The life of an entrepreneur never seems to wind down. There is always a client to pursue, another email to answer, and a meeting to attend. It is likely that the average entrepreneur experiences a workweek that surpasses 40 hours.
Our work-obsessed culture makes it challenging to justify the need for a stable work-life balance. If you have ever had these feelings, you are not alone. RescueTime, a productivity app, recently released their The State of Work-Life Balance 2019 report where they analyzed over 185 million working hours, here are a few of their key findings:
- Twenty-eight percent of workers start their day before 8:30 AM.
- Forty percent of people use their computers after 10 PM.
- Twenty-six percent of work is done outside of normal working hours.
- We check email and IM, on average, every six minutes.
We all have a severe problem with setting aside time that is not interrupted by work. So, this article will serve as a reminder of how crucial it is to maintain a healthy entrepreneurial work-life balance. The phrase “you have to take care of yourself before you can help others,” may seem cliché, but there is truth to it. So, take a look at why it is essential to optimize your approach to work-life balance below.
1. Skimping on a Good Night’s Rest Can Destroy Your Focus and Mood
The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18 to 64. However, what happens if you do not make getting a decent night’s sleep a priority? A lack of sleep can lead to impaired memory, lack of alertness, a likeliness to experience mood swings, and even a higher chance to be involved in a car accident.
Sleep is so vital that an hour and a half decrease in it can have a significant impact on alertness and focus. A long-term lack of sleep can even lead to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. As a result, you need to re-organize your time to allow yourself to get the adequate sleep you need to function throughout your day.
2. Work-Life Balance Can Actually Help You Work Harder
The Corporate Executive Board found that employees who believe they have a good work-life balance work 21 percent harder than those who don’t after surveying 50,000 workers around the world. You may think you are getting more done by pushing aside time with family or even enjoying personal hobbies and activities. However, humans are wired to have time off from work.
Even though the above survey referred to employees, it is very likely that this idea extends to entrepreneurs. It is hard to be happy when you haven’t seen the people you care about the most or haven’t had an opportunity to rest your brain. When you take a break from work, you have the chance to relax your mind, and come back to your business refreshed and ready to work.
3. Reduce Stress and Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs are said to be 50 percent higher for those who experience high levels of stress. Nothing is more stressful than answering emails late into the evening, avoiding vacations and opportunities for rest to continue working, and never feeling as if you can come to a stopping point.
As a result, this stress can lead to severe conditions such as depression, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. The life of an entrepreneur will always be stressful, but a healthy work-life balance can manage this, and take down your healthcare costs at the same time.
4. Get More Work Done by Going on Vacation
It may seem counterintuitive, but a vacation can lead to you becoming more productive and creative in the long-run. A study by Alertness Solutions revealed that reaction times increase by 40 percent after a vacation.
A vacation also allows workers to rebuild their social support systems while replenishing emotional feelings that were drained due to burnout. Studies have shown that a two-week vacation is the right amount of time for the positive results of time away from work to reveal themselves.
As an entrepreneur, it is true that you are a one-person show. However, if that person fails to take care of themselves, the whole operation falls apart. You have to treat work-life balance as a necessary part of your identity as an entrepreneur.
It is just as important to plan time with family, or go on a vacation as it is to meet with a potential partner or securing funding. Failing to do all four can negatively impact your endeavors. So, take the above stats to heart, and begin to make work-life balance a priority. The benefits can help lead you to greater business success in the long-run.
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This has been a JBF Business Media production.