There is a strong temptation for people building startups to throw themselves whole-heartedly into their business. At first thought, it seems important to commit all free time and resources to the good of the business, and surely dividends will follow, right? Not really. By being too single-minded about it, what you are looking at is physical, emotional and creative exhaustion. In order to succeed, it is important that a full commitment is given to your work and growth. But this does not mean every waking moment must be spent directly involved. Let's look at a few tips that will help you achieve a good work-life balance.
Plan e-mail time. Being available and keeping communication lines open does not mean popping into your email immediately every time a notification arrives. Scheduling time (perhaps at the beginning and end of each work day) will help you manage correspondence, and save you from getting distracted while you are trying to get other work done.
Delegate effectively. Do not try to do everything. If you have too many good ideas to take care of yourself, start to build a trustworthy team around you. If you don't feel comfortable delegating tasks to team members, examine if you have the wrong person for the job, or if you are trying to control things a little too much. Letting others manage the groundwork can help you be at your best when it really counts.
Exercise It might seem like more hard work, but even light regular exercise will help you keep in good health (including mentally) and is great for adding variety to your working week. Fresh air can also do wonders, particularly for those who work in front of screens.
Keep up with Family and Friends They probably know your work is important to you, and would 'understand' if you miss a few occasions here and there, but make sure they know they are important to you too by not being absent all the time. Life has a funny way of moving on, often faster than you think, and you'll want them around to share the champagne when the day comes.
Take Proper Holidays You know what they say about all work and no play? Even a long weekend can make a big difference if you can leave your office behind and get some real, restorative rest.
Although a drive to succeed and the ability to commit time and energy to your startup is vitally important, making sure to keep a healthy work-life balance will be more beneficial in the end.