All too often, I hear other entrepreneurs muse that “work is life.” Or that for an entrepreneur “work and life are the same, so it’s all life.”
Believe it or not, all work and no play isn’t living and it will not provide you with the results you crave. If you want to succeed in your business or career, it’s time to pause and identify what brings you JOY. I know firsthand you can only hustle for so long.
Work-life balance is a lifestyle of the past, with our new way of telecommuting or operating home based businesses, the new era is all about work-life integration. Here are some work-life integration strategies you can apply immediately as an entrepreneur:
1. Budget Your Time Wisely
My clients always describe the feelings of overwhelm and frustration and that they don’t have enough time in a day. It’s time to get real with yourself: What are you actually spending your time on? Too many entrepreneurs end up working late and at odd hours, just because they don’t prioritize their time well. Don’t let time have you held hostage.
First, keep a log for the next few days on what exactly you are up to (and be honest!). The results may surprise you.
Secondly, cut out any time you’re spending on social media or watching the news. There is no good news these days anyway. Turn off all of your notifications or delete any application that is draining your time. While they are short and you’re only spending a few minutes at a time, those activities do add up. Not to mention negative input of information depletes you emotionally.
Lastly, if your todo list is a mile long, and looking at it gives you anxiety, then focus on the top three tasks until they’re complete.
2. Prioritize Connection
Working completely alone all the time isn’t fun for anyone. Studies have shown that keeping yourself in isolation increases your risk of death by about 50%. (Bad news with COVID, I know). Why would any want to die halftime sooner? Not to be morbid here. So Zoom call your friends and family often. Find some virtual learning events. Start a book club. Keep yourself socialized and your brain working in ways that it might not have before.
3. Adopt a “Me-First” Philosophy
I learned it the hard way — driving myself to the ground working in my business. I was forced to find myself again, exercise helped me realize my true potential mentally and physically. Pushing my body for a 26.2 mile distance took discipline and the training taught me I can and I have to put myself first. Even if you’re not into hard-core physical activity, taking a walk is a great way to take care of yourself. You need healthy ways to cope with the roller-coaster of emotions that entrepreneurship brings to the table. Other ideas? Dance to your favorite music. Read a good book. Write in a journal. Take yourself on a date! The options are endless. Take this on for a few weeks and you will soon notice the difference in your mood and focus.
I’d love to hear how you are integrating work and life! Comment on the blog or send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Need some help? Let’s schedule your strategy session!