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4 Ways to Manage Work-Life Balance In an Early-Stage Startup

Paul Matthews April 11, 2019

Around 80 percent of startup businesses fail within two years, which is why it’s so crucial to have a solid business plan and a keen work ethic. As a business owner, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance in the early days of your startup, as you want to do everything possible to ensure success. You’ll often have to change your daily roles in order to get everything done. And can be difficult to find time for yourself, as you are “always on the job.”

Employees are the lifeblood of any business, but even more so for a startup. In order to drive success, it’s important for employees and founders to be able to think clearly and creatively. If people are overworked, they are less likely to be motivated. As an employer, it’s important to keep your teams motivated and happy in order for your business to reach its true potential. Here are some of the best tips to ensure that a happy work-life equilibrium is maintained across your startup, even in the stressful early stage.

1. Cap overtime

Unpaid overtime is unavoidable in a startup business. Deadlines need to be met, and there’s a lot of groundwork to be laid for the future. It’s easy to fall into the habit of expecting your employees to work overtime, but remember that it’s equally as crucial to have time off to relax and recover. If somebody is consistently working unpaid overtime and burning the candle at both ends, they will eventually become less motivated and willing to work.

To maintain momentum, cap the amount of overtime your employees can work each month. It’s also great to incentivize overtime by offering additional pay, so that employees stay motivated and happy.

2. Make time for yourself

Whether you’re the founder of the company or a startup employee, it’s important to make time for yourself outside of work. Take the time to do something that relaxes and revitalizes you, so that you don’t feel as though you are living just to work. Getting into the right mindset makes the difference between success and failure. If you come into work with a negative mindset, the work you do will all be affected by this.

3. Listen to your colleagues

Listening to your colleagues can spark new ideas and give you a better insight into the shortcomings in your business. During the early stages of a business, organization is often a recurring issue as everyone is still figuring things out. Individual reviews and employee meetings help make sure everyone is on the same page. If you take the time to listen, the whole team will feel valued and encouraged to keep striving for more.

4. Work on time management

Time management and organization work hand in hand, and it can often be months before a startup business has determined the best possible work strategy. Entrepreneurs often struggle to manage their time effectively, and it can feel as though there are not enough hours in the day.

The most effective time management strategy that any business owner can follow is to keep a detailed daily, weekly, and monthly checklist to ensure that everything is done. Split your day into hour intervals, and create a list so that all of your priority tasks are completed first. This will help you to organize your day but, more importantly, your thoughts.

Social Entrepreneurship / Stakeholder Capitalism
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