Maintain a Work-Life Balance When Starting a New Business

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Achieving a work-life balance is hard enough for any person, but it’s even harder when you’re putting in long hours. A recent survey asked entrepreneurs what they would spend their time doing if they could work fewer hours, and the top three responses were: spend more time with family and friends, travel for fun, and improve their personal health. Although it may be more difficult to accomplish a work-life balance as an entrepreneur, you can successfully balance your career, family, and leisure time. 

Amount of Work 

The survey found that an astounding 82 percent of entrepreneurs worked more than 40 hours per week. Specifically, 33 percent worked 40-49 hours, 30 percent worked 50-59 hours, and 19 percent worked more than 60 hours. Obviously, if you’re working that many hours, you’re probably working weekends. 

The study found that an astonishing 97 percent of small business owners worked weekends, with 40 percent saying they “always” or “often” work weekends. Additionally, 79 percent reported that they believed they were working too much. Their reasons for overworking included feeling like there were some tasks only they could handle, needing more money, and worrying about falling behind in their wheel of life

While QVC Queen & successful Shark Lori Greiner say that entrepreneurs will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week, that mindset may sabotage your efforts as much as aid them. 

Risks of Overworking 

Research has shown working long hours is associated with impaired sleep, depression, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. There may also be a correlation between working long hours and heavy drinking. If you’re a recovering alcoholic or come from a family of alcoholics, you should think critically before clocking in those long hours. And it’s not just your health that suffers – you aren’t performing at your best level if you’re tired and stressed out. 

Experts believe the reason long hours lead to health issues is partly from the stress and lack of sleep. Stress can also mean you’re getting inadequate sleep, which means the little sleep and poor sleep you’re getting aren’t enough for your body to recover properly. Stress takes its own toll on the body as well. Additionally, working long hours is associated with a poor lifestyle (i.e., an unhealthy diet, sedentary work, alcohol use, poor self-care, no time to to see a doctor, and a lack of leisure time). 

How to Fix It 

Fortunately, you can lessen your workload. For starters, delegate tasks. By handing off some of the tasks to a competent employee, you’re increasing your free time and decreasing your stress. If you don’t have anyone who can handle your tasks for you, consider outsourcing. In same cases, outsourcing some business operations is less expensive than delegating, making it an attractive option for small business owners. 

Keep in mind, too, that having a solid, well-functioning website will do a lot of work for you. You can use an FAQ or blog to provide information to answer customer questions so that they won’t be calling or emailing you at all hours. If you aren’t tech savvy, not to worry. Using a website builder makes it easier than ever to create a sleek, easy-to- navigate site. It's obviously important to provide quick and personalized responses to customers or prospects but you can't do it all by yourself long term at the expense of your health or other areas of your business. 

Commit to taking strategic breaks to improve efficiency while getting away from work if for only a short time. For example, if your family eats dinner at 6 p.m., don’t work from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Likewise, if your child has soccer practice on Tuesday evenings, commit to not working those evenings. If you have to work on weekends, only allow yourself to do so in the morning hours. Then set work aside to spend the remaining hours with family and friends, or spend some alone time doing something relaxing. 

Schedule vacations, whether you go solo or with family and friends. Don’t forget to exercise. If you’re working long hours, you’re likely not getting a workout in, so make time for it. It’s good for your physical and mental health. Since you’re busy, try to multitask by incorporating exercise with another task. If you have a dog, take him for a morning and evening walk for 15 minutes. 

You’ll get in 30 minutes of total exercise, and your dog will too. On days when you have additional free time, take your dog for a hike. Remember, studies say that dogs in the workplace reduce stress and boost productivity naturally as well! 


Finding a work-life balance should be a top priority for everyone, but especially for entrepreneurs who are putting in extra hours. You need a strategic plan for scheduling vacations in your off-season and squeezing in workouts. You also need to make a genuine effort to set aside time for your family and for your own leisure time. By sticking to your work-life balance plan, your business, relationships, and health will reap the benefits.

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I hope you enjoyed this article about striving to maintain a work-life balance when starting a stressful new business venture.

Interested in more articles about improving efficiency with work?

Read My Blog Posts:

- Productivity Hacks For Lean Entrepreneurs

- 6 Secrets For Increasing Workplace Efficiency 

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