For entrepreneurs, WORK. IS. LIFE. We get an education and lots of real-life experience so that we can create our own destiny and provide the income we need to live the lifestyle we desire. Even though making money is one of the biggest perks to being a successful entrepreneur, it is not the only factor that should be considered. Entrepreneurship should not only serve your financial needs but your emotional ones as well...and if you've been in the game for a while, you already know how hard it is to "turn off".
Being successful in your work should involve more than the financial reward and it should never take precedence over your well being, both physical and emotional. In essence, you need to find a way to create a balance between your work and home life even when a client calls your cell at 8pm at night and urgently requires your attention after hours. Below are a few ways to help to achieve a balanced work and home life even when you are the boss and are "always on". Find that entrepreneur's Zen zone and you'll be able to go even farther in your work!
1. Accept the Fact That There is No Perfect Balance
Even though creating a work-life balance is the goal, you have to be realistic in your expectations or you're going to get more frustrated with the process or feel as though you are in some way failing yourself or your family. Most people start by coming up with a strict schedule that can incorporate everything you have to do and want to do in your day. Unfortunately, and I say this with LOTS of experience, these regimented schedules do not work. They always leave little time for the curveballs that life will throw at you, and then you're off schedule, causing you unnecessary stress. You took the time and carefully planned your day! what gives? Instead, try and create a basic schedule with things that you have to do and things you would enjoy doing if you have time. You need to remember that a balance means creating a balance over time not necessarily every day. Sometimes you'll hit it spot on and sometimes you're stuck working til 8pm!
2. Always Make Your Health a Priority
Always remember that achieving your goals can be difficult if your health is not up to par. This includes not only your physical health and nutrition, but your mental well-being too. If your job creates a lot of stress or anxiety, or you suffer from depression, addressing these issues is important, or they can lead to breakdowns, sleep deprivation, or other problems that can lead to physical ailments and burn out. When you feel worn down or stressed, take time off to get the rest you need for your body to repair itself. If you don't it's just going to get worse. You also should make time to get in some exercise, even if it is taking a walk or sneaking in a spin class. Remember that being healthy will also make you more productive and in a better mood when you are home. On top of this, never EVER allow yourself to skip out on nutrition. It's so easy to skip meals and just work through. Stop it. Always make sure you get adequate nutrition. You may feel fine today, but trust me, tomorrow or the next day you'll pay for not eating anything til 4 in the afternoon because you were busy at the office.
3. Unplug Once in Awhile - Just Do It
Look, staying connected is a great way to stay socially engaged as well as be able to complete work even when you are away from the office. We all get that. Tech these days makes it so easy to get a lot done from basically anywhere. Even though this is a great convenience, it also creates stress and keeps your mind in work mode the entire time you are away from the office. Solution: Take a break. I don't mean taking an extra 30 minutes at lunchtime...I mean a real "No Work Allowed" rest. Sometimes a short unplugged vacation can be as relaxing and refreshing as a long vacation and a great way to de-stress and refocus even if it is just a half day on a Friday, or an long weekend. Always remember that the world continued to function before you got into business and unplugging yourself once in a while is not the end of the world. Everyone gets it. You're not the only one who feels like they are "always on". If your technology is a crucial tool for your work, you can even set designated times when you are off hours and will not use or respond to your device. I've got colleagues who even build it into their voicemail messages and email. It works great for them!
Taking time away from your work, or work-related devices, and focusing on forgotten hobbies or even relaxing and doing nothing at all is so important to preventing burnout. You get to recharge and revitalize so that you can be at your best when you need to be. Remember finding that work-life balance is its own journey but an extremely rewarding one once it has been achieved!
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About the author: Kyle A. Davis is a Chartered Financial Consultant® , Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® , and president of Integrity Financial Group in Orlando, FL. He is a Florida native and an advocate for financial literacy and practical money education. When not assisting clients in planning for retirement, he creates educational videos on financial wellness on his YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/financialplannerinfl