In a perfect world, every person who starts a business would be able to neatly compartmentalize the different areas of their life. They’d be able to neatly separate personal matters from business in their thoughts, leave their work in the office, and ensure domestic concerns never impacted their actions during the working day – but unfortunately, few people ever actually master this kind of clear-cut thinking. Those that can will likely find it beneficial, but those that can’t – which is to say, the vast majority of people – will usually have to just try to find a way to muddle through.
This ‘muddling through’ can be incredibly difficult, as the different strands of modern life always seem to be threatening to tangle together into an endless knot of worries. While there are no easy solutions to managing all the different areas of your life, there are a few tactics that may benefit you when seeking the separation and clarity you need. Below, we have put together a few ideas that may help you achieve a neater separation of your personal matters and your business life.
Recognize the need for extra time
When you are focusing on starting a business, it’s easy for your enthusiasm to become overwhelming and dominant. You’re excited by your idea, determined to get it up and running, and you love every second that you spend working towards your goal.
However, this does mean that the time you need to manage your personal life will be impacted. Entrepreneurs tend to be workaholics, which – if left unchecked – can lead to a messy, disorganized personal life. There are a variety of different areas this tendency can impact, though personal finance and relationships tend to be the worst affected.
It is helpful to set aside time for these things every week, almost as if they are business-related meetings that you have to include in your diary. You can set aside time to go through your finances, check your credit score, manage your budget, and gauge your debts. If things are going well, great, you can go back to work with added peace of mind. If improvement is required, you can look for options such as no credit check loans for debt consolidation, or experimenting with zero budgeting to see if these help to ease the issue.
The same applies to your personal relationships. Set aside time in your diary to go for a coffee with a friend, catch up with a family member, or enjoy a date night with your significant other. It may seem somewhat strange to effectively diarize these things as if they are work appointments, but this helps to ensure you are always able to do these things, which is ultimately the most important point.
Keep to a strict schedule
Running a business is undeniably demanding, and will often require far more time spent working than you would have tolerated if you were in a standard job. While this time investment is generally to be expected, it is vitally important that you try and keep a separation between “work” hours and “life” hours.
If you receive a work email at 9 pm, when you’re meant to have finished working for the day, it’s all too tempting to just reply to it – but this can be the start of a slippery slope that leads to complete entanglement of your working and personal life.
To combat this, it’s best to implement a strict schedule, with a specific focus on the time that you intend to stop working for the day. This time may be later than it would be with a standard job, but it should be a definitive end point, a point at which you step away from the computer and focus on normal life. It is helpful if you turn off work notifications on your phone during your personal time, so there’s no risk of being dragged back into work when you should be taking a break.