How to Keep that Divide Between Your Business and Personal Life

by / ⠀Career Advice / March 23, 2023
How to Keep that Divide Between Your Business and Personal Life

The beginner entrepreneur wants nothing more than to dive in. They find the prospect of starting their own business so exciting that they give themselves wholeheartedly to it. While any entrepreneur would get top marks for enthusiasm, this begins to wane the more the business progresses. And when it becomes too late, the lines blur between business and personal life. It is a constant debate because entrepreneurs stay up late to make sure that things are ticking over, but they have that visceral need that goes beyond sleep and health. This is why it’s critical to keep that divide between business and personal life separate. Here are some practical and personal approaches.

Establishing Professional Boundaries

Professional boundaries will be different from your personal ones. A great example is checking your emails late at night. If you have easy access to your emails on your phone, this will immediately result in the boundaries being crossed. You must establish those professional boundaries by keeping your professional and personal accounts separate.

When we start out we feel that we need constant contact with customers or clients. It may not be feasible to purchase an extra work phone, but this is where services like Your Business Number can help, where you get a new WhatsApp business number on your current mobile device. It’s also essential to list your business duties and look at where they infringe on your personal life. Checking emails is a very good example, but what else is there in your life that can stop you from actually living life outside of a work environment? This could be answering calls, but it could also be about when you are thinking about work as well.

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If you spend more time worrying about something over the weekend, you can either go do that thing so it’s eaten into your personal life or you can come up with better methods to ensure those boundaries stay in place. These can be out-of-office emails that state, in no uncertain terms, when you will return.

Using a Structure

A structure is undoubtedly key, not just to running an effective business, but to run an effective life. One of the toughest things about getting the balance right is when you don’t have a running order.

It’s more difficult to stick to a strict 9 to 5 when customer orders come in during the evenings and you’ve made a promise of a quick turnaround. But what you can do is not just have one structure, but a number of different frameworks that you can stick to, depending on your circumstances that day. A very good example for working parents is to structure their work around their children, whether it’s nap times, school pickups and drop-offs, etc. If you can find a structure that suits you based on your duties on any given day, you have greater control over your work-life balance.

The key is about understanding the complexity of the task in relation to the times of day you work best. So if you are a morning person you will be more productive up until midday. You could use the afternoon to do easy tasks, which can help you towards the end of the day. When you start to structure your working day you will be able to see how you can work more effectively. Efficiency is one of those things that we get better at the longer we do it, but it all begins with having a structure.

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Practice Not Worrying

Many entrepreneurs can’t wait to dive onto a computer in the morning to see what treasures await them. That enthusiasm is commendable, but those entrepreneurs at the very beginning of their journey can have a fear of missing out when they step away. This is when having those temptations to check emails late at night can become overwhelming or if someone has given you the order to relax and unwind, only for you to think of nothing of getting your laptop out just for “a few minutes,” you need to have faith that the infrastructure you put in place will deliver.

If you haven’t, it is time to consider the out-of-office email and automation tools but also learn how to calm your mind. That notion of separation is critical for our mental health. Many entrepreneurs experience burnout because they give so much of themselves to their business, thinking this is the only way for it to thrive. In many ways, this is true, but we also need to prioritize our mental health at the very outset.

Learning those tools like meditation and visualization will ensure that we, over time, start to break those unhealthy habits. It’s almost like an addiction because you feel that Pavlovian response to check your emails as soon as you look at your phone. If you start to practice not worrying about what will happen and focusing on the things you can control in the here and now, over time, will result in a healthier relationship with your business.

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Recognizing What Will Help You Run Your Business Better

If we feel like there is no choice but to check emails late at night or put in a 12-hour day, it’s not to do with the fact that we aren’t doing enough but it’s that we haven’t put the stops in place to make sure we can do our job better. Numerous Adobe tools are the tip of the iceberg to ensuring that you can run a business smartly but you can also look beyond tools and consider extra support where necessary.

You may not be able to hire somebody just yet but if you are working by yourself, you could adopt the 4-hour workweek method and outsource the cumbersome admin to others via freelance websites.


Ensuring that you can keep that divide between your business and your personal life may seem too complex to deal with at the outset, but having an understanding of where your boundaries lie will not just make sure you know when to step away from the laptop, but it can keep you feeling fresher so you can run a better business.

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