Do you ever feel like you’re walking a tightrope?
A precarious balance between being an entrepreneur, living your dream, and simply feeling squeezed into a corner in your everyday life?
It’s not always easy, but I don’t need to tell you that – you’re doing it and you already know!
Before I became an entrepreneur I was a Director of a pioneering coaching company. Based in Singapore I flew around Asia clocking up thousands of air miles every week. I never really felt I had my feet on the ground, but it didn’t seem to matter. It was exciting, and exhilarating, I was pioneering and I loved it.
Until one day I couldn’t get out of bed.
My world crashed and I had to take three months off to recover and re-evaluate.
During this time I learned what my body needed to help maintain balance. I returned to the UK and set up my own business. I don’t always get it right.
Sometimes I can be found blogging into the wee small hours. The difference is now I know the consequences. I understand it isn’t sustainable.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have an ‘off switch’. If that sounds like you, here are my top five, minimal effort tips for bringing balance back into your life.
It’s easy for the working day to creep when you’re an entrepreneur. You might be a night owl who works best late at night. You might prefer to work in blocks around your children. That’s all fine, the art is to define your working hours.
Give yourself one rest day a week.
Book something in for you that you really enjoy once a week.
Review your diary and set your start and finish times.
When you have a big mission food can be the last thing on your mind. The thing is you are not a machine! Your body needs good quality food to sustain you.
Eat a protein packed breakfast to keep your ideas flowing until lunchtime.
Always carry some nuts (unless you’re allergic!) to stop you reaching for sugar.
Schedule a 20-minute lunch break each day.
When you are constantly on the go it can be hard to switch off at night and rest. If you are out of balance your body can produce cortisol that gives you a burst of energy late at night. This can start a vicious cycle that is heard to break.
Electronic Sundown – turn all your electrical items off one hour before you go to bed.
Wear an eye mask if your bedroom isn’t completely dark.
Set your Smartphone to airplane mode before you go to sleep (your alarm will still go off!)
Being an entrepreneur requires emotional resilience. Tools such as meditation don’t need to take lots of time navel gazing, but can really support your emotional balance - meaning you don’t have to take out your frustrations on your loved ones at the end of the day!
Have a business mentor who can help you navigate the challenges you face.
Choose a coach or therapist you trust who can provide you with an outlet.
Try the Headspace App for one week and see how you feel by the end of the week.
When did you last see any empty space in your diary? It is probably a rare thing. Empty space is crucial for you to be creative, to plan and to innovate.
Take yourself to a different environment and let your creativity flow.
Create a day with no calls or meetings – free up some space for you to innovate.
Block out some empty space in your diary this month.
I would love to hear what else helps you, share your ideas in the comments below!