Being an entrepreneur is exciting, rewarding, and admirable. You started from the ground up and now run your own show. You improvise, strategize, and problem solve. You are also always on, always available, always connected. If you're like most entrepreneurs, your business is the first thing you think of when you wake up and the last thing on your mind when (if) you go to sleep. Your business is, after all, your livelihood, your baby. Ensuring its success is a huge responsibility and all consuming.
And that can be a problem. Why? Because everyone, even entrepreneurs, needs some sort of work-life balance. Too much work leads to too much stress. No one can go, go, go forever.
Yet, finding work-life balance is often a challenge for entrepreneurs. Typical suggestions such as taking breaks throughout the day or enjoying a long lunch are often unrealistic. The demands of running your business are always tugging at you. There is always one more thing to do, one more problem to solve, one more call to make. And suddenly it's 10:00 p.m. and time to go home, sleep for a while, get up and do it all over again.
So, how do you as an entrepreneur achieve this important thing called work-life balance? To get first-hand insights on how an entrepreneur can strike a work-life balance that is suitable to their lifestyle, we spoke with Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, seasoned entrepreneur and eCommerce industry leader, widely known for founding Nomorerack.com, a top destination for online shoppers. In addition to being a businessman, Deepak Agarwal is a husband, father of two, and notable philanthropist.
“It seems elusive, not something you can apply to your busy life. Yet it can be done if you understand that achieving work-life balance does not mean eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep and eight hours of time at home every day. That is just never going to work,” explained Deepak. “Instead, what it means is setting boundaries and finding harmony.” The question still stands, what boundaries can help you achieve that harmony? We asked Deepak Agarwal to share his top tips to help fellow entrepreneurs set boundaries and achieve work-life integration.
- Be 100% present when you are at home. Concentrate on the people you're with and the activities you're doing. As difficult as it is, turn off your phone, at least for a while.
- Don't worry about a 50/50 time split. You don't have to divide your work time and home time evenly. Do the best you can and give yourself permission to not always get it right.
- Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. This is age-old advice, but it is important.
- Give yourself permission to fail. It is okay to make mistakes once in a while. Everyone does, even entrepreneurs.
- Delegate the little stuff. Give the small things to your staff or outsource them so that you can concentrate on the big stuff.
- Take vacations. You'll come back recharged and more productive.
- Set a routine and stick to it no matter what. This will help you create and stick to positive daily habits.
To make things even more complicated when it come to finding balance, the pandemic has led to a rise in remote work, which has further increased pressures on entrepreneurs.
Asked about the impact of the pandemic on his approach to finding balance, Deepak Agarwal shared, “It becomes even more difficult to find balance while not having distinct spaces in your life when you are working from home or managing employees via video link. Work and life can become one big blur if you don’t set clear boundaries. When you’re working from home, these boundaries need to be even more concrete.”
Deepak Agarwal’s tips to maintain work-life balance when working remotely include:
- Establish specific work times and stick to them
- Set up a specific work space in your home, preferably with a door you can close behind you when work is finished.
- Get dressed every day just as you would if you were going into the office
It is very possible for entrepreneurs to find work-life balance, even amid the pandemic and transition to remote work. Setting boundaries at home and at work is crucial to executing a harmonies work-life balance. Finding this balance will not only benefit your personal life, allowing you to feel better and improve your relationships, but can be a key component in elevating your company’s success.
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