As women own and operate more businesses, there is growing interest in how women entrepreneurs can maintain a successful work-life balance. After all, just because a woman starts a company, that doesn’t mean that all of the emotional labor she contributes to her friends, family, and society at large is no longer her responsibility. Even if they are financially successful, many women still find it challenging to balance their energy between work and personal life.
These five tricks will help any woman entrepreneur find success while also keeping her well-being intact.
There’s a reason so many people make the same New Year’s Resolution, year after year: they don’t succeed on the first try. We often jump into things too fast and struggle to change too many things about our lives all at once. When we’re talking about maintaining family and business health, letting these things fall apart can be particularly problematic.
Therefore, the key is to start with small, manageable changes. Don’t try to change your entire routine all at once. Identify one problem and consider what to do to move forward. Once you’ve got your time management, your email prioritization, or your self-care, for example, locked in, move on to the next problem you need to address. By moving slowly, you’ll be more likely to stay the course over time.
Let Go Of Perfection
While many people struggle with the need to be perfect, women are more likely to struggle with the need to be perfect and more likely to be held accountable for perceived imperfections. When women become the ultimate decision-makers in their businesses, the pressure to make everything perfect can negatively affect their motivation, morale, and overall enjoyment of entrepreneurship.
To counteract this, women need to spend some time learning how to let go of their need to be perfect. Author Sarah Hagi once wrote asking for the confidence of a “mediocre white man,” and while the comment itself might be somewhat on the nose, women may want to consider: would their male colleagues be stressed about the imperfection they see? Will implementing the change she’s contemplating make a significant difference to the customer experience or the company’s bottom line?
Letting go of the need to be perfect will make a big difference in a woman’s ability to enjoy her work, her life, and the time in between.
Leave Work On Time
All entrepreneurs can benefit from leaving work on time. There are personal benefits, such as being more disciplined with your time management, pushing yourself to prioritize what work must get done and what is just eating your time, and using your outside interests to diversify your company perspective. However, when executives leave work on time, it also positively impacts the company culture. This encourages employees to make the same behavioral choices and creates happier, more productive employees. Integrating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine can make you more productive, as it helps you focus better and reduces stress, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
In the first years of a startup, it may be impossible to get all the work done within 9-5 business days, but all entrepreneurs should be actively looking for opportunities to outsource, delegate, and offload the work for which they are not suited in terms of skills or time.
Leave Work When You Finish Your Workday
When all decisions ultimately cross your desk, it is that much harder to put down your phone and leave work at work. Many executives struggle to stop checking their email, the company’s social media platforms, or the office work, when they’re supposed to be at home or out with friends. Yet cultural changes in Europe are showing that companies are more successful when employees and executives create sane barriers between the work day and the rest of the day.
Even if you’re a solopreneur, it’s crucial to have a strategy in place to ensure you get adequate rest after work. Perhaps you glance at emails but only respond in the office unless there is a (clearly defined) emergency situation. Perhaps social media is entirely off-limits during nonwork hours. You need to make the right choice for you and your company, but make sure you make a choice.
Make Time For Self-Care
Women often struggle with the entire concept of self-care. This is especially true for new mothers; it’s difficult to take time for yourself when there is a tiny person who is often very dependent on you for their needs. Yet executives who aren’t able to take care of themselves often find that their businesses burn out as well.
Self-care can look like many different things. A nice meal out with a spouse once a week. Drinks after work with friends. An exercise class. A hike in the wilderness without cell phone service. Time spent indoors with a good book and a hot beverage. Whatever self-care looks like for you, making sure it happens is crucial to maintaining a personal equilibrium.