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Your Business Will Always Require Most of Your Attention — But You Need to Make Time for Yourself, Too. Here's How. Armed with these ideas and tactics, you can return to your work refreshed and motivated to tackle even the most complex problems.

By Lesley Pyle

Key Takeaways

  • Schedule time for yourself.
  • Add movement to your day.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Participate in prayer and/or meditation.
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As an entrepreneur, your days are jam-packed with meetings, emails, tasks and more. However, one thing your day might be missing is some time for yourself, also known as the ever-elusive "work-life balance." I get it — your business is your baby! You nurture it, care for it and are there for it 24/7, but are you there for yourself, too?

Working all the time can lead to burnout and loss of motivation. And, as any seasoned entrepreneur can tell you, your business will always require most of your attention. This is why it is incredibly important to block out time for yourself to do something you enjoy to relax. This will look different for everyone, but here are a few ideas to help you avoid burnout and unlock your entrepreneurial potential.

1. Schedule time for yourself

Block out time on your calendar. That's right, add a chunk of time to your calendar where no one can schedule meetings with you. In fact, block out two separate times on your calendar. One chunk of time should be for you to do something you enjoy. This might look like lunch with friends, reading a book or even going for a nature walk so that you can disconnect for a short time.

The other chunk of time should be set aside for your productivity. This is when you do not have meetings, accept phone calls or acknowledge emails that came in during this time. Instead, you sit down and focus without interruption on your to-do list. Make it through the emails that came in earlier in the week, wrap up a project or two or whatever has been hanging over your head causing you stress. While you do not need a productivity block every day (although I recommend it), you do need to add time to unwind and relax to your everyday life. Prioritize some time for you so that your business can continue to grow and you remain healthy mentally and physically along the way.

Related: 3 Insights From the First Large-Scale Study on Burnout and Entrepreneurs

2. Add movement to your day

Managing your stress sounds easy enough, but as we all know it is far easier said than done. While most people will tell you to just remove whatever is causing stress from your life, we know as entrepreneurs that is not likely to happen which means you have to figure out ways to manage your stress — and the number one way to do this is to add movement to your routine.

Sitting at your desk all day is not only hard on your body, but it is bad for your stress levels, too. Stress needs to go somewhere, and if you do not have an outlet, it will stay in your body. That is why you should add physical activity to your daily routine. Be sure to include a variety of things such as cardio, stretching or weight training. Cardio does not have to be something with crazy high intensity, just going for a short walk or two can make a huge difference. Stretching can be as simple as stepping away from your desk to stretch a bit before returning to work.

3. Practice mindfulness

Do you have goals set for your company? How close are you to achieving those goals? Where is your company going this year, or the next, or the next? Do thoughts like these constantly swirl around your mind and add to your stress? Define the direction of your company and protect your mental health by practicing mindfulness.

Step one here is to get all your thoughts out of your head and organized. This might be the old-fashioned way through paper and pen, or you might prefer to use something like your notes app on your phone. Whatever it is, get your thoughts down and work on organizing them. Not only will this help calm your mind, but it also helps define where your company is going while providing accountability so that you can see the progress you are making toward accomplishing your goals.

Step two is to work on relaxing your mind. During your scheduled time for yourself, you might choose to do cardio exercises which is great for the tension you hold in your body, but it does not always help with the tension you hold in your mind. This is where meditation practices can come in handy. Find a quiet, relaxing space. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and let your mind wander. Acknowledge thoughts as they appear, but do not try to hold onto them. Slowly breathe in and out, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. It can help to count for a certain number of seconds while breathing in and then exhale for that same amount of time. This can help settle and clear your mind so you return to work more focused than before.

Related: Worried That You Don't Have Time for Self-Care? Here's How to Fit It Into Any Schedule

4. Practice prayer and/or meditation

The best way I've found for me to de-stress and get re-energized is to spend quiet time in prayer. I've also found meditating on the truth in God's word to be instrumental for me in my business, but of course, everyone holds different beliefs. I gain wisdom and clarity when I turn to God and try to unclog some of the mental stress of running a business. I also find great peace and tranquility in spending time in prayer — but you have to find what works for you.

Armed with these ideas and tactics, you can return to your work refreshed and motivated to tackle even the most complex problems. Stepping away from your business is an integral part of maintaining your drive for your company and avoiding burnout. Include the aforementioned tactics into your daily routine and truly unlock your utmost potential as an entrepreneur who lives a healthy, balanced life!

Lesley Pyle

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder & CEO of HireMyMom.com

Lesley Pyle began her work-at-home career in 1996 with the launch of her first website "Home-Based Working Moms." She has continued her passion of helping moms and small businesses for over 25 years now. Pyle was named one of “50 Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Us” by Self-Made magazine.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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