Work-Life Balance Tips for Startup Founders


No one said founding and running a startup is easy. It is a very demanding job that comes with stress, anxiety, emptiness and other related issues associated with burning the candle at both ends.

startupThe subject of work-Life balance is a dicey one and one that needs to be handled with a kid’s gloves. There is no success without putting your nose to the grindstone.

But what use is success if it doesn’t allow you to lead a healthy, honest, happy, and meaningful life. You may be putting in a 100 hour week, but how effective could you possibly be when you are fighting the fatigue.

A catch-22 situation, a paradox, you will agree. The emotional offset of you channeling everything into work is there to stay. Michael Freeman, a psychiatrist studying entrepreneur’s personality traits at the University of California, San Francisco believes depression affects entrepreneurs more than the general public. And rightly so…

But how you evade this black hole is entirely in your hand. Burnout, stress, depression, all can be overcome. You need to take a step back, evaluate, make some trade, and strike some balance between your work and life, and this article intends to help you with just that.

I’m sure you are all familiar with Pareto’s 80/20 rule. The gist of the rule is:

  • You achieve 80% of the results from just 20% of the action. The imbalance of the inputs to the outputs.

It may not be in the exact same ratio, but you definitely do get to see this rule at play in various business scenarios. For instance:

  • 80% of the sales is generated by 20% of the sales force.
  • 80% of the profit is from 20% of the customers.

So now let’s apply the 80/20 rule to optimise your time, to get more time in your life. Instead of attempting the impossible, instead of trying to tackle all the tasks that come your way, try to clearly understand the most important goals of your business. Focus only on those vital tasks, and delegate, push back or ditch the rest.

Find out which 20% of your efforts delivers the 80% of your results and then stick to those.

Schedule – Everything needs to be scheduled.

“The key is not to prioritise what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey

Every one schedules time for work, but how many do the same for life. Schedule is not just for your meetings and calls. Schedule for everything you want to do. Do the same with life that you would with your workspace. Block time in your calendar for family and friends.

What is your idea of life? Is it a few hours a night with your loved ones? Or is it an hour for yourself for a good workout? Maybe an evening out with your friends just to catch up once a month?

Please keep in mind there is no one right answer to these questions about work life balance. Your idea of a good life may be one of the above or all of them put together. Just consider your top of the mind core values, and then factor the same into a recurring schedule in your calendar. Treat it the same way you would your appointment with a venture capitalist or a shark.

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