The Startup Struggle: How to Maintain a Work–Life Balance
If you are a startup founder, you’re likely no stranger to long hours and late nights. But while working hard is important to the success of your business, it’s also essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The concept of work-life balance is becoming more important as our lives are increasingly intertwined with technology. With the ability to work from anywhere, it’s easy to let work invade every aspect of our lives.
However, working around the clock is not sustainable in the long term and can lead to burnout. The more that family and life issues compete with work for your attention, the less appreciation you’ll have for both. A 2020 study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that people have a much worse view of work when it interferes with their family life. The reverse is also true: if family issues threaten work, family will be viewed negatively.
Balance is key for you, your family and your business. We’ve compiled some tips below that can help you get closer to achieving that balance:
- Set boundaries between work and home. This is especially crucial when you are working from home. One way to set boundaries is to create a dedicated workspace—it can be an actual office space—or if you don’t have the extra space in your home, it could simply be a dedicated work area. Dedicating a space that is purely for work will help you focus on work-related items when you’re in that space and relax when you leave it. You can also establish set work hours to help you avoid working late into the night or on weekends.
- Communicate with your loved ones. Once you’ve set your boundaries, you’ll want to communicate them to your friends and family so they are aware of your work schedule and space. Let them know when you’re going to be working late, taking a break in order to stay focused on work. If you have kids, make sure they understand your work schedule and why it’s important to respect your time.
- Take time for yourself. In addition to setting boundaries between work and home, it’s important to make time for yourself. That means taking some time each day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to do something that you enjoy. It could be reading, going for a walk or listening to music or a podcast. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that helps you relax and recharge.
- Delegate tasks when possible. As the founder of your startup, you may feel like you have to do everything yourself, but trying to do too much will only lead to burnout. See if there are any tasks that can be delegated to your team, or even outsourced to a consulting firm. This will free up your own time to allow you to focus on things that only you can do.
- Take advantage of technology. If delegating to a team is not possible, you can look into leveraging tools and apps to help you manage your time and stay on top of your work. From task management tools to time tracking software, there’s no shortage of options available.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can talk to your friends and family or seek out a professional counselor or coach. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help you see things in a new light and make the changes you need to improve your situation.
- Prioritize your health. Your health should always be a priority, no matter how busy you are. Take care of your health by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. Be mindful of your own needs and make sure you’re taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. By doing so, you’ll be in a much better position to lead your team and grow your business.