Being an entrepreneur and your boss comes with many perks, but it also comes with really hard days. Like those days where you feel way in over your head juggling multiple projects and canceling plans to go out yet again. It takes sacrifice to take the leap from a 9-5 and into the entrepreneurial world, but it doesn’t always have to stay that way. It took me a while, but after years of tweaking my work habits, I finally found 5 essential tips for a work life balance.
Set Realistic Expectations
This first tip is my top tip and the one I have to repeat like a mantra very single day. Mainly because I tend to over-schedule myself and take on more than I can handle at a time. You have to manage your own expectations as well as your clients. Know how much you can handle to meet your bottom line and keep it there. It’s important to know your limits so that you can have time to relax and live your life instead of working round the clock. Joy is a much better currency than money. So really consider if you can handle one more project or client before saying yes.
Create a Flexible Schedule
One of the perks of being your own boss is that you can create your own schedule! There is a reason after all, why you left your full time job in the first place, so take advantage of it! I tend to take Wednesdays “off” and what I mean by that is, I take it as a creative day. On Wednesdays I work on creative personal projects, get out of my home office and into coffee shops and I don’t do any client or business work. It keeps me feeling free and gets my creative energy flowing for the days I actually work on client stuff. Whatever schedule makes you feel free, do that. You don’t have to stick to that 9-5 schedule! Find a flow that works for you.
Unplug + Really Stick to It
Get off of your phone! I feel like we waste a lot of time mindlessly scrolling on our phones, trying to keep up with the rest of the world and just feeding into the like for like games. In order to create balance you have to sort of stay in your own lane. Stick to using your social media for one hour a day. This includes posting, answering DM’s and storying. You don’t want to spend your entire time glued to a screen. Limit your phone habits so that you free up your time for things that really matter. Maybe it’s going out to lunch with your friends, spending time with your kids or working on that passion project. If you allow yourself to unplug, you’ll have plenty of time to juggle your work and your life.
Create Healthy Habits
This was a game-changer for me. It took a while because habits take time, but I was able to create some healthy habits in my life that give me a sense of peace and fullness. For example, I trained myself (with time) to go to the gym at 5:40am (I know, crazy right?! I can’t even believe it!). But this is something that allows me to have a healthy fitness routine in my day that kickstarts my energy for a happy work day. I also tend to take my dog, Pancake, out for a walk around 3pm when I’m winding down from working on projects and on Wednesdays I work out of coffee shops for half the day. These small types of habits break up my day so that it’s not just work all the time, but also living and experiencing.
Don’t Pressure Yourself
Finally… don’t pressure yourself to do it all. I know in this world we sometimes constantly feel like we’re behind or “not there yet”. But pressuring yourself to work around the clock 24/7 will only cause major burnout. Take it from me, no good ever came from working yourself silly. At the beginning I often forgot to have a life thinking that one day I would be able to go grab that drink, or take that trip… but honestly, life is now! There is time for everything and I promise that the more happy you are, the more you’ll grow and create a business that will bring you joy day in and day out as opposed to stress. So take it one step at a time.
What are your tips for a work life balance?