active, intentional, engaging process. So start your checkup, checkin, scheduling today. Don’t let imbalance, knock you out of a SMART Hustle and off the road to successful entrepreneurship.