Every person may have a different definition of the term “work-life balance”, but it is universally understood as finding the right balance between one’s professional and personal life. Maintaining an equilibrium between the time spent doing one’s job and the time spent with family and personal interests is an essential ingredient of a fulfilled and happy life. But entrepreneurs, especially owners of new small businesses and startups, are more likely to find it challenging to achieve work-life balance. In fact, a recent study released by NodeSource revealed that for most entrepreneurs (45%), their greatest challenge is finding work-life balance.
The importance of finding work-life balance
Why should solopreneurs aim for a balance between work and personal life? Because they are the ones most vulnerable to the negative impact of work-life imbalance. A study by Alternative Brand revealed that around 30% of small business owners work for more than 50 hours per week and 20% work from more than 60 hours per week. The same study also revealed that 80% of the small business owners surveyed feel overworked.
Chronic overwork is damaging rather than productive. There are many health problems linked to overwork including heart disease, diabetes, sleeping disorders, and depression. Many solopreneur may think that achieving work-life balance is impossible. Yes, it isn’t easy but it’s definitely worth trying. Here are some practical tips that can change your work habits and help you find that elusive work-life balance.
Make your health and wellbeing the number one priority – Being a solopreneur is not an easy job. To do it properly, you need a healthy mind and body. Keep yourself in shape by doing regular exercises. Even moderate physical activity like getting up and walking around the office for five minutes of each hour can help boost your immune system. simply can’t afford to get sick as it could lead to a potential disaster for your business. Try to eat nutritious food as much as possible and get up to seven or eight hours of sleep every day. Don’t forget to seek help if you need it for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Delegate and outsource tasks – Go over your to-do list and identify the most crucial business-critical tasks and the less important tasks that you can delegate and outsource. If you are a solopreneur, you can outsource tasks like bookkeeping and marketing to an independent contractor. If you have employees, you can ask them to work on these tasks.
Avoid multitasking – In the past, multitasking was regarded as a productive method of working. However, recent studies reveal that juggling two or more tasks at the same time actually has a negative impact on the brain’s functions. Ultimately, multitasking leads to decreased productivity instead of the opposite. Avoid the urge to multitask by reminding yourself that building a successful business takes time. It’s not realistic to achieve all your business goals within the first six months. Pace yourself and focus on the most important goals first.
Get up and take short breaks every hour – Most entrepreneurs are workaholics, and they often get in the zone and get things done. However, taking short breaks every hour has important health benefits. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other health problems. You can avoid this by taking even a five-minute walk every hour.
Go on a vacation or holiday – Even busy solopreneurs deserve to take time off and recharge. Try to go set some time every year to go on a vacation. Being a small business owner is no mean feat. Taking a break will give you an opportunity to remind yourself of your purpose for working so hard: to build a better life for your family.
There is no single formula and every person has a different idea of what a good work-life balance is. These simple and practical tips will serve as a guide to help you achieve that elusive balance between your personal and professional life.
Marq Untivero is the SEO & SEM Manager of Inkjets.com, a trusted supplier of remanufactured and compatible printer inks and toner cartridges. Inkjets.com has been providing small businesses a more affordable solution to printer ink.