Any successful entrepreneur can attest to the amount of drive, dedication, and tenacity it takes to start and grow a business. Staying late at the office or working on weekends often becomes the norm, not the exception. But working around the clock can lead to serious burnout and take a toll on your health and your personal life. It’s important to pause once in a while and take a look at your work-life balance, so you can find ways to minimise stress and maintain a sense of well-being. If you’re still deciding what kind of business is right for you, keep in mind that opening a franchise comes with the benefits of being connected to the larger company, which already has systems and support built-in, so you don’t have as much to tackle as someone launching their own startup. Any new business owner, however, can benefit from the following tips and reminders:
Work life balance strategies
1. Set your priorities
It’s easy to let the workday get away from you. When you set priorities, you can focus on what matters, and you’re less likely to waste time on tasks that could be accomplished much quicker, like responding to emails or letting meetings drag on unnecessarily. A more structured day is often a more productive day, which allows for more free time outside of work.
2. Schedule time for yourself
In order to stay motivated in your job, it’s important to make time for yourself and the things you enjoy. Schedule time on your calendar for plans outside of work and stick to them. Set reminders for yourself if necessary so you don’t work through these plans. You can use your lunch break to go to the gym, meet a friend, or simply enjoy some time outside. Just getting away from the workspace to recharge is a great way to practice self-care.
3. Create personal boundaries
Make some rules for yourself in regard to your workday. Set defined hours — depending on when you’re most productive — and stick to them. Establish times when you will and will not be checking your email. If you know you’ll need to work earlier or later than usual on a given day, adjust the start or stop time so you’re still working the same number of hours. This requires discipline, but it allows for more freedom in your day. Encourage your team to do this as well. Because everyone benefits from a healthier work life balance.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, delegate as many tasks as possible to other members of the team. Work together to determine who is best suited for the various tasks. Quite often, they’ll be glad they were asked. It means you trust them with the work and the responsibility.
5. Define your workspace
Even before the pandemic, working at home has often been part of the entrepreneur life, at least in the beginning. This can make it even more difficult to establish work life boundaries. It’s important to have a dedicated workspace that’s separate from your living space. Even if you don’t have an office in the home, you can section off a space in any room, as long as it’s relatively disruption-free and used only when doing your job.
6. Minimise distractions
It’s not easy to break the habit of checking your emails and phone every few minutes while you’re working, but this wastes time and makes it nearly impossible to keep your attention and productivity in focus. Instead, try to set some rules for yourself and stick to them so you can get your work done by your scheduled time. Distractions can get in the way of your personal life as well. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and put the laptop away when it’s time to unwind. Unplugging from the outside world will allow you to focus on the people and activities that are important to you.
7. Get used to saying no
Entrepreneurs have a tendency to say yes to extra work, travel, networking opportunities … anything that will help the business get on its feet and grow. But this can also lead to burnout if it isn’t kept in check. Before taking on more, make sure your schedule will allow it. Don’t let it take away from the personal time you’ve carved out for yourself and your loved ones. A good rule to follow is that if the thought of extra work makes you feel anxious, you probably should say no.
8. Have a realistic view of work life balance
Keeping your work and personal life in perfect balance is not just difficult, it’s nearly impossible. So don’t strive for perfection. Understand that some days will be more dedicated to work and other days will allow time for your hobbies and loved ones. As long as you’re making a concerted effort on a regular basis to step away from the job and recharge, the balance will be achieved over time.
How owning a franchise can help with work life balance
Often a key difference between owning a franchise and running a startup company or small business is the level of support available. Whether it be managing staff, your budget, choosing your location or creating your marketing plan and materials, franchisees can benefit from the wider business and strategies and systems that are already in place.
Mathnasium Learning Centres give franchisees systems and training which allow them to stay on top of their business, so they’re able to have a balanced schedule and manage the demands on their time. If owning a maths-tutoring franchise interests you, connect with us to learn more.
Education franchises form part of a strong growth industry and are in high demand. Mathnasium is the leading maths-only supplemental education franchise. With more than 1,100 learning centres worldwide, Mathnasium has been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top 500 franchises 16 times since 2004. We are on the lookout for potential new franchise owners to be part of our expanding network. To contact Mathnasium for more information, click here.
Colbey Pfund, “How to Find Work-Life Balance As A Young Entrepreneur,” Forbes, 2020
The Young Entrepreneur Council, “10 Techniques for Establishing Work-Life Balance During Rapid Business Growth,” Small Business Trends, 2022
Marisa Sanfilippo, “How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today,” Business News Daily, 2021