You are a builder, a creator, a maker. You’ve turned nothing into something through a combination of grit, grind, and hustle. We respect that.
But being an entrepreneur is about more than the living you’ve created for yourself—it’s about the life you live with it. Most people already know that the consequences of poor work-life balance include mental stress, poor performance, and a lack of productivity. All these make your life and your work harder.
Still, when you’re the person responsible for your company’s growth and success, it can be hard to step back and take a breather. But if you want to build a better company (and a better version of yourself), making time for R&R is exactly what you need.
Below are the top tips for finding work-life balance as an entrepreneur.
Turn off phone notifications
Whether it’s the woodblock clicking from Slack or the single note ringing from your iPhone, notifications can feel (and sound) constant. While productivity tools and messaging platforms keep you connected, they can also induce some serious anxiety.
The steady onslaught of messages from customers, employees, clients, and investors blurs the lines between work and life. If you’re like most people, you probably have an app downloaded onto your phone, making you available whenever and wherever. Not only is this a great way to burn yourself out, but by responding to messages in the wee hours of the morning, you enable others to continue sending you messages at irregular times.
So, here’s our suggestion. Turn off work-related notifications on your phone during non-business hours. You can decide what “non-business hours” means for you, but give yourself some space where you aren’t responding to pings and dings coming from your pocket.
Seriously. Maybe even consider—and stay with us here because this is going to sound crazy—deleting some apps from your phone. We promise the world won’t end, and your company won’t go up in flames. Don’t believe us? One of Zapier’s engineering managers did it, and she said it made her more productive.
Use your PTO
You and your partner have talked about visiting Mexico for months. Nothing sounds better than an ice-cold beer on the beach, but there’s no way you can step away from work for a week. You have that presentation coming up. And then that really important meeting. And then that other deadline. And oh wait, the year is over and you never took that trip.
We’ll let you in on a little secret, you can and you should take some time off. Not only will using your PTO give you a nice break, but it can also make you a better leader.
In 2017, Neil Pasricha teamed up with Shashank Nigam, the CEO of SimpliFlying, for an experiment. SimpliFlying forced employees to go on a vacation and required them to fully disconnect from work emails and other communication platforms. Post vacation, the pair asked managers to rate employee happiness, creativity, and productivity. All three areas improved after the team enjoyed some much-needed relaxation.
As an entrepreneur, your creativity and productivity keep your company running. Taking a trip to Mexico isn’t indulgent. It’s an investment in your mental well-being and your company’s future.
Catch some Zzzs
It’s 10 pm, and you’re still at the office…again. Sometimes late nights are a part of the deal. The work has to get done. But when a few late nights turn into a few weeks of late nights, you’re not doing yourself (or your company) any favors.
Plenty of people wear late nights like a badge of honor, demonstrating their dedication to the company. While hustle culture may glorify staying up until 2 am, science says adequate sleep is more important. And here’s the truth: no one is impressed by the person who brags about their 16-hour workday.
There’s an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that some quality Zzzs can boost productivity. One study found that workers who slept less had significantly worse performance—probably because folks who work until the crack of dawn are more likely to make errors and take longer to react to critical situations.
You want to be prepared for anything business throws at you, but you can’t do that if you’re falling asleep at your desk. Next time you’re torn between hitting the sheets or working for another hour, just go to bed. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
Schedule time for fun
Know the feeling of paying membership fees only to make it to the links or gym a handful of times last year? We get it. It’s easy to stack 60-hour workweeks back to back to back. But if The Shining taught us anything it’s that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Plus, it turns out that doing things you love can give you a huge happiness boost. An Oxford University study found that happy employees are 13% more productive than their counterparts. So, next time your buddy invites you out for a round of golf, take him up on the offer. It might make you better at your job.
Running the show is exciting, but it’s also stressful. Taking a step back can help you better manage the stress and become a stronger leader in the process. If you’re struggling with work-life balance, start implementing a few of these tips. You’ll see both your mood and your productivity rise as the stress goes away. And while you’re removing anxiety from your life, shop our stress-free wardrobe staples that make your daily life even easier.