Why you need to find a work-play balance in life

Being or becoming an entrepreneur, in most cases, entails that you fulfill many (if not all roles) within your business which would normally be done by different staff members is an established company. This means that you spend a large amount of your time having to tend to all functions within your business and cannot at times get to things you enjoy in a personal capacity. As a result, many entrepreneurs spend most of their day attending to their business and become entangled in a spiral of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. They lose something I would like to refer to as the work-play balance.

What is work-play balance?

Work is important as every human appreciates the feeling of accomplishment, acknowledgement and financial success. During times of work we have higher levels of stress and strain on our minds and bodies than during times of rest, enjoyment and a more relaxed state. The latter is often found away from work, e.g. at home or during social interactions outside the workplace. Creating space in-between and after work to keep a balance from being strictly productive and focused to a state of regeneration of body and mind is highly important to keep a work-play balance in your life. Just like a car which will eventually run out of fuel if it does not get filled up along the way, we also need to “fuel up” up ourselves regularly to keep on functioning properly.

Why you need to find a work-play balance in life

“Play” does not always have to be away from work if you have really found something you really enjoy doing professionally. This ensures a lower level of stress and high levels of satisfaction. I think that is the ultimate goal for every one of us! Yet, this type of play at work also poses the danger of dragging our lives out of work-play balance since it is still “work”. We, as humans, are very complex and need different areas of stimulation to keep proper balance.

The importance of work-play balance

In our quest to reach business success we often neglect the “play” in our lives, which can have a negative effect on many areas. With a life out of balance or completely neglected areas due to only focusing on work, it is often found that entrepreneurs struggle with:

  • Neglected family interaction, which can many times lead to a feeling of guilt towards them or feeling a lack of support from them.
  • A high level of stress which can lead to a lack of sleep, weak business decisions and even stress-related health issues.
  • Regular occurrences of feeling overwhelmed, which is not healthy for your business.
  • Feelings of inadequacy since they feel that they cannot manage their lives or businesses properly.

How to achieve a better work-play balance

Why you need to find a work-play balance in life

The most important step towards a better work-play balance is to acknowledge that you have a problem and make effort to chance it.  Below are some steps you can apply to improve your work-play balance:

  • Create a dedicated space for work. As an entrepreneur, you will many times work from home. It is essential to have an area where you do your work, and can enter and exit. This assists with leaving your work behind when you are done for the day to go and relax.
  • Prioritise time for social interaction. Diarising times to meet with friends and family gives you something to look forward to! If we do not make space for this, work can easily keep us busy all the time. This can improve your inner peace.
  • Make time to be active. Mild exercise and activity is great for your physical and mental health. Better yet, spending time outside has been proven to increase the level of oxytocin, an endorphin which is great to combat depression and stress.
  • Plan your day. By knowing what needs to be done and checking things off that list during the day, the level of pressure and stress is significantly less than running blind and trying to finish a day at work without proper organisation.
  • Be true to your core beliefs. Doing things you are not comfortable with can be a significant source of stress and negatively affect your work-play balance.
  • Manage your clients. Be honest with your clients on how you run your business and if you cannot help them on a certain day. If you are the expert they trust, they will wait for you.
  • Work smarter – Learn to delegate. Many entrepreneurs try to do everything themselves to try and save costs. What they miss is that they can create more revenue by focusing on their strengths rather than wasting time on areas they are not so good at doing. In addition, less struggle means less stress, increased job satisfaction and more time to do things you enjoy!
  • Know that you do not have to suffer in silence. A great place to start is to spend time with family and friends who is your greatest support network. They might also have great insight and suggestions for your work challenges.

Conclusion

Why you need to find a work-play balance in life

If you feel the need to take a break from work or close to becoming overwhelmed, that is when your body tells you that things are out of balance. You should know yourself well enough to listen to your body. That way, you are sure when you are at work, you perform optimally and there is a good work-play balance in your life. If not, make time to reconsider your schedule. You can only have positive gains as a result.