Starting Up While Still in School? 5 Tips for Staying Sane

Student entrepreneur Nina Foroutan on how to get everything done while still enjoying the ride.

learn more about Nina Foroutan

By Nina Foroutan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With only so many hours in a day, finding balance in your startup and school life may seem impossible.

As an MBA student trying to get a startup off the ground, there's always so much to be done and it often feels totally overwhelming. I finally hit my breaking point during finals week. I was exhausted and felt like a hamster on a wheel, running but never getting any reward. That's when I sat down and really thought about what I needed to do to find balance and truly enjoy the entrepreneurial process.

Here are five tips for staying sane while balancing school and startup life.

1. Make time to meditate. Meditation is an incredible way to relieve stress and find your center. It doesn't have to be long, 20 minutes is usually plenty of time. I find that meditating first thing in the morning gets me refreshed and ready for the day.

2. Get physical. I started boxing about six months ago and find that going two to three times a week really helps me let go of any tension I'm holding in. I leave my phone at home and have one hour of time dedicated to my mind and body. Choose an activity you enjoy, something that excites you. It's also a good way to expand your network and stay social.

3. Let the ball drop once in a while. Entrepreneurs are typically overachievers. We are perfectionists who want our hands in everything. This is the mark of success, but also can be a source of imbalance. It's okay if you skip the 6 a.m. conference call to go over legal documents, let the other party know you need an extra week. Find ways to juggle obligations on your time. It will make you feel more in control, and thus less stressed. And don't worry -- the world won't end.

4. Communicate with loved ones. If your family and friends feel neglected, explain exactly what you are going through. If you can, take them along with you for a day so they can see how much you do. Let your partner know that you're missing them as much as they're missing you and plan a date night for just the two of you. It might be a good idea to host a dinner once a month at your place and invite your closest friends. It doesn't take a lot to show you care.

5. Sleep. At the end of the day there is nothing more helpful than a good night's sleep. I usually get five hours a night but try to fit in an eight-hour night of sleep at least once a week. Be selfish with your rest, you have enough time to make it happen if you really want to.

What are your tips for keeping everything in balance? Share them in the comments section below.

**Apply Now** Are you an enthusiastic college- or graduate-student entrepreneur, eager to share your on-campus experiences? Apply to be a College Treps columnist.

Nina Foroutan
Nina Foroutan is currently pursuing her MBA at Babson College focusing on entrepreneurship, while building her Youthful Chef brand, an innovative health food company that will be served at Babson dining halls in Fall 2012. For her undergraduate education she attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated with a dual degree in journalism and international studies. She has worked as the assignment desk editor for the evening news programs and WHDH Channel 7 in Boston and WCVB Channel 5 News in Needham, Mass. Follow her on Twitter.

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