The start-up process is notorious for consuming your mind and body. With so many decisions needing to be made, there is little time for remembering the other things that also define you – your family, friends and hobbies – and keep you grounded. In fact, in the 2014 Start-up Survey, Sage North America found that work/life balance is the number ONE personal concern of start-ups.
Taking care of you
To combat the barrage of stress and tasks that come with starting your own business, consider the following tips:
- Balancing technology: It is easy to become distracted with all of the tasks necessary to starting one’s own business, but by removing the bells and whistles, you can more intently think about the issues at your business and return to them refreshed. Remove and unplug yourself from work, as the Globe and Mail suggests, but also use technology to your advantage by structuring your day and helping with time management, as Richard Branson advises.
- Delegate tasks to minimize getting overwhelmed: A survey conducted by The Alternative Board found that an unwillingness to delegate tasks was a huge barrier to minimizing stress for small business owners. Learning to let go and trusting those around you is crucial to managing an overwhelming to-do list. MindTools.com has developed a resource to help guide you through the process of successful delegation.
- Be realistic: Having a work-life balance while starting your own company might not exist, but don’t let that discourage you. As Sheryl Sandburg of Facebook notes, there may be no such thing as the perfect balance; the attempt is what matters. Steve Blank suggests that making the goals attainable will prevent you from getting discouraged. Continue to make goals for your personal life as well as your business goals, and work towards them with as much fervor as you pursue your business dreams. As The Alternative Board points out, it is just as crucial to business success as an actual focus on the business itself.
Check out these great resources to keep yourself centered as you strive for work-life balance:
Canada Mental Health Association – Work/Life Balance Quiz
Kaufmann Founders School – Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life Tutorial
Visions Journal – Mental Health and Today’s Entrepreneur
Small Business BC – Staying Healthy as an Entrepreneur
Taking care of your employees
As your business grows, it will be important for you to make sure you are focused on the work-life balance of your employees as well. By keeping employees balanced and healthy, you can improve your bottom line and maximize employee retention, as the BC Ministry of Health advises. There are lots of resources out there to help you with the task of creating a healthy work environment, and we’ve selected a few to share here:
Engage with us!
What do you do to keep yourself healthy and balanced while starting your own business? Have you found innovative ways to keep your employees happy and healthy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!