As an entrepreneur constantly working to build your business, it can be a challenge to balance work with the rest of your life. There’s always something you could be doing to improve your business, but at the same time, you don’t want to completely neglect your loved ones and time for yourself! Therefore, creating a healthy work/life balance is essential for entrepreneurs. Take a look at our five simple tips below to learn more about improving your work/life balance, which in turn will better your mental health. (If you’d like to speak to a mental health professional about improving your work/life balance, MyTherapist is a great place to begin.)
Keep a time log.
For a week, log everything that you do and the time you spend doing it. Then, at the end of the week, take a look at your time log and evaluate your current work/life balance. Is there far too much work, and not enough life? Or perhaps you’ve been struggling to prioritize your business as much as you’d like to? Keeping a time log will help you identify the areas where you’re wasting time, and it will allow you to see where you can fit in the activities that you may have been neglecting. You may even find that you can carve out an extra hour each day if you simply cut back on the time you spend scrolling through social media!
Set a schedule.
After keeping a time log for a week, set a schedule that includes specific work hours as well as time devoted to self-care, cultivating relationships with friends and family, and any other activities you’d like to include in your everyday life. Then (and this is the tough part), stick to it! Once you’ve reached the end of your working hours for the day, it’s time to put down the work and devote some time to the other aspects of your life. Sticking to a schedule is an essential part of creating a healthy work/life balance.
Make time for yourself.
You may have already realized that spending all your time working can quickly lead to burnout. And as an entrepreneur who always has plenty of work to do, avoiding burnout is extremely important so that you can continue to knock out your goals and grow your business. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the way to avoid burnout is to make time for yourself to relax and engage in activities that you enjoy. Making time for meals, regular physical activity, and plenty of sleep will keep your motivation up while also creating a healthy barrier between work and the rest of your life.
Prioritize quality time with loved ones.
Sadly, when starting your own business, time with your friends and family can sometimes be put on the back burner. But maintaining your relationships is key for a beneficial work/life balance. Plus, you don’t want to neglect your relationships, because you want your loved ones to be there for you when you’re going through tough times (and vice versa). Your family and friends are typically your support system, and they should be a priority in your life, just as work is.
When you leave work, don’t bring it home with you.
You’ve probably heard this tip before, but it’s definitely worth repeating. Bringing your work home with you means that you won’t be giving your full attention to your family and everything going on at home. Instead, you’ll still be in your work mindset, and even if you do activities with your loved ones, you won’t be fully engaged because you’ll constantly have work on your mind. Therefore, it’s essential to learn to leave work (and the stress that comes with it) at work. Tell yourself that you’ll worry about your business tomorrow when you go back into the office; when you’re at home, it’s time to fully be at home, immersed in whatever you’re doing there. This aspect of separation between work and home is very important for a healthy work/life balance!
The Bottom Line
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance can be challenging for anyone, but for entrepreneurs, it can seem even more difficult. However, putting in the effort to improve your work/life balance (and thus your mental health as well) is absolutely worth it! You can start by keeping a time log and setting up a realistic schedule for yourself, being sure to include plenty of time to connect with others and to recharge by yourself. Of course, do your best to leave work at work, rather than bringing it home with you. When you’re at home, fully engage in the activities you’re partaking in, and enjoy the peace of mind and improved mental health that comes with a healthy work/life balance!