Finding time to sit down with your family for dinner at the best of times can be hard to do. But when you are an entrepreneur, carving out a half hour to eat can become even more challenging. There are deadlines to meet, customers to satisfy, and the all mighty dollar to chase. But does that mean you can’t do it?
Entrepreneurs work hard to build their businesses so they can succeed at fulfilling their dreams. But at what cost to them? Their families? Their health? I’m not saying that you need to build the business in only a 30-hour workweek, but ensuring that you find time for yourself will greatly benefit you in the long run.
Here are five tips to help you find more balance each day
“No” is not a Four Letter Word
It’s a hard concept to grasp, but it is OK to say “No” to a customer. It’s perfectly acceptable to say “No” to a request from a colleague. There are only 24 hours in a day and the world is not going to stand still because you chose to focus on what is important to you.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to over-extend themselves. I’m sure most would say they have done this at one time or another. Unfortunately, this creates a stressful environment that is not conducive to your health, especially if you continue over extending yourself for any length of time. Learning to say no and not have the guilt of doing so will be a great starting point.
Exercise, Meditation & 5-Minute Breathers
Focusing a half hour each day on yourself allows you to centre your inner-self. Responsibilities are a constant part of the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur. There are employees to monitor, deadlines to meet, and reports that need to be on a client’s desk by 5pm.
Allowing anxiety to build while dwelling on what needs to be done doesn’t create a focused environment. By taking a half hour each day to walk your children to school, meditate, or even enjoy that cuppa at the local coffee bar allow you to re-energize and refocus.
Streamline Your Business Environment Using Apps
Finding applications that make mundane tasks easier to complete can help free up valuable time in your day. Using apps like Calendly to set up customer appointments not only stops the back and forth email threads, it also allows your customer to choose a time from your set working schedule.
Another (favourite) app I like to use is Evernote. As an entrepreneur, we often get these ideas that fly in and out of our heads at Mach speed. Getting them down on paper or Post-It notes only goes so far. Evernote synchronizes across all electronic tools that you use on a daily basis. Jotting down a note on your phone using Evernote will synchronize to your laptop or your iPad so you can review it a later date. It’s a great way to stay organized.
Find One Thing You Can Get Excited About
Take time to sit down and envision where it is you want to be in 5, 10 or even 20 years from now. What are you hoping to achieve? What do you want in your personal or work life? Do you want to run a marathon? Is your business the next Starbucks? Knowing what you want for the future will help you shape your “here and now.”
For example, say your goal is to run a marathon in the next year or two. This takes hours of training and preparation and you will need to build this time into your daily schedule. Determining what you are passionate about inside or outside of your business will keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to.
Build a Team You Can Count On
You are not an island in a vast ocean. Entrepreneurs tend to do everything, especially if you are running a business on your own. Enlist the help of family, hire an employee or sub-contract certain tasks to lessen the load. Having the right people on your team will also allow you to delegate more freely. Of course, building this team will take time, but once they are in place, your office will be more relaxed because you will be less stressed.
Finding equilibrium between your business passion and your life is a never-ending balancing act. Some days you will get it right. Other days, not so much. But if you can lay your head down at night and feel that you have done your best at achieving your goals, then you are getting to where you need to be.
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Until next time,