By Aidar Vafin Ph.D., COO Arfen Inc, Co-founder Big Data Realty.
In this life, everything is a balance: between work, life, love and family. We can describe this as a work-life balance. All this can affect your quality of life, including the quality of achieving success in life, because when there is a bias in one direction, your balance wheel may not move in the same way or as fast as you’re used to, which can lead to a deterioration of quality in other areas. As you know, entrepreneurs, especially at the beginning of their career and professional path, work very hard—although this is their regular standard of living. They don’t spend much time at home with their families.
In my case, I spent plenty of time on business trips. As a result, the work-life balance became skewed toward work, and my personal life suffered. I devoted more and more time to work and less to my family and myself. I realized that at some point, such a rhythm of life might lead to family or health problems, which can negatively affect work, and then create a vicious circle. I’ve been trying to keep a better balance since then.
I used to spend six months a year on business trips for eight years. Accordingly, I could not see my family and spend time with them. At the same time, I worked nonstop for the first four to five years at the beginning of my entrepreneurial career. There was no time to do anything, either playing sports or meeting with friends, and I worked from morning to night. Because of this, a slight tension in the family was growing. I felt that my children were growing up without seeing their father, and I did not devote time to my health or hobbies. I was creating good conditions for my family’s life but was not living it with them.
According to my observations, the quality of life in your family can significantly affect the quality of your work. If you don’t have harmony at home, there may be difficulties at work. So, here’s what I recommend to entrepreneurs for an even balance of life and work:
1. Form a work schedule. Get away from working at all times; allocate a certain number of hours a day and do not work more than that. Reduce your work hours gradually to spend more time with your family—have dinner together, go somewhere you all enjoy. To do this, you need to change the nature of the work: Prioritize all tasks and calls for the day and week.
2. Take your family on work trips when you can. We started doing this, and as a result, business trips turned into mini trips combined with business goals. It ended up radically changing our way of life. On one hand, you’re getting work done, but your family is still with you and you can do other fun things while away from home.
3. Communicate more with your family and partner. Discuss your mutual goals and plans more to better understand the ultimate goal of your work activity in general and implement these plans.
Try to stick to these three tips as much as possible. This way, life works for you rather than you working for life. You can still get the buzz from the work you do and also have the opportunity to see the joyful eyes of the people you love more often.