A friend recently told me this quote and I think you’ll resonate with it.
An entrepreneur is the only person who will work 80 hours a week to not work 40.
When he shared that, I laughed my butt off because it’s so true… especially when you’re super passionate about what you do.
You put in the hours because you’re building something you care about. You have a vision – and dreams for the future.
But to be real with ya, this isn’t the ideal way to achieve your dreams.
Because working that many hours… it’s simply not manageable in the long run.
Maybe you’re at the stage where you need help… but you don’t feel ready to bring on help.
What you CAN do today is create a foundation to reduce the stressors in your life.
Because what I absolutely know is that when you feel compressed, you start to believe that everrrryyyything is falling apart around you.
It’s known as “collapsing domains” – and you probably know what it feels like.
You have a crap day at work. You go out to the kitchen and you see the sink’s full of dishes. Again.
You turn around and notice dog hair – all over the place. How your dog isn’t bald right now is a mystery.
Then you see the clean laundry still not put away. Wrinkled AF. Should you just run it again? UGH.
And WTF, that pile of unopened mail somehow doubled in size. Are there literal gremlins in here trying to mess with you?
You feel like a hot effing mess – and tell yourself that everything is terrible. You’re a failure. Your work sucks… YOU suck.
When the fact of the matter is… it’s all in your head.
But this way of thinking can actually be super harmful when you live this negative narrative on the regular.
So today, we’re gonna focus on how to create better work-life balance through systems.
AKA: simple ways to automate shiz… and things off your plate… and use less effort – so you have time for you.
Notice I didn’t say… “so you have more time to work.” LOL
I’ll be sharing a few systems for your personal life… and for your work life. Because you aren’t just one thing, right?
You’re both a biz owner… and a human.
And if you aren’t taking care of yourself, it’s a dumpster fire waiting to happen.
3 systems to create work-life balance as an entrepreneur
System 1: Automate as much as you can.
In today’s world, there are tons of things you can automate to take shiz off your plate. Even personal things.
Here are a couple no-brainer things to automate right now:
- Bills - most banks have an automated payment system. If you aren’t using this feature, you totally should. Not only does it help you avoid potentially missing a due date, it takes one thing off your to-do list. Even if that to-do only takes ya five minutes.
- Shopping - what are things you use over and over again? Put these on recurring shipments. If you have Amazon Prime (totally worth getting it, if ya ask me), you can use the handy Subscribe & Save feature for your regular orders.
I personally use Subscribe & Save for things like: dog treats, TP, and vitamins – just to name a few.
Not only do you save time (and ensure you aren’t awkwardly hollering for TP on the toilet), you also save some money – Subscribe & Save gives you a discount on your recurring purchases too.
And sometimes the drivers are super cute…
Think about the tasks you do regularly or semi-regularly. Then do a quick google search to see if there are any automations to help you out with it.
You’d be surprised at how many automation programs and apps you can download to your computer or phone – for both personal and work tasks.
System 2: Outsource tasks that don’t require you.
For this category of systems, you may need to enlist some help. But it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds.
I’ve talked a ton about personal tasks you can outsource… like hiring a cleaning person once or twice a month to keep your house sparkling (and your mind relaxed).
I’ve also mentioned that you can literally source your meals… like a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Thistle.
I actually do private chef-ing. Believe it or not, it's less expensive for me than cooking or picking up 3 different meals a day for 3 different people. #forreals
But if you’re working a ton, you may want to consider hiring an assistant.
A virtual assistant.
The old way of thinking about VAs is: they can only do admin tasks, like scheduling appointments or booking calls.
The new wave of VAs are actually so much more well-rounded and powerful, you can (and should) outsource tasks you don’t like… or haven’t even started yet.
For example, here’s a list of activities a VA can typically help with (outside of traditional admin assistant tasks):
- Website updates.
- Write and edit content.
- Schedule your marketing emails, social media, and ads.
- Project management.
- Set up technology systems and processes.
- Market research and idea generation.
- Email inbox management.
I’ve even had a friend hire a VA to plan her wedding. #nojoke
This doesn’t mean one person can do all of these things well.
If you see more than one thing on this list that you'd like someone else to take on, you may want to consider hiring an agency.
For many of them, you can have multiple assistants assigned to you based on their strengths or areas of expertise – at no additional costs.
Imagine that… an army of VAs to help ya grow your biz, manage your personal life, and take care of shiz you can’t stand doing. #winwin
System 3: Consistent self-inquiry.
This may not seem like a system, but what I’m really talking about is consistently checking in with yourself.
So many of us live at a surface level.
We go about our daily lives trying to keep our heads above water. And then we get to a point where we’re so busy that we’ve lost sight of why we even bothered working this hard.
Can you relate?
Most of us don’t cultivate a consistent practice of self-inquiry.
When you regularly “check in” with yourself, you’ll actually end up spending less time on shiz that doesn’t matter.
For your life, you’d want to check in with yourself about:
- How you’re feeling in your body.
- What’s going on in your mind – emotionally and mentally.
- What’s important to you right now – as in that day and the day ahead.
- What’s important to you long term – are your actions aligning with that big picture vision?
For your work, you’d want to tune into things like:
- How are you feeling about your work – are you still enjoying it?
- What are you passionate about – are you working on things you care about?
- Who are you helping? Having a clear picture of them… and checking in to ensure the majority of your time is spent working to help them.
You have to get super clear on your intentions.
What do you want out of life?
Are your actions taking you toward those goals – or are they mere distractions?
What are you actually putting all this effort in for?
Or are you hiding from something deeper?
Many of us wear “workaholic” as a badge of honor. But there’s no prize in working yourself to the bone.
You work to live… you shouldn’t live to work. No matter how noble your craft is.
Remember: you are more valuable than your job title. Sure, you help lots of other people out there… but you can’t pour from an empty glass.
In order to keep giving of yourself… making an impact… and hopefully some friggin’ good money…
…you have to take care of yourself. And that means work-life balance.