Work/life balance is a sticky subject for a business owner. Partially because it can be difficult to attain, but mostly because of the misunderstood expectations behind what “balance” really looks like for both the business owners and those special people in their lives outside of work. Managing everyone’s expectations can be part of the challenge. Consider a few of these suggestions to ensure that your work/life ratios are balanced.
When starting and/or running a business, communication is key to working well with people. The first place to communicate is going to be in the relationships that have top priority and are closest to you. Get those individuals on the same page as you of what running a business may look like; the good, the bad, the ugly.
When you communicate: “I may have to work 12-15+ hrs. a day in the beginning and won’t be as available as normal to help with regular household/childcare duties,” you have voiced a reality that they can either 1. Reject (may want to reconsider starting the biz), or 2. Understand.
While this doesn’t mean you give up all normal duties and volunteering, it means that the closest relationships to you are going to continue to feel supported and prioritized because you’ve discussed the not so perfect circumstances, prior to, and in that you’re helping balance the relationship, the realities, and the work; and others will more likely understand that you’re in the process of creating something that requires some sacrifice.
Understand that Life Goes on Without You
If you’re anything like me, you get sucked into thinking that you pretty much make or break every day. While your work is important, you’ve got to face the fact that the world isn’t going to end if you stop spinning your wheels for a moment.
Because of that, don’t waste your time thinking you can’t stop. For the sake of your health, your loves, your creativity, and yeah, your business, give yourself a break and actually “stop and smell the roses.”
Your priorities will come into focus, your relationships won’t suffer, your brain can get refueled and you will learn to enjoy life outside of work, which will in turn help you enjoy life inside of work.
Know that Balance Isn’t a Number
While it’s ideal to break up your time and energy into perfect little increments of time at work, time at home and time at play, life doesn’t always pan out like that. Balance is more a state of mind than a specific time or number of hours perfectly spent.
Each person has different circumstantial dynamics, which is why you as an individual must figure out what works for you. If you’re stopping to evaluate, if you’re communicating, if you’re following through on your agreements, if you’re pausing to smell the roses, you have indeed attained “Work Life Balance.”