How Entrepreneurs and Solo Practitioners Can Achieve a Better Life-Work Balance

Life-work balance — yes, we’re putting life first in the equation — isn’t just important for one’s personal health and happiness, it’s also a crucial component of professional long-term success and satisfaction. Several university research studies recently revealed that entrepreneurs are both healthier and happier than their employed counterparts, but those stats beg the question: How do business owners, contractors, freelancers, and solopreneurs protect their mental and physical health without the support of a staff and employer-backed benefits?

Taking Responsibility for Our Own Stability and Success

Savvy, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, small business owners, and solo practitioners recognize that achieving personal-professional equilibrium is not only imperative for increasing endurance, improving longevity, and beating burnout, it’s also good for their bottom line. Productivity, drive, momentum, and focus are all enhanced with better life-work integration, empowering business owners and solopreneurs to go the distance.

Here are the top five ways to create more life-work balance for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and solo practitioners that you can implement right now:  

1. First and foremost, find intention in what you do.

Professionals who choose to go solo possess the confidence in themselves needed to succeed on their own, but celebrating our contributions and everyday wins doesn’t always come easy. Without authentic purpose driving our entrepreneurial endeavors, we’re more prone to resent the hours we spend working on our business and are less likely to enjoy the time we spend in personal activities — one perennially tugging at and undermining the other.

2. Prioritize your health — mentally and physically.

Avoiding the plague of burnout means acknowledging when something doesn’t feel right so be sure to take the time to self-reflect. Are you feeling stretched thin? Are you constantly overwhelmed by the needs of your business? Be aware of mental and physical signs of exhaustion, cynicism, inefficacy, and disengagement. If you begin to experience these symptoms or emotions, know that it’s OK to seek counsel from family and friends, peers, or professionals.

3. Create a schedule that works for you — and don’t stick to it.

Rigid schedules have no place in today’s world — especially for the self employed. What works one week — balancing time spent “on” and “off” evenly — may get thrown off kilter the next. As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or solo practitioner, your workload may require a few early mornings or late evenings —or both — to fully enjoy your time spent away from your work. The most imperative aspect? You can enjoy the freedom of time spent away so that you can come back refreshed and ready to seize the day.

4. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

Going solo doesn’t mean you don’t have support. Various professional services such as virtual phone answering, dedicated mailing addresses, and attractive coworking facilities are available to help business owners, contractors, freelancers, and other solopreneurs run their enterprises effectively, efficiently, and with a growth mindset. 

5. Accept that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

In today’s hyper-connected world, the lines between our working hours and our personal time are increasingly blurred, and they even tend to bleed into each other. That doesn’t mean that one aspect of our lives has to suffer because of the other. Rather than fighting the urge to completely delineate the professional from the personal, it can be helpful to acknowledge this development in our work lives and find ways to make flexibility work for you. 

In a recent podcast interview, serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Sarah Kunst spoke of her aversion to taking long vacations. For her, taking one or two days off at a time was more life-affirming and less stressful to manage. For others, unplugging for a few weeks at a time may be just what the doctor ordered. 

How a Dedicated Workspace Can Improve Your Integration 

When you work for yourself, the pull to stay connected 24/7 is undeniable. When you add working from home to that equation, completely unplugging can become even more precarious. 

While the more common phrase may be “work-life balance,” we believe putting life first makes all the difference. One way to put life first is to consider a flexible coworking office space with thoughtful amenities in desirable locations as your key to better productivity and integration. It’s much easier to separate your personal and professional pursuits when you give them both the breathing room they deserve. 

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