What balance to have on a daily basis? What place should be left for one’s family? To sports and leisure?

Posted on February 2nd, 2023

The biggest challenge in this context for many entrepreneurs is certainly to put private life and work on an equal footing. It is obvious that when launching a business, the entrepreneur must invest a lot of time in his project. But investing time in your work, if you don’t feel in harmony with your work and family life, will not lead to long-term physical and psychological well-being. Afterwards, the objective will be to organize your free time well so that you feel that you are also enjoying your life outside of work. In addition, technology is increasingly blurring the line between work and family life. The watchword will therefore be “discipline”. What times in my day and week are reserved for my family and what other times am I the business owner?

I made the decision a number of years ago, in addition to weekends and evenings, to reserve one afternoon a week for my children. It may be unusual for an entrepreneur, but it allowed me to spend some quality time with my children and to disconnect from work for a short while in order to resume the next day with recharged batteries. Everyone in the company knows they can reach me that afternoon if there is an emergency, but will avoid doing so if their request can wait until the next day.

This is the same principle for sports* or any other leisure activity. I remember a young entrepreneur, whom I had the opportunity to mentor, who once told me: “when I don’t work for my company, even on Sunday nights for example, I have a guilty conscience”. He actually never took time to do things for himself. I knew he liked to go to the movies, so I “charged him to go see a movie at the theater” before our next date. Which he did, and he told me afterwards that it felt really good.

Getting back to the sport, for me the hardest part was finding the time of day that worked best for me, without it taking up too much of my work time or family time. Some will have more energy in the evening, for others it will be lunchtime or in the morning. I tried these different possibilities and finally chose the early morning, before work. So, three to four times a week, I start my day with an hour of intensive sport and then arrive at the office around eight o’clock with my brain already well oxygenated. The bonus is that I realize I am significantly more productive on those days. Another mentor in our network (who will undoubtedly be recognized) once said at a conference that if we understand that sport is good for us, both physically and psychologically, then we should encode sport sessions in our agenda like any other appointment. After that, the excuse “I don’t have time to practice sports, I have a busy schedule” will no longer be accepted. If you have a meeting with your accountant at noon in your agenda, don’t you make another appointment at that time? Do we agree? Well, it’s the same thing for sports sessions. You write down your weekly sessions in your agenda, so you won’t make any other appointments at the same time. I took it to heart and it works very well.

It is now up to each of us to find “our” balance.

(* when I say sport I mean physical activity. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or a marathon runner to be able to claim to do a physical activity. For some it will be walking, and that’s fine).

CĂ©dric Jacques