Balance scale, Balance, work life balance

The tech world provides remarkable opportunities to those willing to embrace its complexity, as we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

People fired or furloughed due to the tough conditions have turned their talents to the online world, finding ingenious ways to succeed and achieve remarkable career reinventions — but the intense pace of internet business takes its toll, and solopreneurs can risk burnout.

If you’re growing your brand as a tech entrepreneur and inching closer to your goals, you need to keep going, but you mustn’t do so in a way that threatens your long-term prospects. In short, you need to balance your professional life and your personal life, ensuring that you find enough free time to stay comfortable without taking your foot too far off the gas.

In this post, we’re going to offer some tips for how you manage this. Let’s get started.

Stick to a rigid schedule

Burning the candle at both ends can feel like the right thing to do when you’re just starting out and eager to prove yourself, and results can back that up: bursts of intense activity can really get your operation moving. But you can’t keep them up. If you don’t proceed with great caution, your working life can bleed over into your free time, leaving you working almost all the time.

To ensure that you don’t overwork yourself, you should lay out a strict schedule and stick to it. That means stopping work at your assigned time and getting away from your computer so you can get your mind off work. You only have so much creative energy, and you need inspiration from outside of work to refresh your ideas. Working 24/7 will quickly exhaust you.

Clearly delineate your finances

When you’re busy coding a website or trialing new software solutions, the last thing you might want to do is pore over profit margins, yet it’s absolutely vital that you do so. Running into negative cash flow can be enough to derail even a promising business. It’s all but impossible to run an effective online business without stacking up small payments: you need hosting, plugins, themes, task management tools, accountancy software, PPC ads, etc.

Now add in all the other payments you make for non-business purposes, and you’ll have a length list that can cause you no end of headaches if it gets too unruly. After all, work expenses must be viewed differently from a legal standpoint, and it would surely be exhausting to have to go through all your payments at the end of a month in an effort to sort them.

This is why you need to delineate your finances from the start. Accountancy software will surely help, but splitting your payment methods will be invaluable: every entrepreneur should apply for credit card cover as a matter of priority because they can get special business-account rates and they’ll need a dedicated account if/when they form a company. If you’re not sure how to approach splitting your finances, you can go online for help with a credit card application.

Outsource when appropriate

One of the reasons why becoming an entrepreneur is so exciting is that it takes the shackles off your potential. No longer do you need to answer to a boss and pursue only the ideas that get approved. You can do what you want to do and follow whatever path you prefer, however unorthodox it may be. This instinct to exert full control is powerful, but it can be corrupting.

The danger arises when you stay in control as your operation grows. One person can only handle so much work before they’re spread too thin, and trying to handle everything yourself will ensure that you start to run into problems. Outsourcing is the right way to go. You don’t need to hire any full-time employees — you can simply take advantage of online freelancers.

Make time for social activity

We mentioned sticking to a rigid schedule so you have a set amount of time to spend on non-work projects, but how should you use that time? You could relax by watching streaming media, playing games, or reading books. And those are certainly great ways to recover from hectic days of entrepreneurialism, but they’re missing the secret ingredient: social activity.

During the pandemic, many people have been highly isolated, and it’s left their personal lives unsatisfying. If you’re bored outside of work, you’ll end up being bored inside of work. Due to this, you must make time for social activities. Do whatever you can to spend time with friends, whether it’s online or offline. This will give you some much-needed contrast.

This isn’t easy, of course, as your friends may be busy when you’re free — but don’t just give up if you can’t find the right timing. If nothing else, you should consider meeting up with other entrepreneurs. That way you can share business advice in an informal atmosphere, giving you work inspiration but also allowing you to wind down.

About the author

Alistair Clarke is a copywriter who loves to delve into all matters technical and practical. When he’s not working on content, he’s dabbling in everything from design to development, or carefully nurturing his beard.

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