Working a typical 9-5 corporate job for the majority of your career and then making the fist-pumping courageous move of starting your own business can be disorienting in the beginning.
You no longer have to begrudgingly wake up at 6am in the morning to down some coffee and run out the door. There’s no more hurriedly sitting in your office to make sure your boss sees you there on time. There’s no one to check-in with and there’s no set schedule to move by.
You’re in charge now.
And as liberating as that may feel, after a few weeks of experiencing it – it can also be discouraging. Maybe you look up after spending 10 hours of your day on your laptop because you got carried away with the tasks of running your business and now you feel guilty because this is definitely not what you started your business to be doing. You wanted time with your kids! Or maybe you get so carried away with spending time with your kids that you realize you haven’t touched in with your clients in a few days or showed up online for your leads.
Tip #1: Don’t give up. What you’re experiencing is normal! It’s the curse of the new entrepreneur: figuring out a work-life balance that keeps you fulfilled on both ends.
It might take some maneuvering to figure out the right balance for you but it’s full steam ahead once you do. Read on for some more tips on how to find your balance.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make as an entrepreneur is by mentally staying on the hamster wheel even once we’ve gotten off.
This looks like continuing to be go-go-go in everything we do just to get through the day. It’s how we move when we allow our thoughts to direct us (i.e. oh! Socks let me start the laundry. Oh! Pens. Let me send out that contract and so on).
When our days are not planned, we tend to wind back in bed at the end of the day feeling unaccomplished. So to better balance your work-life responsibilities, take 10-20 minutes every morning to plan your day out. What HAS to get done? Make one category for work and one category for personal. What can wait? What order does it need to get done in? List it all out and if you want to go a set further, timestamp it as well!
When planning out your days, don’t forget to prioritize your self-care! It’s easy and common for us to put our needs on the back burner in order to get everything else on our list checked off but when we do this, we tend to run straight into burnout. And when we run into burnout, we’re quicker to have the discouraging thoughts of “I can’t do this.” or “I never have enough time” which could lead to quitting all together.
In order to show up for yourself and everyone/thing else on your to-do list, make sure that you’re able to set aside some time for yourself when planning out your tasks. This could be a 10min tea break or a Friday spa getaway!
Running a business takes time – we know this! But there are ways to make time work for you so that you’re not hopping around from tab to tab when you finally sit down to do your work.
When planning out your work hours, consider batching hours to do certain tasks. Studies have shown that batching together similar tasks can increase productivity! Perhaps you only allow meetings to be done on Tuesdays between the hours of 9am – 1pm and then you use the hours of 1pm – 5pm to sort out all the information from those meetings. Alternatively, you could also batch out time to work on client cases. For example, you only work on John Doe’s case on Mondays and Thursdays and you work on Jane Doe every Wednesday and Friday.
By giving yourself this structure, it allows your mind to focus 100% on one thing because it knows there’s already dedicated time for everything else!
While this is the last tip, it’s also arguably the most important! When it comes to time batching and balancing your work-life responsibilities, knowing yourself can make or break the success of this.
For example, if you know that you are not a morning person…don’t time batch any meetings in the morning. You’ll hop on cranky and get off the call feeling even worse.
If you know that you mentally check out after your lunch, consider having a late lunch in your schedule to get more of your to-do list done so that you don’t toss your planner out the window once you’ve gotten some food in your system!
Balancing your work-life tasks are hard in the beginning but with a little perseverance, time batching and maneuvering, you got this!
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