Getting the balance right: 5 tips for looking after yourself while you look after your business.
Maintaining a good work/life balance when running a startup or freelancing can be incredibly challenging. Work can easily take over your life (when was the last time you worked a ‘normal’ 9-5?), taking a serious toll on your mental health and wellbeing.
It may seem that with a fledgeling business, you don’t have a choice, but there are some things you can do to reset that balance and improve your mental health:
Schedule your work time, and your down time. It doesn’t have to be working 9-5, but getting your time off is important. As your own boss, you can choose when you work and that means you can also choose when to stop. Plan it in your calendar if you have to, but make sure you stop and take some time away from work. It is very difficult to be creative and solve problems if you’re stressed, so by taking a break, you’re much more likely to start work the next day and find that previously illusive solution.
Turn off distracting devices when working. A study by Microsoft showed that when workers were interrupted by an electronic device (email alerts, phone notifications etc.), it took around 15 minutes to properly re-engage in a complicated task. By switching off those notifications, you can get that tricky task off your list more quickly, reducing your overall stress levels.
Buy yourself an office plant. They’re not just ridiculously on trend, they’re good for you too. A 2010 study found significant reductions in stress for workers when plants were introduced into their office space. At Tribe, we love plants so have a variety of different houseplants dotted around the office but, if you’re new to the world of plants, go for something easy and low maintenance like a Peace Lily, Cactus or Succulent.
Get some exercise. Getting your blood pumping is good for your mental health, and is another activity that helps to get your brain working. Don’t feel like a spinning class or high intensity interval training session? That’s ok: cycling to your meetings or going out for a stroll on your lunch break rather than eating at your desk will still be really beneficial.
Celebrate what you’ve achieved. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you have to do next, and all the things you haven’t yet managed to tick off your endless ‘to do’ list, not noticing or appreciating everything you have achieved. Running a business is hard. Every month, take a little time to think about all your victories (big and small) as each and every one will help you turn your start up into an empire.
Want to see how hot desking or having a dedicated space at Tribe York could help improve your work/life balance? Book a tour.