Say "NO." It's a complete sentence.
I think too many people use crazy work schedules as a badge-of-honor, as though it should be praised.
The two solutions I've found to reducing overwork so I can have time with my young family are:
1. Empty Desk Solutions: A good friend suggested the practice of thinking about how to solve any problem with only an empty desk and a phone. When you don't have a computer to suck your life away, you get creative and find others that are capable and eager to do what you need done. To me, that's the type of approach great entrepreneurs take.
2. Prioritize Like Crazy: Tim Ferriss suggested that lack of priorities (which leads to busy-ness) is a result of lazy thinking. By prioritizing the top 2 or 3 items to do each day (I do it the night before), I get more done in less time than if I just sit down to my desk and take whatever the world throws at me. 80/20 thinking ensues and you start cutting out all the non-essential items that don't move the needle, giving you more of your life back.
Helping determine priorities is one of the things my clients thank me for repeatedly, so hit me up if you would like help with that. Here's a link to schedule a free call: https://clarity.fm/joshualong/VIP
Being entrepreneurial is often an 'always on' state but it need not consume all of your thoughts and attention. Consider these solutons
1) Take micro-breaks that involve being mindful and 'in the moment' when you are with others. Carve out time, even 5, 10, 15 minutes while 'working' and do it frequently (every hour) and focus on other important tasks and people.
2) Practice better distribution your time, attention and energy as a way not to avoid your work but to enhance your ability to focus. Reading a report while on the treadmill can be efficient, reading the report while 'watching' your child's soccer time can be draining.
3) Create your own personal app that schedules an 'alarm' once an hour that says 'time out'. Control your own schedule by prioritizing what is important, and that includes you, your healthy, family and your business and bring a little more balance to your work/life.
Cut the crap first, then automate, then optimize, then delegate. And then say NO to everything new that isn't a HELL YES.
Sometimes when you start a company, working more hours may be a short-term fix. However, if you are really suited to be an entrepreneur you should be thinking "how can I work less and use leverages such as the internet, virtual assistants, and outsourcing to create massive synergies, more profits, and greater results. I wrote about this in my book "The Lazy Man's Work Week" and my other books in this series.
I shift the focus from balance to satisfaction. There are times when you have to pull off the crazy hours to do what needs to be done. Follow that up with a period of downtime and self-care, and you've got a pretty solid foundation. If however, you're working those hours every week, I'd suggest a good hard look at your values, as something's likely being compromised.
A good work/life balance with a start up can be difficult, but not impossible. But unfortunately it happens in corporate life as well. I believe it is about priorities and setting a schedule to ensure they are met. Too many distractions (emails are a big one) get in the way.
As a company grows the entrepreneur should become an expert at leveraging. They should leverage Time, Relationships etc.
Having a personal growth plan is something I would recommend in order to achieve this balance.
I would enjoy chatting more about this.
Find a way to make your contribution to your startup less about 'hours' and more about 'results.'
Make sure you're putting your time and energy into the highest value tasks, or the ones you truly enjoy the most. It will feel less like work.
Then, hire great people (pay them well) for the rest. Don't micromanage but set laser-focused goals and expectations, with checkpoints daily/weekly/monthly. Hold those people accountable. Fire fast if they don't keep up with the speed of your business.
Most importantly, don't start a company you don't love and don't try to solve a problem you're not truly passionate about.
It may sound a little 'mushy,' but I believe it's ok to use the word love in business. ;)
Organize yourself using methodologies. GTD (google it) is a nice start. Then follow the say NO trend everybody has mentioned.
Better question is do they consider it to be bad? Alor of entrepreneurs are always on and that involves being out at meals, functions, casual meetings etc. due to the mon traditional hrs of biz they can work hard play harder and squeeze way more in than corporate joe..,,ask around they probably love their life more