Being an entrepreneur is rewarding, but it’s also incredibly hard. If you’re an entrepreneur you know that starting and running a business consumes your life and requires your heart, soul, and time. It’s easy for everything else in your life to become secondary.
So, what can you do to keep a balance in your life and avoid sacrificing personal time, while making sure that stress doesn’t overtake you? Strategically design your lifestyle just as you do with your business.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your life as an entrepreneur.
- Physical Wellness: Energy and productivity require you to be healthy. Plan your meals so that you are eating nutritiously, not just grabbing a bite on the go, and stay hydrated – water, not coffee! Schedule exercise even if it’s just walking around the block a few times, but if you can get to the gym, even better. The key is to create an exercise plan and put it on your calendar. And don’t neglect scheduling medical and dental appointments. Preventive healthcare will take less time than treating a health problem.
- Keep Moving: Energy comes from activity, not from being chained to a desk all day. Stop, get up, and walk around the office, stretch, or do jumping jacks (don’t be embarrassed!). And consider a standing desk. There is evidence that standing desks can increase productivity and even your overall health.
- Take Timeouts: Yes, you want to get things done, but your body and brain will drain if you don’t take breaks. Stop working, disconnect from everything, including your phone, and do something that relaxes you. Meditate, pray, write in a journal – whatever works for you. Put your timeouts on your calendar and make them non-negotiable.
- Schedule Relaxation: Everybody needs a vacation, even if it’s just for a weekend, but relaxing activities should not be limited to an occasional getaway. Take nature walks, see a movie, go to the museum, visit an antiques store – you need time just for you, so do what you love. Again, put it on the calendar!
- Get Enough Sleep: You may be motivated to work until 2 a.m., but you’re not going to be as productive as you could be the next day. Develop good sleep habits and stick to them. Your mind, your body, and your business will thank you.
- Don’t Go It Alone: You may want to be the “wearer of all hats” for your business, but eventually you are going to have to get help. Hire people, outsource, utilize local business resources, and trade services with other entrepreneurs. Anything you can do to lighten your load will be good for you and your business.
- Structure Your Time: Yes, in business sometimes you have to go with the flow, but scheduling everything – yes, everything – lays a foundation that will keep you on track. You already schedule business appointments, but you won’t forget your timeouts, exercise, and “you time” if they are on your calendar too. Review your calendar every morning and make adjustments if necessary, but stick to it as much as possible. Set alerts so that you don’t have to refer to it throughout the day.
- Family and Friends Time: Don’t forget that your business is not your number one priority. The people that you love always come first, so schedule your time with them – and yes, put it on your calendar! Time with family and friends has no substitute, and it will keep you grounded, recharge you, and most of all – it will make you and your loved ones happier.
It’s All About You
The bottom line is that as an entrepreneur, you can’t lose yourself in your business. You have to take care of your mind and body and make time for things that will make you a better, healthier person. Your business can only benefit from a better you who is not suffering from stress or from overwork. You’ll be more focused and productive and build a more successful business if you create a strategy to build a healthy, happy lifestyle by taking care of yourself first.