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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Self Discipline & Motivation

I've previously written about the various things I do to cope with the challenges of being an entrepreneur. For this week's Startup Edition, I want to dive a little deeper into how finding a good work+life balance has helped me with that.

Balance is whatever works for you at any given time. There's no silver bullet. Balance can rarely be defined numerically with 50/50 or 80/20 ratios.

Using the mantra that happiness is success, I posit that balance is the feeling that my life is in sync.

What I've realized over the last couple of months is that finding balance between my work and the rest of my life requires a certain amount of planning, having a daily routine and self-discipline.

But self-discipline is incredibly hard to stick to in itself. The key I've found is the underlying motivation. So it basically comes down to being motivated enough to actually do something, which in turn makes self-discipline much easier.

For me, a large part of motivation comes from fatherhood.

I want to be an incredible dad to my son and husband to my wife. That is the driving force in my pursuit to find work+life balance. That is what motivates me to be self-disciplined.

In answering this week's Startup Edition question, "How do you deal with stress and life balance as an entrepreneur?", I'd like to offer you a few pointers:

  1. Define what balance and success means to you. Without being clear and honest to yourself in what you are trying to achieve, you won't have something to measure yourself by.

  2. Figure out the underlying motivation to find balance & success. It doesn't matter what that is; it just needs to be something that matters deeply to you.

  3. Implement things in your daily routine to break up your work life from your home life. The best thing I've done is to go for a quick run after work. It separates work from home and also gives me time to clear my head. Other things I've tried in the past is to remove e-mail from my iPhone or avoid using any connected device in the evenings.

Ultimately I hope that we - as entrepreneurs - can eventually rid ourselves of this continuous struggle of work versus life. I think getting to a point where the two are integrated and liquid (instead of work & life being opposite trade-offs) is the true solution.

In the meantime though, self-discipline and motivation has put my life in greater sync.

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