When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s just not enough time to do everything that needs to be done! This is true whether you’re starting a business or scaling it up, not even when it’s running well because there are plenty of things on your to-do list every day. The result: You’re sacrificing certain parts of your life and, sadly, your social life is the first to be sacrificed at the altar of work.
But we’re not just talking about skipping one or two Friday drinks at the pub with your friends either. We’re talking about being absent from nearly all of your circle of family and friends’ social gatherings, from birthday parties to weekend picnics.
This isn’t such a good thing even when you justify it as getting more done to achieve your dreams of being the next, say, Bill Gates. In a study from DePaul University, researchers concluded that the happiest individuals are the ones with strong social ties with their family and friends as well as those who frequently participate in social events.
In another study titled Eavesdropping on Happiness conducted by University of Arizona researchers, the most beneficial social interactions are those that are substantive – deeper emotionally, if you will – so as to encourage the full spectrum of happiness. No, joining in a group conversation at your local pub just won’t cut it so well.
With that being said, it’s important to maintain a work-life balance as an entrepreneur and here are a few useful tips to get you started.
Call Your Friends While Being Productive
Yes, you must spend time with your friends because it’s important for your mental health and social ties. But in doing so, you must ensure that you aren’t completely demolishing your schedule for the day or sacrificing your goals for the business. You can hit two birds with one stone and it’s a matter of combining your day-to-day activities with bringing your friends along for the ride – with their consent, of course, since you have to respect their schedules, too.
For example, when you’re running errands around town, you can call a relative and/or a friend, ask them to go along, and catch up on each other’s lives. Think of it as spending quality time with your family and friends while still getting things done. Think along the lines of grocery shopping, getting your exercise at the gym or park, and even making a short client call – you and your companion can talk and enjoy each other’s company for an hour or two there.
Clear Communication Is a Must
In most cases, you have long-time friends, the ones you have been friends with since you were in diapers, so to speak. Many of them may be unable to understand what it means to be an entrepreneur – the long hours, the demanding clients, and the demands for funds, which become burdensome at some point. Your friends will likely be hurt, perhaps even angry, that you aren’t spending as much time as you have with them, maybe even think that you’re harder to reach now.
Eventually, you and your long-time friends can drift apart, both physically and emotionally, a sacrifice that may not be worth it in the end. But there’s always hope in maintaining your friendships: You should maintain clear communication with your friends!
You can call your family and friends, as a group or as individuals, ask them for a heart-to-heart talk, and explain to them your position. Be sure to express their value as family and friends, as well as your relationships with them, and your willingness to work harder to keep your relationships. You should also keep your lines of communication and schedule open for quality time with them, such as 30 minutes of coffee in the afternoon or for lunch.
Schedule Time for Relaxing
While it doesn’t seem so, especially when you’re experiencing business issues, your business won’t suddenly go bankrupt if you take a timeout. Besides, time away from your business and its issues will actually contribute to your productivity since your body and mind have time to rest from the pressures.
You can set aside an hour every day for spending time with family or friends if you’re the type who needs frequent breaks from work. You may, furthermore, set aside an entire day in the week for this purpose – for example, Saturday nights are spent with your friends while Sundays are always for family. Your family and friends will then likely respect your work time so you can focus on your business.
But don’t stop with your family and friends either! The people who will understand your position because they are in it, too, are your fellow entrepreneurs so it makes sense to join a local business networking group. You will find mentors and motivators, even new friends, in the group that will promote your business.
Indeed, balance is the key to enjoying a happy and healthy life even when you’re often stressed in running your business.
Also, check these 20 Ways You Can Get People to Like And Respect You