Once you have decided to launch a startup company, you will find that the concept of spare time becomes an illusion. There is always something to do: find new customers, identify ways to increase your revenues and build the brand image, and create and improve products.
Every entrepreneur has gone through this hectic period, when everything is touch and go, when their budding business can find an explosive growth path, or dwindle towards extinction. And the most successful ones have also found something extremely valuable: how to balance their work with their personal life.
Does it seem impossible right now? Have you forgotten the last quiet evening you spent with your family, and the last weekend when you enjoyed yourself leisurely? You should not become a victim of overwork, because once burnout sets in, you will be an inefficient entrepreneur, and a less than likeable member of your family.
But how can you find the precious balance between working on your business and spending time with your family? Here are a few actionable tips:
- Schedule Personal Time
Many entrepreneurs discover this valuable principle by trial and error. Since they become conditioned to obey their daily schedule, they start putting in spare time in this schedule. You should do the same: schedule lunch and dinner with your spouse and children; schedule an evening out at the movies; schedule picking your children from kindergarten or school.
Thus, if it is written down in your calendar for the day, you will follow through with each of these “tasks” focusing on your personal life.
- Focus on Results, not Time Spent Working
Unless you started your business right after college, you must come from an employment background and are entrenched in a few principles, including daily working hours. You know that you need to work X days every day. This is true when someone else pays for your time and work.
As an entrepreneur, the only thing that matters is the end result: more clients, more sales. Your work philosophy must change: instead of setting working hours, set yourself objectives and goals to achieve every day, every week, and every month. In this way, you know that you can stop working for the day once you reach these goals.
- Synchronize Work with Your Highest Productivity Periods of the Day
Some people are super productive at 6 am. For others, the peak productivity starts at 1 pm. And others are very productive in the evening or late at night. There is no rule for this, because it depends exclusively on your biorhythm.
As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to create your own daily schedule for work. You are no longer constrained by the 9 to 5 rule. Instead, set the most difficult and complex tasks for those periods of the day when you are most energetic, productive and creative.
- Learn to be Organized and Manage Your Time
This is a lesson you must learn as soon as possible after you launch your startup. Learn how to prioritise tasks, follow through with them without interruption and make the most of each minute.
There are various online productivity tools and mobile apps that can help you eliminate distractions, manage your time efficiently and stay focused on your work. If your sheer willpower is not enough, use them with confidence.
- Learn to Say No
This is a difficult thing, especially for a new entrepreneur who wants to attract as many customers as possible. But you must say no to the temptation to answer an email that comes late in the evening, and bend your business rules too much to accommodate a customer’s whims.
If you don’t follow the rules you set for yourself, you will become a prisoner of your business instead of the person in charge of it.