Work-Life Balance for the Entrepreneur

A healthy work-life balance isn't just about self-care; it's a strategic advantage that can propel your business to new heights.

Female entrepreneur working at home and tending to her baby while on a video call.
Author By the Roll Editorial Team on June 17, 2024
Reading Time 3 min read

Work-life balance isn’t just a buzzword; it’s essential for the well-being and sustainability of solopreneurs and small business owners. The lines between professional and personal lives often blur when you’re running your show. However, finding equilibrium is crucial for preventing burnout, maintaining productivity, and enjoying a fulfilling life. At Roll by ADP, we understand this struggle, and we’re here to empower you to achieve a fulfilling work-life balance that fuels both your personal well-being and your business success. 

The importance of work-life balance: by the numbers 

In the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years, and a significant contributing factor is burnout due to the lack of work-life balance. Moreover, a Gallup study found that 70% of small business owners reported feeling stressed daily. This constant stress can cloud judgment and lead to poor decision-making. By prioritizing downtime and relaxation, you can reduce stress, gain mental clarity, and make choices that benefit your business. 

Boost productivity & profits 

Overworked and stressed entrepreneurs are less productive. Research from Stanford University shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. By valuing your time and creating a sustainable work schedule, you’ll increase focus, energy, and efficiency, ultimately leading to higher profits. 

Attract & retain top talent (even if you don’t have employees yet)

In today’s competitive market, your business reputation as an employer matter, even if you’re currently a solopreneur. Demonstrating a commitment to work-life balance from the start sets a positive precedent for future growth. When the time comes to expand your team, you’ll be more appealing to talent who value a healthy work environment. 

Enhance innovation & creativity

A well-rested and balanced entrepreneur is a more creative entrepreneur. By taking time for activities outside of work, you’ll return to your business with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that can drive growth and success.

20+ Real-World Tips for Work-Life Harmony 

Establish a “No work zone.”

Designate a physical space in your home that is strictly off-limits for work. This could be your bedroom, living room, or even a specific share. In this space, resist the urge to check emails or answer work calls. This will help you create a mental separation between work and personal time. 

Schedule personal time 

Block off time in your calendar for activities you enjoy, like spending time with family and friends, pursuing your hobbies, or simply relaxing. Treat these appointments as seriously as you would a business meeting. 

Outsource strategically

Identify tasks that are not your core competencies and outsource them to experts. This could include payroll, social media management, web design, and content creation. Outsourcing frees up your time and energy to focus on what you do best. 

Set technology boundaries

Establish clear rules for technology use. Turn off notifications outside work hours, set specific times for checking email, and avoid using electronic devices before bed.   

Cultivate Mindfulness

Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation or yoga to reduce stress and improve focus. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to make more intentional choices about how you spend your time. 

Invest in physical health

Make time for regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep. Taking care of your physical health will improve your energy levels, focus, and overall well-being.

Connect with nature

Spend time outdoors in nature whenever possible. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can reduce stress, improve mood, and boost creativity.

Learn to delegate (even if you don’t have employees)

If you’re a solopreneur, delegating might seem impossible, but it’s not. Consider using automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks or partnering with other entrepreneurs to share workloads. 

Theme your days

Assign specific themes to each day of the week. For example, Monday could be for client meetings, Tuesday for product development, Wednesday for marketing, and so on. This helps you focus on specific areas of your business and avoid feeling overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once.

Set a “worry time”

Designate a specific time to worry instead of letting worries distract you throughout the day. This can help categorize your concerns and avoid letting them consume your thoughts. 

Learn to say “good enough”

Don’t strive for perfection in everything you do. Sometimes, “good enough” is enough. Learn to let go of the need for perfection, and you’ll free up valuable time and energy.

Prioritize sleep

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function, decision-making, and overall well-being. Consider creating a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down and prepare for restful sleep.

Treat yourself 

Reward yourself for your hard work. Whether it’s a massage, a nice dinner, or a weekend getaway, taking time to indulge in something you enjoy can help you stay motivated and avoid burnout. 

Learn to say no

Don’t be afraid to decline opportunities that don’t serve your goals or that would compromise your work-life balance. Your time is valuable, so use it wisely. 

Set realistic goals 

Don’t overcommit yourself. Set achievable goals that align with your values and priorities. Remember, it’s better to under promise and overdeliver than to burn yourself out trying to do too much. 

Celebrate small wins

Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter how small. This will help you stay motivated and appreciate your progress.

Network with other entrepreneurs

Connect with other small business owners to share ideas, advice, and support. This can help you feel less isolated and provide valuable insights into how to scale your business.

Harness the power of habit stacking

Pair a work task with a personal one. For example, listening to an inspiring podcast while you answer emails or brainstorm business ideas while walking your dog. This integrates work into your life more seamlessly, making it feel less intrusive.

Invest in experiences, not just things

Studies have shown that spending money on experiences, like travel or concerts, leads to greater long-term happiness than spending money on material possessions. Treat yourself to experiences that enrich your life and provide lasting memories. 

Take Advantage of “brain breaks”

When you feel stuck or unfocused, take a short break to do something completely unrelated to work. This could be as simple as listening to music, doodling, or doing a quick meditation.

Practice gratitude 

Consider starting a gratitude journal and write down a few things you’re thankful for daily. This simple practice can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a sense of well-being. 

Learn to say “help”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether delegating tasks, hiring a consultant, or seeking support from a mentor, asking for help can alleviate stress and allow you to focus on your strengths. 


Remember, work-life balance isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s about finding what works for you and your business. By experimenting with different strategies and making conscious choices about spending your time, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle that allows you to thrive personally and professionally. So, take a deep breath, set boundaries, and prioritize your well-being today. Your business (and your sanity) will thank you.

Business Basics • Small Business
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