Building a business can be tough. On one hand, you know you have to work hard at what you do in order to create success; on the other hand, you can’t run yourself ragged or alienate your home life and wellness.
Where’s the balance between the “hustle” and self-care?
If you let the media tell it, you have to be in a constant state of “doing” (or what I like to call the cycle of unnecessary busyness) if you ever want to be successful at anything. “Stop being lazy. You can’t watch TV,” they say. “Do more; you’re not doing enough,” they proclaim. “Don’t hang out with friends. Don’t sleep until it’s done,” they tell you.
Now, I’ve been caught thinking all three of the above. When I found myself watching one of my favorite shows, I felt guilty and thought I should be doing something to move my business along. If I didn’t feel like getting out of bed on a Saturday morning, I’d feel lazy, knowing there was something on my to-do list I could be handling. It’s a given that we have to work hard. Ask any successful person you know right now, in this day and age, and they’ll tell you that’s what it takes. They will even tell you that there were times they probably didn’t get enough sleep or forgot to eat or felt they’d neglected their family.
But those will probably be the same people who tell you that the keys to getting things done are first-rate time management skills, some type of balance between work and play, support from others, and a little self-compassion.
To Hustle or Not to Hustle
One of my favorite online personalities is Gary Vaynerchuk because he knows what it means to achieve goals with gumption. As a matter of fact, he has a video describing how “hustle” is the most important word…ever. While I don’t disagree (again, hard work is inevitable), I don’t think we should neglect our self-care while doing it. My mindset is this: If I work so hard and hustle every moment of the day, what will I look like when it’s all said and done? Will I feel successful and happy? Or will I be burnt out and stressed?
Here are three strategies I use to find the right stroke of balance between hustling and self-care.
1. Focused Intention
It’s not the amount of time you spend that matters, but the quality of time spent. For instance, just because you worked from nine to six today doesn’t mean you really got anything done. Maybe you got caught up on Facebook, checked email ten times, got distracted by notifications on your phone, etc. On the flip side, if you spent your time free of distractions (closed browser tabs you didn’t need and silenced your phone) and focused on one task to complete at a time, you’d probably only have to work nine to two. See the difference? Now you have more time to yourself and other obligations!
2. Find Your Flow
Once you can identify your work rhythm and flow based on your lifestyle and obligations, you’ll feel that much better. Why? Because even though there are hundreds of articles explaining how to run a business successfully, they are not tailor-made for you as an individual. Are you an early riser or a night owl? Do you have to work outside the hours of your day job? Can you only work your business on Tuesdays and Thursdays? These are questions to ask to figure out a flow that works for you.
This tip is especially for those who feel like every moment of the day should be spent doing something regarding your business. Self-compassion is giving ourselves the same kindness we’d give to a friend instead of constantly judging and criticizing ourselves for every little thing that doesn’t go as planned. You already know you’re going to come up against obstacles, mistakes, frustrations, etc. so self-compassion is key. Tip: Keep a self-compassion journal to help keep negative self-talk at bay.
I won’t lie to you; it can be tough at first to find your balance between work and self-care but it will be totally worth your time and effort to do so. How do you find balance? What strategies have you employed? Lastly, do you find that you often neglect your self-care while building your business?
Take this quiz to see if there are any gaps in your self-care routine. After all, what would a successful business be without a healthy you!