A healthy work-life balance is essential for any entrepreneur who wants to avoid burn-out and have all the necessary energy to succeed in business. Too many entrepreneurs think they have a choice between full productivity and a solid work-life balance. Luckily, that’s not the case at all. It’s entirely possible to have both at the same time.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Joshua Chin, founder and CEO of Chronos Agency, about his strategies for maintaining both a strong professional motivation and a healthy and happy life outside of work.
Chin says, “You can absolutely run a successful business and have time for a personal life. Some people just don’t know how to do it. It’s important to learn, though, because if you don’t, you might find yourself losing your passion for business.”
So how does Chin do it?
Schedule the Day
A study from the University of Chicago found that a stable schedule increases productivity by five percent. This doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible sometimes, but it does mean that the more consistency in your day, the more focus you’ll have.
When you schedule the day in advance, your brain has time to prepare for each coming task. It’s especially beneficial to schedule tasks at similar times each day.
This is because your mind gets used to thinking in certain ways at certain times so it won’t be so hard to transition from task to task. Your brain will start to make the transition automatically.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Another effective way to be productive and maintain a good work-life balance is to increase your focus at work, rather than your hours. Research shows, in an eight-hour day, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes. If you improve that number, you’ll finish more in a day and have still have time for fun after work.
Although entrepreneurs are some of the most focused people, even they are rarely fully productive for all eight hours of the workday. Entrepreneurs that work on improving focus have enough energy to get all their work done and spend time on personal pursuits and relationships.
Joshua Chin believes in the “work-hard-play-hard philosophy” and puts it into practice at his own company. He says, “We know a business won’t function with unhappy employees. We emphasize our employees’ needs, so they can take care of things in their personal lives. We still get stuff done, though, because when we’re at work, we’re all in. We work hard.”
Focusing at work can be easier said than done, but it’s essential to learn to do it. If you struggle with focusing for long periods of time, there are a few things you can try. First, make a list of tasks and move through them one at a time. Also, try organizing your work area because clutter can lead to distraction.
Finally, one of the most effective strategies is turning off your phone and turning off notifications for unrelated things on your computer. You’ll see noticeable improvements right away. You’ll be able to leave work at the end of the day ready to have fun because you accomplished what you needed to.
Automate and Outsource
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur in the twenty-first century is that so many daily tasks can be done through automation and outsourcing. You’ll free up so much time by adding helpful tools to your workflow.
There are strong tools available for automating email marketing, project management, and writing up contracts. It’s also easy to outsource content creation, marketing campaigns, and web design. You can automate and outsource almost any task these days. You just need to decide which ones.
Don’t be afraid to let go of some of these tasks and allow skilled people and tools to help you. Doing this allows you to spend more energy on the things that really can’t be done by anyone but you.
Joshua Chin’s main focus right now is automating email marketing and helping other people do the same. He knows how hard it can be to fit all your responsibilities into a day. He says, “I want to take care of the nitty-gritty details for people because I know how exhausting it is to try to do a thousand things at one time.”
It takes creativity to fit both a successful business and a fulfilling personal life into your schedule. Luckily, entrepreneurs are known for being some of the most creative people. It’s important to constantly look for ways to improve your workflow and your companies operations.
It’s important to think creatively about the routines in place at work. Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Joshua Chin recommends, “Test your assumptions. The best ideas might come from places you least expect.”
It’s important to keep moving forward even when roadblock arise, which is why you’ll need to be innovative as well as surround yourself with innovative people. A team that’s well practiced in creative thinking benefits the whole company.
Work to foster this creativity in both yourself and the people around you.