The truth is, there is probably no such thing as a real work-life balance in startup companies, either when you own one or you’re heavily involved with operating one. Most of the time, you’ll be committed to work days that last 12 hours or longer. That doesn’t leave much time to balance out the rest of your life. It’s great to be dedicated, and to do everything you can for the sake of trying to achieve success with your startup, but when you abandon everything else in your life, you’re just not going to be nearly as effective in your role as startup owner/operator. Here are some tips on aspects of your life that you simply must find time for, regardless of what’s going on at work.
Get enough rest
When you get at least the minimum hours of rest, which scientists say is six or seven hours for most people, you will be much more alert on the job, and you’ll make better decisions that will help your business. Your body needs that rest to recover from the stresses and physical strains of the day, and when it doesn’t get that recovery time, it just begins to stay in stress mode all the time. That means your brain is also in stress mode, and it won’t be capable of making fast, smart decisions, and that can completely negate the work-life balance in startup situations.
Are you a startup founder? Get at least six hours of sleep each night and eat good food. That means you can’t eat junk food 2-3 times a day. If you do this your company will be more likely to succeed. (Click to tweet)
Another part of keeping your body ready to tackle the issues of the workday, is eating healthy. It’s very easy to slip into the habit of guzzling coffee all day long and eating junk food, because you don’t have time to sit down to a healthier meal. But that will all catch up with you pretty quickly, and it will affect your health eventually. Every single meal doesn’t need to have something included from the healthy food groups, but the majority of your meals should do that, as opposed to making most of your meals fast-food purchases from down the street.
Exercise whenever possible
Exercise is one of the best known stress relievers, and that is a benefit which is almost more important to the startup owner than the physical conditioning it provides to your body. Every day on the job, you will undoubtedly face pressures and stresses from a number of sources, and when you’ve been exercising regularly, that is a great way to relieve all those pressures. It won’t make the issues themselves go away, but you’ll be able to handle them a lot better when you exercise regularly.
“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” —Michelle Obama, former First Lady
Communicate with partners
If you have business partners involved with your startup, or even several key employees whom you trust, it’s really important that you maintain good communications with them, especially during periods of excessive stress. It’s super critical in the beginning that your partners understand what they’re getting into, and that there may be some long work days ahead, with major headaches included. Make sure there’s an understanding of what might be coming, so that they don’t all run for the exits when the first 12-hour day pops up.
Make time for family
Your family is your primary support network, and when you’re trying to guide a startup through launching, you will have great need for support. Don’t fall into the trap where you feel like you have to go at it alone, and that it’s all on your shoulders. Of course, the business decisions and the actual work will mostly fall to you, but it will all seem much more manageable when you’ve got a team in your corner that’s helping you and reassuring you in your approach. Your family’s love and caring will go a long way toward helping you achieve a work-life balance in startup companies.