Coaching entrepreneurs in work-life balance challenges contains some of the biggest obstacles to overcome. If you’re an “always-on, always-available, always-connected” entrepreneur, you apt to feel like you’re running hard but not getting ahead. Moreover, you’re predisposed to all sorts of overwhelm and lots of unnecessary stress. Is that what you intended when you launched your business!? I didn’t think so.
Believe it or not, you have much more control over your day than you realize. Are you ready to get a grip on your day and slay overwhelm? Here are a few tactics we suggest when coaching entrepreneurs in work-life balance:
1. Challenge your beliefs about your availability. The greatest challenge to coaching entrepreneurs on work-life balance is for entrepreneurs to come to terms with their own belief system. Whether you’ve been in business 3 months, 3 years, or 30 years, you have ideas about what, when, where, and how you “should” be available. When a “should” enters our vernacular, it generally indicates someone else’s agenda…not your own.
2. Delegate what you can. Delegating is not easy but it is possible. As you might image, I’ve heard all the “reasons” for not delegating (including my own) which include “it’s easier just to do it myself” or “it takes less time to do it myself rather than teach someone else.” Sound familiar? You, and your business, have a finite amount of capacity. If you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to increase your capacity. That includes delegating.
3. Take breaks early and often. I can’t say enough about the impact that a time-out has on your sense of control over your day. The natural inclination for most is to work with your “nose to the grind stone” from the time you arrive at your desk to the time you leave the office. Breaks of ten-to-fifteen minutes during which time you step away from your work to do something totally unrelated – like some yoga stretches or a walk around the block – help keep overwhelm and stress at bay.
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4. Ignore activities not related to your goals. Entrepreneurs are natural “get it done” people. That’s what makes you such a success in business. Others in your personal and professional life recognize that admirable quality, too, which is why they so easily commandeer your time if you let them. Have you done a calendar audit recently? You might be amazed at what – or who – is eating up your goal achieving time.
5. Say “no”. In coaching entrepreneurs in work-life balance, we often discuss learning to say “no”. Learning to say “no”, however, isn’t the same as actually saying “no”. Say it with me – “no”! Say it again, only this time louder – “NO!” Perfect. Now practice it often.
6. Stop letting email dictate your day. Do you remember how email was going to make life easier? I don’t either! Email is not the problem; it’s how you opt to deal with email that determines if email contributes to your work-life balance or adds chaos to your day.
7. Stop multitasking. Multitasking, once a prized skill, is now proving to produce stress and adds to your overwhelm as an entrepreneur. Plus it’s sooo 80’s. Focus on one project, one call, or one client at a time to keep your productivity humming on high all day.
8. Don’t work more than 40 hours a week. I know I probably sound like an entrepreneurial infidel by suggesting you cap your workweek at 40 hours. Did you know that 40 hours a week has been proven to be sweet spot for keeping unnecessary stress and overwhelm at bay. In fact, in some of the most competitive countries in the world, it’s illegal to work more than 48 hours a week.
Are you feeling overcommitted? Overwhelmed? Out of balance? Stressed out? These tactics make certain youl feel less stress, greater productivity, more fulfillment and satisfaction from your business, and more revenue. The only thing you have to lose is overwhelm.