We work incredibly hard so that we don't have to work as hard later in life. However, for many that isn't enough. To put off fun, family or hobbies until later, for many, isn't truly living. Work-life balance is needed to both make life and work seem manageable, and, often times, it can make both more successful.
A good first step for any entrepreneur worried about work-life balance is to make sure you are managing expectations. This means managing expectations not only for clients but for family, friends and most importantly yourself. For clients it is important for them to know you work best when you have time to spend outside of the office. For many clients, they often forget that you are a person so this reminder is helpful since many of them want to have a similar lifestyle. For friends and family, helping them understand your goals and aspirations can help them understand when you aren't around. It can make them feel less neglected and can lead to better time spent outside of work. However, it's also important to manage your personal expectations. Too often we feel we can fill our buckets fully without anything splashing out over the sides, and it's just not possible. It's necessary to understand what you can do in a day, and what is unreasonable to expect from yourself. You'll be happier for it.
The next step is to hold yourself accountable and the best way for business people to hold themselves accountable is with the calendar. It might seem like it takes some of the fun out of it, but schedule family and fun time. These "meetings" are not movable and should be looked like a meeting with your most important client - you need to be fully there and giving them your best.
Lastly, as an entrepreneur it's easy to take on a lot of projects and be involved in everything, but the best way to manage your work and life is to delegate. Focus on the high level projects and vision, while trusting others to take care of the rest. This will leave much more time for life, in addition, the best companies do their best when they are not micromanaging. Trust your hiring ability and trust your employees to get things done and you will sleep better at night and spend more time living.
These steps are not necessarily the easiest steps because it takes a lot for an entrepreneur to close up shop for the day. However, it is important to the business and yourself that you enjoy life. What are you making money for if not to enjoy it!
Do you have any tips for managing work and life?