Startup Rollercoaster Ride: 8 Lifehacks for Founders to Stay Sane

Let’s face it: reality could be very different from expectation.

Back then, when you decided to quit your 9-to-5 job and become a full-time entrepreneur, you might be thinking that being your own boss means you can set your own working hours and schedules to live up a more relaxed and flexible life. But as time goes by and your business expands rapidly, you find that your work-life balance is going downhill.

As the project deadline is approaching, you have to skip lunch and even miss out your favourite TV shows. Not only that, there are chances that you have to sacrifice the precious family-time or refuse your friends’ invitation to hang out because you have to work on the weekend.

What happens with the infamous motto: ‘work hard, play harder’?

Launching your own startup could be easy in the beginning, but to ensure that it will survive and thrive in today’s fierce business is another story. While being entrepreneur is an exciting experience, it can also be a stressful, energy-consuming journey. Be it arguments with your co-founder, failure of a project, difficult and troublesome clients, or even internal conflicts within the team, there always seems to be a problem seizing your mind and keeping you busy for times.

However, just like a roller coaster ride, there are always ups and downs in the startup life. There will be time when you can take it easy and enjoy the results of your hard work. For example, after a full week of being a zombie for sacrificing your sleep, finally you can successfully complete an important project with brilliant results.

Then the big question remains, how can you endure this kind of rollercoaster lifestyle and stay sane? Here’s how you can make it work:

  1. Focus on the important things

Being a startup founder requires you to devote every second and every ounce of energy to cultivate your newly-built business. While you need to take care of things from A to Z, you should focus on the important things and make priorities. To keep you in the right track, you can make a list of the things that need to be completed very morning and create a simple report about what you have achieved that day.

  1. Stay social

Try not to say ‘no’ when your friend ask you to have a drink after work, no matter how busy you are. Works are endless, and immersing yourself in this practice is unhealthy. You need to stay social and maintain active interaction with family, friends, and colleagues to remain sane. Getting together with your loved ones is a good way to refresh your mind and escape from stressful business matters for a moment.

  1. Have a pet

Various studies said that owning a pet could improve one’s quality of life. Taking care of pet such as dog or cat is not only a great way to take some time away from work, but also reduce your stress levels, improve your immunity, and even decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1. Practice healthy sleep

Overwhelming tasks, tight deadline, and packed schedules are enough reasons to keep you awake in the middle of the night. No wonder, you often show up at the office looking like a soulless zombie in the morning. Do not ignore the power of good sleep. It is crucial to focus on quality rather than the number of hours you sleep and practice healthy sleep.

  1. Limit caffeine intake

To keep them awake all the time, startup founders often rely on coffee or energy drinks. While this might sound like a practical solution for the time being, this habit will harm your body in the long-term. Studies have shown that drinking too much caffeine can damage your liver, raise your blood pressure, cause insomnia, and even lead to anxiety.

  1. Find a hobby

Spend some time to do something you enjoy outside work, such that your mind will not be occupied with everything related to business. You should try out new things and find a hobby that is different from your business. You can also schedule a ‘me time’ where you can treat yourself with something good.

  1. Do regular exercise

Allocating some of your time off to do simple but regular exercise such as talking a walk or biking is a good way to keep healthy while recharging your spirit.

  1. Unplug your device

The advancements of technology has enabled us to be connected with the world 24/7. Unfortunately, it comes with a risk of blurring the boundaries between our personal and professional life. Therefore, it is time to unplug your device and disengage from your business for a while, so you can recharge yourself.

Next read: Reinvent Your Startup: Unconventional Ways to Build a Successful Team