If you find yourself working 85-hour weeks and only having conversations about your new entrepreneurial business, it may be time to step back and take a deep breath. If you’re not burnt out yet, you might be on your way there; s new small business can take up hours of time, but there are ways to balance your work-life priorities.
Schedule social events
Schedule three hours a week that you spend time with other people in which you don’t talk about your work. Yep. Not one word.
Whether this is a date with your spouse (Believe me! They’ll thank you for this) or happy hour with friends, listen to what other people are doing, and make it a purposeful decision to not speak or talk about what you’re working on. Grabbing a beer with your co-founder after a long week? Let them know that discussions of work are turned off, even if it’s just an hour at a time. This simple tip will help remind you that you’re human and that you’re more than just your business decisions.
Physically separate your work and home life
Even if you’re a tech guy that works solely out of his home office, you can work to separate your work life and your home life. Keeping work and home life is important for both mental and physical health. Having a work-life balance can help in avoiding stress and going to regular therapy sessions can also provide relief.
One step: establish a proper mailing address that is not your home address. By doing this, you’ll separate your work mail with your home mail, and in doing so, better balance your work-home life as well. If every time you go to your mailbox, your mail becomes more work and less home-related, it’s time to split the two up.
Sites like physicaladdress.com can do just that for you, and can also help legitimize your business with a physical address.
If you work solely from home, use one specific area to work that you deem your “office.” Don’t set up your laptop on the dining room table, or bring your work phone into your bedroom. Have limits, then stick to them. If this is hard for you, consider making specific hours totally work-free, even if it’s just something as simple as from midnight to six.
Additionally, don’t use your office space for home-life things. Remind your family members that it’s a workspace for you, so if you’re in there, you’re working.
Break up your day purposely
If at all possible, depending on meetings you already have scheduled, schedule a time in the middle of the day in which you get up and move, or get something real to eat.
(Hint to everyone with their heads-down working countless hours at a startup: this is commonly called a lunch hour.)
Breaking up your workday can help you feel like a real human again, even if it’s just talking a twenty-minute walk – but make it longer if you can.
Some ideas that aren’t work-related that you can do during this time include exercise, seeking solace in nature, (which has proven to have a huge effect on stress, even in as few as ten minutes) meditating, cooking an easy dish, going for a drive, listening to a podcast while doing some home chores, or playing with your pets.
Ultimately, don’t burn yourself out. Remind yourself that you are more than just your work, even when it doesn’t always feel like it.
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