Finding “‘Work Life Balance” as an Entrepreneur
Often we hear the term, work life balance. This term suggests that there is work, and then there is life. A life outside of work right, but the truth is that work is part of life. We have just compartmentalised our lives, into work, and then life after work.
For the heart centred entepreneurs it can often be complex to draw the line between work time and ‘life’ time and keep a healthy balance. This is mainly because for anyone in the early stages of their business, they know that some days they have to put in more hours than normal. Not only that, having a business sometimes can be compared to having a baby. What ‘’baby wants, baby gets’’. This then takes discipline on the part of the entrepreneur to be intentional about setting aside the regular breaks. Another thing is passion, because people are so passionate about what they do, it ceases to be work, and can easily spend more hours into their ‘’thang’’ at the expense of other facets of their lives.
For those in the early stages of their businesses, it can be harder to switch off. For someone in a job, the set hours are known and well defined, meaning we know from 9- 5pm one is at work, or from 8pm to 6am the next morning, one is at work. Then of course the extra hour or so for the daily communte depending on where one lives etc. This is of course different to the entepreneur who is basically in charge of their time, who decides when to work and how long.
I know for solo entrepreneurs sometimes there can be a tendency to have hours that are not clearly defined. This can depend on what one does. For someone with an office, they know they leave home at a certain time and leave the office at a certain time. Whilst this helps in separating work from the day to day home, its not ideal for everyone. Some people prefer to work from home, run the business from home and have less overheads. This is more for the entepreneur who is starting and who doesnt need or want unnecessary overheads. Some of course, some days will prefer to work outside of home, go to a cafe, library, park or whatever else that gives them a break from their ‘normal’ office, which of course is home.
Undefined hours are never a good idea, there can be a tendency to not switch off. This can vary from person to person. Yes in some cases where there is a huge project, one can go for a few days of intense activity and then take the much needed break, after the project is over.
Whether one is working from home or the office. I think the best thing is to decide which days are for work and which days for fun, whether its a day or two per week. Its good to define that and have the hours locked in. For those who work remotely and have to leave home, and return later in the day, discipline is needed to ensure that the work, doesnt ‘follow’’ you home.
BEING INTENTIONAL ABOUT BREAKS.
Whilst things will always show up, I have often found that being intentional about taking breaks will go a long way in keeping oneself in a good head space. Mental health is a serious issue among many entepreneurs although there is less talk about it. By blocking certain days or a day of the week, you can get the most out of your ‘ON’’ time and hence you will look forward to your ‘’OFF”. Go do stuff for fun, I personally love a good movie, bowling and sometimes a good lunch or coffee with friends, full chatathon style! (Chatathon = marathon chat).
Its also about finding rythmn. Some people like to just have one full month, at the end of the year that they take to have fun, unwind etc Some people like to work 3 months flat, then take a week off, recharge, rejuvenate and then go hard on the next 3 months etc. Many times, it pays to try things and see how that sits with you. Same as the normal working hours. There is the 5am Club, that basically starts their day at 5am. By the time its 9am, some will have done so much, and they love that good head start into the day. You also have another segment of the population, that likes to go hard between 8/9pm till like 2am or even 3am. Some people who are still working full time whilst building their side hustle are doing that. Some will then use the remaining 3–5 hours of the morning to get some shut eye, depending of course on what time they need to be in the office.
With any new habit, or routine, it often takes a few weeks before it becomes second nature. This means, if you have habits you are planning to start in 2020, then these remaining weeks of 2019 are your perfect ‘’guinea pigs’’. Road test that ‘’thing’’ over the next few weeks, you may even get insightful insights about yourself.
Having said that, whatever is your craft, take the time out to indulge and have fun and be whole. For a lot of entreprenuers, work life balance is a fantasy as they feel it’s not attainable. The most important question is, what does work life balance mean for you, and how does it look like? Another question is how do you want that to look like?
You can then start working at bridging the gap between what it looks like now, and what you think it should look like. You can do a piece meal approach, one tweak at at time, till you have fully achieved your ideal routine.
So cheers to striking that good and healthy balance between work, business, and play, whatever that looks like for you.
You have an Uncommon Destiny
Wisdom V Mupudzi.
Award Winning Author, Digital Publisher, and Book Coach
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