So, you’re ready to start a new business? While you may be ready to go all in, you don’t want your new business endeavour to take over your life. Taking conscious steps to maintain a healthy work-life balance means you can be your best self at home and in the workplace. Here are five things to do to avoid burn out.
1. Set clear boundaries
Setting up a new business means taking on a huge workload and it’s not uncommon for new entrepreneurs to find themselves working around the clock. This is the fastest path to burnout, so it’s important you set clear boundaries from the outset. Fix strict working hours for yourself (and your team if you have one) and ensure your staff and clients know you’re not available outside these times. The same goes for breaks. Book regular personal time into your schedule – whether that means going to the gym or even just for a walk in the middle of day.
2. Define your office space
This is especially important if you work from home. Running your business from a laptop on the sofa in your living room will blur the lines between your work and home life. You should be able to close the door of your home office at the end of the day, or look into renting a desk in a shared workspace if you don’t have the space for a home office.
3. Use technology wisely
Using technology to improve your productivity is great, but let it hinder that and you’re in trouble. While a smartphone or tablet makes it easy to work at all hours of the day and night, resist the urge to be glued to it constantly. Consider getting separate work and personal phones and turn off your work phone at a certain time each evening.
4. Find a way to switch off
Learning how to switch off is extremely important as a small business owner. Try to make time to do something at the end of each day that relaxes you. Maybe that’s a yoga class, a meditation session, or simply taking your dog for a walk. Think of this activity as a stress-proof barrier that you pass through to enter your personal time.
5. Recognise your limitations
Launching and running a business will require a lot of hard work but, remember, you’re not a machine. Be mindful that no successful entrepreneur got to where they are solely under their own steam. Find people you can trust to shoulder some of the burden. And, if you can’t yet afford to employ anyone, don’t be afraid to go to a partner, friend, or family member for emotional support. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is not only good for your mental health but will encourage your loved ones to come on this journey with you.
While it’s natural for your new business to feel like the most important part of your life, it’s not – and shouldn’t be – the only thing in your life. Ensuring you get enough family and leisure time will make you a more rounded person, who’s happier, healthier, and more productive while you’re at work.
For more advice on starting a new business, check out these resources.