Every entrepreneur has his or her own reason for starting a business. One of the biggest motivators for self-employment is the promise of freedom and flexibility; you’ll have more time to spend with family and friends and prioritize the things you truly enjoy doing.

Everyone expects the life of an entrepreneur to be great. The self-employed always seem to boast about how much fun it is to be the boss, be able to schedule their own working hours, and finally, do the things on their bucket list.

But, as an entrepreneur, you might seem to be having the opposite experience.

Reality check: owning a business is a sizable time commitment, which might make you wonder if it was worth opening your own business or buying a franchise. While some entrepreneurs work less than the standard 9 – 5, most put in long hours, even if they’re not at the office. A recent survey revealed that 63% of business owners clock in 40 to 59 hours every week, even though only 43% are happy doing so. About one in five business owners devote 60 hours to work weeks, although only 1% want to do so.

As Tristan Smith, co-owner of F45 in Oxford Circus, puts it: “It gives you the flexibility to manage your business in the way you want. Don’t expect it to be easy, though. We’re grinding and working on our business 24-7!”

If you find yourself neglecting your social and family life and hobbies, keep on reading. Written in collaboration with F45 Training, here are some tips on how you can maintain a balance so you can make a success of your business without having to sacrifice yourself and your needs.

Manage your time more effectively


Work smarter, not harder. Learn how to properly manage your time and what to prioritize, right from the get-go. Plan your week ahead using organizational tools and be sure to stick to every appointment and obligation. Eliminate all distractions and avoid multitasking; research has shown that juggling several tasks at once can actually decrease your productivity.

Most important of all, when scheduling your week, dedicate some time—even an entire weekend—for your friends and social activities. You will see that, by learning time management skills and organizational techniques, it is much easier to make time for everything else in your life.

Hand over as much work as possible to others


Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. When you start out as a franchise owner, it’s likely that you will be wearing many hats—staff management, marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, etc. It’s a serious amount to do.

Of course, appointing someone in your team to take on everyday management and specialized tasks can help ease your workload. Identify someone who is best suited to handle these responsibilities. Not only will this help free up your time, but you will also be working on your staff improvement and development plans.

Streamline processes via automation


A good way to lessen the burden your business can place on you is by automating monotonous but time-consuming processes. For example, rather than spending your time and energy working to the required level of detail in your marketing efforts, you can invest in the right software that will do all the heavy lifting for you. Now you can better streamline and measure marketing tasks and processes, and free up employees who will be able to perform other important tasks in the business.

Separate your personal and professional life


Avoid crossing the line between work and play at all costs. This means making sure employees and business affiliations understand that you are not to be bothered during your camping trip over the weekend or family time in the evenings. Similarly, your family will know that they shouldn’t disturb you during working hours, unless it’s a crisis, of course. Setting these boundaries will ensure efficiency at the workplace and that the important people or things in your life are not pushed aside.

With the pressure of running a business and trying to keep a fulfilling social life, life can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Between working to make a success of your business and staying connected to your friends and family, it can seem impossible to please everyone without feeling burned out all the time. Keep these steps in mind, and you’ll easily find that perfect balance between work and lifestyle.