Running a business is hard enough, but building a brand while serving as president for another company, trying to be a good husband, and fathering two small children is like running an Ironman every day. I can’t expect to give 100% to every leg of the race without burning out.
Staying accessible to my team often means missing out on T-ball practices, family dinners, and personal time. And when the day is over, I often feel like I’ve been running in place instead of moving forward.
I still struggle to make time for big-picture thinking while being a family man and juggling day-to-day tasks, but I’ve found a few methods for balancing these competing priorities. As a founder of my own company, I can’t afford to ignore—or give up on—time that allows for reflection or innovation. Without those things, I’m not a leader. Without those things, my company (and the hope of a balanced lifestyle) won’t succeed. As a leader, I’ve learned to combat letting “must do” tasks overwhelm the “want to do,” and make time for big-picture thinking.
Here are the strategies I’ve found to help:
Explicitly Define Work-Life Balance
No one wants to live and die behind a desk, watching their revenue grow instead of their kids. But for those who are passionate about what they do, work is their life, so the concept of balance can get a little skewed.
As an entrepreneur, you must define a reasonable amount of time for you to spend working. Otherwise, you’re going to miss a lot of important moments. Think about the type of life you want, and talk to your spouse about what he or she considers a reasonable workweek. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
Daniel Wesley founded Quote.com to provide consumers with auto insurance quotes from leading carriers. His work has been featured in Forbes, Mashable, Inc., and Fox Small Business.
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