As thought-starters entrepreneurship and work-life balance are almost never written together. Aptly put by a fellow startup head recently- “There is no such thing as work-life balance”
Entrepreneurship is tough and needs a lot of passion and belief in your cause. But you can do what you love and still be tired or still get excited about taking a break.
While there is no solution to this pressing problem, it's the acknowledgment that we are not alone, that is cathartic. The imposter syndrome, the struggle for validation, the self-doubt and anxiety by being snubbed over and over again, and the constant need to appear more confident than you are can be brutal. How do we tackle this 'dark side' of entrepreneurship and build a less glamorous view of it?
● Have boundaries- there is work and there is life beyond work. Many professionals keep their work phones separate from their personal phones. These may not be the most successful ones but surely are the most relaxed ones of the lot. Respect your and your team's boundaries for a happier, more productive work culture.
● Don't fall prey to hustle culture- of many things the internet has us believing, one of the most flawed has to be the belief that growth is linear. Your best can look different each day. Block your lunch hour, take time to find inspiration, switch off at a decent hour, start that exercise routine, and don’t miss the little pleasures of life.
● Smart work>Hard work - stop wearing exhaustion as a badge of honor and stick by the good old quality over quantity when putting in working hours. Value your time like it's your most valuable asset (because it is!).
● You might be important but not indispensable: We have an innate sense of self-importance, top it up with a dash of micromanagement and we have a case study of self-induced stress. We need to trust our teams more, delegate more and things will work just fine. Try it!
● Give yourself time to do nothing: Take a break and don’t think about what you want to do next, what you need to do, where the next paycheck’s going to come from etc. You owe yourself some brain-free time to just be. Smell the flowers, chat with a shopkeeper, read a book, stare at the ceiling, just drive, stitch, box, laugh, cry. Fight the urge to be ‘productive’ – it's conditioning that prevents us from enjoying a life outside of work.
Invest in yourself, eat well, rest up, read up, skill up, and be a better, healthier version of yourself every day.