An entrepreneur’s life can get quite hectic at times. With so many of us holding on to that deep entrepreneurial desire to succeed, our well-being can suddenly become neglected. In no time at all, we find ourselves stressed and burnt out.
Think of the age-old saying, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,’ and you’re on the right track to having a serious case of life-imbalance.
This is why finding some kind of harmony in our lives is so important. When we’re not just plugging away at our work, and instead engage in other activities that makes us happy, we get ever closer to being at our optimum. Balance gives us the capacity to be at our best, not only in work but at home too. It promotes better health, resilience, creativity and productivity.
Now, who doesn’t want that?
So, what is life-balance, anyway?
Often referred to as ‘Work-Life Balance,’ Life-balance is that delicate equilibrium between work and your personal life. It involves carving out reasonable time daily and separating between those two sections of life.
With the changing dynamics of how people are working, the definition of Life-Balance is forever changing and has been since the late 1800s.
Therefore, to achieve this elusive ‘balance’ is easier said than done. For many entrepreneurs, it is an enigma. The almost unattainable holy grail of not working yet another 80 hour work week, but instead spending more time on leisure activities.
So, it is possible?
James Whittaker is a Speaker, Film Producer, and Author of the International Bestseller, Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy; Win the Day.
Alongside his sterling entrepreneurial success, James has done it. He’s managed to continuously reach some kind of tangible Life Balance daily.
Create a Manageable Routine
Throughout history, some of the globe's most successful pioneers all have one thing in common – a rigid routine. Just think about it. As children, our routines gave us a feeling of safety, then as adults, it gives us a feeling of purpose. Routines are almost ingrained in our DNA.
James has a routine- and it works.
Start The Day Right. James opts in for starting the day with the healthy option, “So often I actually start having a half a cucumber and a small coffee,” he says.
Journal For Five Minutes. Journals can set you up for a positive day. Putting pen to paper for five minutes gives you that solitary moment where you can map out any important internal dialogue. James likes to jot down, “What are the three most important things to me on this day? What am I grateful for and what's a positive affirmation?”
Block Out Solid Work Time. Working in blocks is a known method that increases productivity drastically. “I can lock myself in the room and have a three-hour work block. I don't need a break and I just feel hyper-productive and get so much stuff done.” Recent studies have shown that productivity peaked when someone consistently works for 52 minutes, with a 17-minute break afterwards.
Create a Relaxation Period. There’s a reason why 72% of people get creative ideas in the shower. In mundane moments where you can wind down, your brain is given space to process and refocus. That’s why downtime is a crucial part of James’s day. “I'll relax and try and massively unwind.” At lunchtime, he has another healthy meal, relaxes and stays away from any screens to avoid mental fatigue.
Get A Little Exercise. There are so many health and cognitive benefits of working out while you're right in the middle of a workday, which is shown in this study conducted by researchers at Elon University. “I'll try and do a gym session or some type of exercise about three or four days a week,” says James.
Complete Simple Tasks. As your workday starts to come to a close, you don’t want to do an intensive mental work out. Take on the tasks that are easy to contend with, such as replying to emails or conducting a few calls with clients.
Make Room for Quality Time. Quality time can be anything that brings you peace and fulfilment. It could be time with friends, family, loved ones or even something as simple as just reading a book. Finding quality time is a crucial part of anyone’s day. “In the afternoon I'll have the quality time with the daughter; it's just her and I for about two and a half hours in the afternoon,” says James. “It's really important to me just to have that time.”
End The Day Healthily and Peacefully. This is the moment you’ve probably been waiting for. Now is the time to have a good nutritious final meal and just relax in whatever way you see fit.
“These are the things that are really important for me to have my life in balance,” says James.
That’s just it. These are the most important things for James. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all, life balance for everyone. We all have different priorities and goals, so you have to create a routine that works best for you.
It takes work, persistence and the plasticity to change it around if you need to. Your priority should not only be your work but your health and surrounding life too.
The Psychology of Entrepreneurship
For more insight into how to find life balance check out volume 24 of the Psychology of Entrepreneurship podcast hosted by Ronsley Vaz and with special guest James Whittaker.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.