A friend of mine recently shared a post on social media that read “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your li…work super hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.” It hit me especially hard because so many people assume that entrepreneurs and freelancers never truly have to work — if we love doing it, we must not be working very hard, right?  In truth, entrepreneurship can require some of the most tedious work schedules and make it nearly impossible to find a work-life balance. There is no separation between your personal life and work life because when you’re an entrepreneur, your business is personal.   But that doesn’t mean you never need a break. There is a life you’d like to live outside of your job — even if it is your pride and joy. Here are three ways you can establish a work-life balance as an entrepreneur: 

Schedule Time For Friends And Family

Just as you set aside scheduled times for work, so should you for life outside of work. If you need to, put your electronic devices away completely so you can be 100 percent present for those close to you.   If you have to write out “play with kids” on your calendar, do it. If you have to create a task on your daily to-do list to call your mom, do it. You’ll feel better for establishing connections with people outside of work, and they’ll appreciate you for making time for them outside of your busy schedule.  

Organize Your Priorities

Something I recently started doing that helped me to do this was to change the words “I don’t have time” to “that’s not my priority right now.” It helps me to reevaluate what’s most important to me and why.   So instead of saying “I don’t have time to go to my son’s baseball game,” say “Attending my son’s game is not my priority right now.” See how drastically that changes the meaning?   Of course, that’s a strong, harsh example. Maybe it’s something like choosing to work instead of organizing your closet because color coordination is not your priority right now. Whatever it is, it has helped me to realize what’s most important to me, and what I need to change about that list.  

Find New Hobbies

We’re all familiar with David Foster-Wallace’s “This is Water” speech. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane schedule that we see day by day, and entrepreneurs are especially susceptible to that. We can get caught up completely in work because it’s our passion. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, that passion can quickly transform into something mundane and habitual.   Taking time to find new hobbies can get you out of your head and give you new reasons to enjoy life outside of work. Whether that’s rock climbing, playing the piano, or trying out goat yoga, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.   Taking time to enjoy life away from your job is crucial not only for your own mental health, but for the success of your business. Working too hard for too long can lead to an early burnout. Take care of yourself, and watch your business start to thrive! 

by: Emily Brady

Emily Brady received her Bachelors at Brigham Young University Idaho where she majored in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism and professional management. She has written for Scroll News and Deseret Digital Media and is currently a freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and swinging in her hammock.