The decision to become a female entrepreneur, for most of us, is to spend more time with the family and to do the things we love. However, a new business can sap one’s energy, leaving you burnt out and light-years from the unbound lifestyle you had envisioned. Finding a proper work/life balance is key to living life to the full, both at home and at work.
It’s no secret that women make excellent entrepreneurs, because:
- Women are great communicators and use social intelligence to their advantage.
- Women are less likely to take potentially excessive risks.
- Women are good listeners.
Yet, these fantastic qualities are often the very things that interfere with a good work/life balance.
The good news is that you can turn it around quickly.
How do you know your work/life balance is out of whack?
- You feel you have to “do it all.”
- You feel the need to find people with whom you can network.
- You feel you are not being taken seriously.
- You feel guilty about work when you take off, and vice versa.
- You feel that you might be losing the big picture regarding your business.
When you feel like this, remember that there is so much more to female entrepreneurship. It IS possible to live unbound from the chains of poor work/life balance.
Creating a Healthy Work/Life Balance
By developing healthy habits surrounding your home and business life, you can achieve the balance that takes you to the next level of unbound entrepreneurial success, which includes living life on your own terms.
Creating your perfect work/life balance should be your number one priority.
1. Separate Work and Home
Don’t work on the dining room table if you’re struggling to shut off at the end of your work day. The temptation to “just quickly” check your emails will keep drawing you to work during your off-time, taking away precious time from your family. The converse applies to the laundry distracting you from your work.
Tip: Create a routine and work around that. You do not have to work set hours, but do everything at home before you start working, and vice versa.
2. Do Lunch
Step away from the office when the kids return home from school and enjoy lunch with them. That way, they will get to see you for an hour or so and will not distract you when you return to work.
Tip: Switch your phone off during lunch time or tea-time breaks with your family – they will adore you for it! (Believe me, it is better to give than to receive – and time is such a valuable commodity, particularly for growing children.)
3. Catch Rhythm
The thing I most treasure is the ability to work according to my own strengths. Living unbound means that if you are a night-owl, you can burn the midnight oil. If you like to get up early and go for a lunchtime walk on the beach before putting your head down for the afternoon shift, that is fine, too.
Tip: Tackle the tougher jobs when you are most productive.
4. Have a Long Weekend
Most businesses are busiest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That means that,
even if you don’t have time or money for a holiday in the early days of your business, you can still take a long weekend to break-away.
Tip: Can’t go away? Lie in, eat ice-cream, go to the beach, or a movie. Change really is as good as a get-a-way!
5. Let it Go
No, I’m not singing the theme from Frozen; I’m telling you to let go of the desire to do everything. Relinquishing control will give you the time you need to live life unbound. Learning to delegate is one of the most valuable lessons for entrepreneurial success.
Tip: You don’t have to have staff to delegate to. oDesk and Brainlinkers are two great sites that allow you to hire freelancers on a full-time, part-time or as-and-when basis. If you need something small, post it on Fiverr or Threegger.
6. Look After #1…YOU
A new business takes as much time and energy as a new baby, right down to the sleepless nights. However, with a new business you do have the option to sleep. Lack of sleep is bad for your health and causes accidents, but it also dumbs you down, lowers your sex drive, leads to depression, ages you, makes you forgetful, causes weight gain, and impairs judgement.
By all means, have a late night if you really have to, but don’t make a habit of it.
Tip: Get enough sleep, even if it means a 20-minute power-nap in the afternoon. Also eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables, drink plenty water, get enough sunshine and exercise at least three times a week.
When you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to developing a positive work/life balance that will make you, your family and your business happy. It takes a while to develop the right habits, but soon enough it will become an unbound lifestyle that you will not want to trade for anything.