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Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

By Chris Pentilla - Entrepreneur MagazineFebruary 1st 2006

"It's very easy to let work consume you," says Bo Short, president of the American Leadership Foundation, a Charlottesville, Virginia, nonprofit organization that offers leadership conferences and seminars. "But if you do, will it eat you alive?" Here are five ways to create a more balanced life:


1. Decide what to outsource. You don't need to have your hand in every single pie anymore; let someone else carry part of the load. Outsourcing a few tasks gives you time to focus on something else--even if it's a round of golf now and then. Plus, "You're the customer, and they'll treat you better," Short says. Learn to delegate to employees, too.


2. Create boundaries. Set aside 10 minutes after lunch to make and return personal calls. Set a time for leaving the office every day, no matter how busy you are. And spend at least two hours doing something fun before you burn some late-night oil. Your family will thank you.


3. Shorten your to-do list. "A to-do list is nothing but a wish list," says Barry Izsak, an Austin, Texas professional organizing expert that helps companies and individuals get organized. A long to-do list leaves less time to focus on revenue-generating ideas. Instead, focus on the top three urgent tasks for the day. The rest can wait.


4. Love your inner Luddite. Entrepreneurs who become slaves to gadgets "are running reactive businesses and being reactive with their time," Izsak says. Try working unplugged--this means no internet connection and absolutely no phone calls--for one hour every morning. It will give you a sense of accomplishment that lasts all day.


5. Don't do e-mail for the first hour or two every morning and focus on your most important tasks instead, says Izsak. You will be amazed how much more you get accomplished and the world will wait for you.

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