The unglorified truth about starting a business is that you'll have remarkably less time for the myth of a work/life balance. Sure, Gary Vaynerchuk has turned the art of the #hustle into an entrepreneurial sex symbol but when it comes down to it - finding yourself with precious little time for anything but work is overwhelming. If you don't manage it right, you risk your health, your relationships and your sanity.

Here are 4 ways to find that healthier medium that will keep you charged up and ready to hustle like a madman (or woman):

1. Ditch the notion that there is "balance."

Balance implies equal parts of something. In this case, equal parts of work and personal time. Life's not a teeter totter, there are too many variables out of your control. If you keep insisting there must be balance, enjoy your inner conflict.

While many entrepreneurs wear the 70 hour work week like a badge of honor, the truth is your productivity starts to wane after 40 hours. Rather than constantly powering through, integrate the time requirements at work and in your personal life as the demands of each rise and fall.

2. Over communicate with both teams.

As important as giving plenty of notice at work for time away (hopefully unplugged), is setting expectations with the other people counting on you. Whether you're single, married, or a parent - your relationship with family and friends deserves the same (and more) respect that you give your team at work.

Stop double booking (and double deluding) yourself. Trying to be a superhero backfires. Just be honest when you know you're not going to make a dinner, a party, a weekend event. When you clearly communicate the bigger picture, and why you need to be present at work, everyone has realistic expectations - realistic expectations are the antidote to inner-guilt.

3. When you're in. Be all in.
This should go without saying - but don't be that distracted Apple Watch DB at the meeting. Stay present and focus your attention on the project at hand. You'll contribute better ideas and you won't require an immediate reminder about what just happened.

Maybe you saw that viral Facebook post where a mom tallied the number of times her children looked up to seek approval or see if she saw their cool tricks. It was a total of 28; begging the question, what if every time they saw me glancing at my phone? Spoiler alert: kids grow fast, and they don't repeat firsts.

Even if you haven't started your own family, if you don't focus on being present, you'll miss all the experiences that are meant to recharge your batteries and fulfill your life.

4. Demand actionable blocks of time from yourself.

It's easy to just let the calendar fill up with other people's requests for your time. Unless you take control, your calendar can become one solid back to back, with zero time to actually do work.

When you are planning your week, commit to several hours a day of actionable time. Send yourself a calendar invite and write down what you will deliver from that effort.


As the commitments and risks that come with building something great feel out of your control, remember that prioritizing your life, setting your boundaries and owning the way you choose to spend your time are still up to you.

Published on: Sep 2, 2016