Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur can be exhausting (in a good way…most days!) but when it comes to figuring out that unicorn of work-life balance, it may feel impossible.
Between emails, phone calls, meetings, customer fulfillment, and contracts, it’s enough to make you shudder some days. But, having the framework of a general schedule for a busy entrepreneur like yourself is key to keeping yourself sane as well.
We all know running a business can feel like a 24/7 job but that isn’t feasible for any person’s mental, physical and emotional health, and let’s begin to move away from hustle culture and move into a culture that is sustainable and balanced.
Need some quick tips to improve your work-life balance for women? Here are a few ideas:
Take Breaks During Your Workday
And by breaks, like, real breaks. Not just a scroll break for two minutes on your phone. Completely step away from your desk and disconnect from your Slack channel, emails, and work tasks.
Make sure to create some sort of stopping point every so many hours so that you have time for your mind to relax. Ironically, powering through your day can lead to less productivity than taking regular breaks because your mind does need time to slow down. Remember, your day is a marathon, not a sprint so pace yourself.
Shut Your Work Down For The Day and Follow A Schedule
Adding to the above about taking breaks, you also need to END your day at some point and stick with that schedule. The nice thing about being an entrepreneur is you can set your hours but the hard part of entrepreneurship is setting those hours and sticking to that schedule.
Ways to ensure you stick with your schedule is putting up an away message for things such as emails and messaging platforms. You might even consider adding your office hours into your contracts.
Whatever you need to do to ensure you are creating boundaries, first and foremost. Now, the hard part is keeping yourself focused on those boundaries. Yes, there may be a day you need to work beyond your set schedule but make it a habit to ensure that you shut down at that time.
If you need to provide yourself a reward like a delicious cup of coffee or a little sweet treat as the reason to finally end your day, do it!
Don’t Check Your Email Before a Certain Hour
We talked about shutting down for the day but equally important is not starting your day with emails! Yes, you will be tempted to grab your phone first thing in the morning but if you are going to look at anything, look at cute animal photos to get you in a good mood.
Starting with work tasks takes you completely out of a gradual phase of waking up and straight into your work day.
Savor the coffee, eat breakfast and actually taste it, jump into the shower in the morning, or do a five-minute dance party in your kitchen.
Running a business can take a lot out of your day when you take on all the tasks so giving yourself that extra 10 minutes in the morning can give you the space to ease into your day of girl bossing.
Incorporate Movement Into Your Day
I know this may seem redundant but there is a reason why incorporating movement is important for anyone and especially women in business. Not only does it get your body moving to help with your physical health but the mental clarity that comes with some quick and regular movement throughout the day is the equivalent of giving yourself a break.
When it comes to work-life balance for women, stepping away to do exercises in your day or pop into a quick 10-minute workout on your phone, or using your favorite workout app you are doing wonders for your body, mind, and even emotions.
Let’s face it, there are many emotions to running your own business and even taking a quick walk around the block can allow you to recalibrate and get back into the task at hand and feel more balanced.
Make Time For Yourself
You may think “Well what about time for my family, my kids, etc.” to which we say “Yes, absolutely,” but between your daily life, your business, and general day-to-day tasks, the person focused on last is typically you.
So, we challenge you to carve out your own time, this isn’t the walk break during work or any breaks during the work day, but solely a time for you when you do not need to go back to any work tasks until the next day.
This is when you dive into a good book, even for a chapter each night, or put on an ASMR video for 15 minutes to calm your brain down (if you enjoy ASMR, of course). This key is that this is for you and you set this time each night to balance out your day of work with something you enjoy at the end of the day.
Yes, when children and others are involved it may be harder to fit this in but even a 5-minute opportunity to do something you love (even savoring a nice piece of chocolate) can be a great piece of your day set aside.
Work-Life balance does not need to be a large undertaking but instead created by small micro-adjustments to your day to incorporate small but more frequent breaks and ensure your work does not start before a certain time and ends by a certain time.
Work-Life Balance for women is incredibly important. Your body and mind will thank you and your productivity will increase when you give yourself the space between your business and your life.
Sarah is a digital marketing specialist who works in paid and organic marketing, public relations, and social media marketing and management to help small businesses find their authentic voice for their audience. When Sarah is not working on a digital marketing strategy, you will find her on a walk at a local park, reading, or working in animal rescue and rehabilitation.