Balancing Work and Pleasure
Since I’m trying to start my own business, I’ve been thinking a lot about the balance between work and pleasure.
There’s this trend going around of making your work your life. Work 18 a day, have little to no social life, and never really have your mind off the job. This is almost seen as a requirement for entrepreneurs. After all, you can’t start a business if you’re not willing to put everything into it.
I can’t do that. I love the people in my life too much to blow them off for my publishing company. Right now I’m working full time and trying to start this business on the side. I realize that I will have to make schedule adjustments. I will probably have to sleep less. I will miss out on things I would otherwise do. And I think that’s worth it. I just can’t miss out on everything.
I have a great work ethic, but I am not a workaholic. When I’m working, I give it my all. But when I’m not, I don’t want to be focused on work.
I don’t think this has to hinder my entrepreneurial goals. What I have to do in order to get this project off the ground is the following:
Develop a work schedule.
I’ve tried saying that I’m going to work a certain number of hours a week (but I didn’t specify when I would complete them). This resulted in me simply not reaching my hours goals.
Then I tried specifying certain tasks I wanted to complete. This was even worse, as I would schedule way too many other things to do (social, housework, etc.), and maybe only get one or two tasks done (out of an ever-growing to-do list).
I’ve decided the only way I’m going to be able to turn this into a paying job is to treat it like one. So I’m creating a work schedule. I’ll have shifts that I will be required to work, and if something that comes up and I cannot make them, I will have to make up the time within 24 hours.
Create a work environment.
If I’m going to be “going to work”, I’m going to have to act like I’m at work. My boyfriend and I are working on making one of our extra rooms into an office. I’m going to complete my twisted willow tasks in this room and follow certain “rules” that I’ve established.
In this way, I am segmenting my personality. As an entrepreneur and boss, I am setting rules and standards. As an employee, I have to live up to them. I will be a stricter boss on myself at first than I would probably be for other employees, and stricter than my day-job bosses are to me. I will not be allowed to have my cell phone in my office, and I will not be allowed to be on personal social media.
Each week I will create a goal list, as well as a “completed tasks” list. If I don’t reach a goal, I’ll need to justify what happened, whether the goal is still important, and if it is, how and when I will reach it in the future.
Keep my work ethic.
I say I have a strong work ethic, and on some levels, that is true. I always want to put my best foot forward and deliver the best results for my employers. When I work where there are customers, I strive to give them excellent service. I always want my work to be worth the money being paid for it.
But I can’t say that this is all for “ethics” reasons. I like to impress people. I want my bosses to appreciate and like me, and I want the rewards that come with excellent performance. I want to be worthy of higher pay, higher positions, and great recommendations. I want to be worthy of these things so that I can acquire them.
So when I don’t have a boss, that work ethic is a lot harder to come by. I then have to create accountability for myself. This comes partially from the previous mentioned strategy of implementing myself as both boss and employee. It also comes from being accountable to my clients. The authors I work with rely on me to excel so that all parties can succeed. I just need to figure out the best way to make my accountability a real thing and not just a vague concept.
So those are the strategies I am implementing in order to make my business strive and still maintain an acceptable work-life balance. I love editing and marketing and everything I will be doing with my publishing company, but I don’t want it to be my entire life.
If you run a business, how do you handle work-life balance? Is your company your whole life? Do you want it to be? Share your views and strategies below!