How well do you balance your work with your life?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

The typical entrepreneur is driven, task-oriented and focused on accomplishing great goals. These characteristics are highly useful in creating a successful business, but also could get in the way of a pleasant and happy life if they’re not kept in balance.

Many business owners never stop working or take a break from their revenue-producing activities. While they might not offer the appearance of working outside business operations, their mind is never far from their responsibilities or new business-related opportunities. They worry incessantly about past decisions, growing competition, the state of the economy and their prospects for future success. They never truly take a much-needed and well-deserved rest.

Do the thoughts and concerns listed above resonate with you? If so, you might notice they can interrupt sleep and eating patterns, exercise routines, professional and personal relationships, hobbies and passions — and, in the process, limit your happiness and success. Little by little, these seemingly minor disruptions will diminish you and the quality of your life. When your entire world centers on your business, many of the other wonderful things there are to experience in life go by the wayside.

Consciousness of your particular situation is your best friend here. So take a few moments to ask yourself these important questions:

Do you feel exhausted?

Are you a workaholic?

Do you sacrifice personal time with your children or spouse to work instead?

Do you wake up at night with thoughts of work?

Do you tell yourself and others you can’t step away from your business?

Are your relationships with your spouse, children, other family members and friends as healthy and vibrant as you want them to be?

When was the last time you took a vacation and left your work behind?

Do you regularly engage in your other life passions?

Are you HAPPY?

In reality, most people who work with or for motivated business owners — and those who share their personal lives — aren’t as driven as they are. If left unchecked, the nonstop pace, single-minded focus on success and unending pursuit of financial gain that fuels their activities can, and will, burn out even those who are closest to them. Top talent and loved ones can be hurt by a lack of appropriate work and life balance.

To be sure, there are circumstances when extra time is needed to effectively deal with business situations as they arise. If this is the norm rather than the exception, though, it’s important to step back and take an honest look at the situation and make necessary adjustments that will allow you to experience a fuller and more meaningful life.

When you choose to engage your life outside of business, the benefits are too numerous to count. And you don’t even need to go on a vacation to do this. By bringing structure and focus to the time allotted to the continued growth and development of your business, you actually free yourself to fully engage both your professional and personal lives — at the same time.

For example, make a simple commitment to yourself — and those closest to you — to begin and end your business day by a certain time each day, say 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. By doing so, you’re also committing to not work between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. each day. With this little bit of structure in place — along with your commitment to it —you’ll bring greater focus to your business during the hours you’re there. The quality of your work will increase. And you’ll ultimately accomplish more as you become a better manager of your work time.

Consciously balancing your work and your life will free you to spend more quality time with family and friends as you bring balance and refreshment to both your professional and personal lives. You’ll have and make the time to engage in other things you enjoy. Your mind and body will relax. Your sleep will improve. Your energy will grow. Your relationships will improve and so will your life. You’ll be happier and more successful.

On your way to reaching new heights in business, it’s imperative to take time to truly enjoy your life and the fruits of your labor. After all, isn’t that why you started your own business in the first place?