Launching a business can be daunting. From bringing the idea to conception to chasing investment and expansion, there are challenges at every corner. And that’s only your professional demands. Keeping all the plates in life spinning is something many women in leadership have to keep in check. How do you balance the priorities of personal life, such as family, friends and self-care with the demands of your business?
That’s why we asked three female entrepreneurs to share the simple everyday routines they follow that help keep their priorities in check and their lives in balance.
“Routines have never really worked for me”
To be completely honest, routines have never really worked for me. I’ve had more success in switching up my routines and being flexible in working on projects in different ways. Three constant things in my life right now that keep me sane are:
- Be Creative – I draw or paint every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small drawing or a big painting, the creativity and calmness this process gives me is energizing.
- Give your best self to your family – I try to have long mornings with my husband and then work late. This works well for us, so he doesn’t only get the tired version of me.
- Caffeine – I always start the day at the office with a cup of black coffee.
“A body in motion helps clear the mind to focus on the task at hand”
OWYN (Only What You Need), Co-Founder
- Move every day – A body in motion helps clear the mind to focus on the task at hand (even when not moving!)
- Make a To-Do List – I keep an ongoing to-do list that is categorized by different areas of the business. I check this constantly throughout the day, and delete items once complete (feels so good!)
- Maintain a clean inbox – I find it helpful to have a clean inbox. Once an email has been addressed, I move it to a folder where I know I can find it again later, if needed. This allows my inbox to only show the important items that have yet to be completed. A quick glance at my email inbox will provide a reminder as to what needs to get done.
“Sharing ideas with someone first thing in the morning is a great way to get your creative mindset turned on”
Kunik – CoFounder
Working for yourself after having corporate jobs is a big change. The lack of a structured schedule can be a real challenge. At first, I was determined to set and follow a strict routine, convinced that it was the only way to make entrepreneurship work. I soon realized that was futile – at a start-up, things happen at all hours, and you have to flex with that. That said, there are a few things that I try to keep consistent in my routine that I do think make a difference.
- Move – It might be boring, and it might be repetitive, but I believe it’s deeply important to move every day. I love group classes, but you have to find what works for you. Of course, there are days you miss for various reasons, but when it’s more than a few days in a row, I can feel it. We also take our dog for a family walk in the evenings – no phones allowed. It’s a great, short way to disconnect and get a little light movement in before bed.
- Listen – Starting a business with someone else is a really intense experience. You’re in each other’s heads – you have to be. You have to listen to each other, if you’re only focused on getting your ideas out, you’ll miss things. First thing every morning I read anything and everything my co-founder has sent overnight (he’s PST so sends a lot of stuff after I’ve signed off). The routine of sharing ideas with someone (even if written down) first thing in the morning is a great way to get your creative mindset turned on. I like to do that and dig into any big questions in the AM when I’m most energetic. Boring email replies I usually save for that afternoon slump.
- Read – I’m a big reader, I always have been. My parents definitely encouraged and pushed that when we were kids, and as a result, all of their kids are big readers. I read every night and usually 2 books at once. I love business books, but I think it’s important to engage your mind in other ways too, so if I’m reading a business book I’ll always read a novel at the same time.