When you are starting a side business or new company, it is easy to let the new venture soak up every waking hour. In our hearts, we know failure is not an option. Our income is dependent on the success of the business. Our family is depending on us. Our friends are cheering us on and it would be disappointing and embarrassing to fail.
You cannot let your business consume you completely. Focusing on your company 100% of every waking hour will ruin your life, your relationships, and your ability to sleep.
This is especially true for married entrepreneurs. While your family is likely depending on your success, they also need to be able to spend quality time with you. If your relationship gets to the point that it feels more like roommates and less like a married couple, you are in trouble. The worst position for an entrepreneur to be in is things are tough at the office and there is a lack of support at home because the spouse feels unappreciated. Your home should be a place of safety and support so you can go out and work it even harder the next day. There must be a point where you put the smartphone down, spend some time together as a couple, re-focus, and re-energize for tomorrow.
Here are two tips every entrepreneur should aim to integrate into their schedules.
Most entrepreneurs do something with their business on a daily basis. Weekdays, weekends, holidays, birthdays, you name it… you are likely to be at least taking a call or answering an email.
That’s fine and necessary for your company to grow as you need it to.
But you have to schedule some quiet alone time with yourself and your family. Even if you can’t have a set period of time every day, try to set aside an hour or two every few days at the same time. It could be as simple as when you come home, you turn your phone off from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. The calls and emails can wait while you focus on your family, and you pick up the pace after a quiet dinner.
After you have integrated a set period of hours off for most days, set up your schedule to take a set day off every few weeks. You could take every other Saturday to kick back and relax.
If your schedule is ingrained into your life to the point that you have habits, it is much more difficult to succeed in transitioning with having a work-life balance. Change is difficult and habits are hard to break.
To counteract this, build your work-life balance into your schedule before you start your next venture. To the budding entrepreneur, it seems backward to be taking time off when you’ve got the energy, drive, and interest to keep pushing through on a business issue. But will you have the energy next month? Next quarter? Next year? Don’t trade next year’s energy to push through difficult times for today’s small issues.