In the business world, it often seems like if you aren’t hustling 24/7 or kicking back with a cocktail while your business effortlessly brings in the cash, you’re doing something wrong. In reality, neither of these are realistic for new business owners - working every hour of every day isn’t sustainable, but it does take a lot of hard work to create a successful business. Here’s how I create balance in my business and do the hard work I need to without burning out.
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Get it all out
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed when you have so many amazing ideas you’d like to incorporate into your business whizzing through your mind, especially when they require a lot of work to make them come to life.
The best way to dissolve this feeling of overwhelm is to break your big goal into smaller, more manageable steps and write down every single thing you can think of that you’ll need to do in order to get it done. This means that rather than having one huge thing that you need to do, you have lots of little, achievable tasks and makes it much less scary. I use Clickup to create boards for tasks that need to be done, are ongoing or completed, and it also allows me to set deadlines on tasks and put them in a calendar, which is super helpful.
Set work boundaries
When your business is your passion it’s difficult to detach yourself from work, but you must have boundaries which help you separate the two or you’ll be on the fast train to burnout pretty quickly. This is something I learned recently after a patch of feeling stressed and anxious, and after thinking about what was causing stress and deciding on my boundaries, I’m already feeling more relaxed and inspired!
Here are some boundary suggestions you might find helpful (but different things will suit different people):
I only answer emails during standard working hours
I assign specific times each day to check emails/social media
I don’t check my emails before getting out of bed
I will not work later than 7pm
I will do at least one thing that is purely for myself and has nothing to do with my business every day (eating and sleeping don’t count! ;))
Automate and delegate
This is nothing new, but if there’s anything you can automate, or hand over to someone else to deal with, do it! Software such as Buffer for social media and Tailwind for Pinterest can save you a lot of time, and if you write blog posts or email your list at specific times each week, most service providers will allow you to create these and schedule them in advance. I also have a bank of photos saved in my drafts on Instagram so I don’t find myself frantically searching for something to take a picture of when I want to upload.
Be aware of when you work best, what kind of working hours suit you and what kind of environment you flourish in and make sure you are meeting these where possible. Contrary to popular belief, you can still be productive and hard-working if your motivation peaks in the evening instead of at 6am.
Sure, there will be times when you can’t work in the way you’d prefer, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t make you less of a badass to accommodate your needs - in fact it makes you smarter.
Accept the ebb and flow of running a business
Let’s face facts: there will be periods in your business when you are run off your feet and need to work harder and longer than usual, during launches, busy seasons, and especially when you’re just starting out. There’s no avoiding the hard work when you’re an entrepreneur, but the rewards that come with it are so worth it.
If you can, plan accordingly. When you’ve had a period of grafting, make sure you give yourself time off to recover and acknowledge the amazing work you’ve done. You deserve it!
It’s time to swap money stress for financial empowerment.
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