Boss Lady

Work life balance for women: tips for entrepreneurs and careerists


This guide outlines several strategies to acheive work life balance for women entrepreneurs and career women.

Maintaining a healthy work life balance for women is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business or climbing the career ladder. Entrepreneurs and careerists are usually hard-working and ambitious by nature, and this often makes it even more difficult to strike the right balance.

Surveys suggest that 30% of small business owners work more than 50 hours per week and nearly 80% admit to working more than they should. It’s not easy to juggle multiple balls, but there are ways to tip the scale. In this guide, we’ll share some forward-thinking strategies for work life balance for women. 

Tips for work life balance for women

Establish a routine

Most employees have a routine. They set an alarm for the same time every morning, get up, wash, eat, get dressed, commute to work and log on. They work for a set period, log off and then travel home. This makes it easier — although never easy! — to achieve work life balance for women in those roles.

For business owners and committed careerists, daily routines are usually less stringent, and many people will end up working longer hours with fewer breaks and less downtime in the evenings and on weekends.

If you don’t have to be at your desk between specific times, and you’re not paid for contracted hours, there’s less emphasis on core working hours. Often, this means that entrepreneurs start earlier and finish later, work on the go and spend their free time with one eye on a laptop or a smartphone. 

Having a routine is one of the most effective ways to manage your time  to achieve work life balance for women, and it can also increase productivity and efficiency. If you tend to work around the clock, or you never really switch off, it’s beneficial to adopt a regime, which facilitates rest, recovery and time to enjoy life away from the office.

Helpful starting points include laying out core hours, limiting the times when you read and respond to emails or take calls and scheduling breaks and downtime with the same level of commitment as you do meetings and business events. 

Another key element to include for work life balance for women is time off. Most people look forward to having a break whether it’s a weekend away or a three-week vacation.

Stepping away, winding down, recharging the batteries and enjoying new places and experiences is not just about taking time out and downing tools. It’s also about nourishing mental health and well-being. Coming back to the office, desk or boardroom with fresh energy and a positive mindset can have an incredibly positive impact on performance. 

Draw clear lines between work and leisure time

One of the main reasons why it’s so difficult for entrepreneurs to manage work life balance for women is blurred lines. Most company bosses don’t have set working hours, and thanks to technology, we are connected to phones, computers and mobile devices most of the time.

Even if you have good intentions and you shut your laptop down at 6 pm on a Friday, you may be tempted to answer the phone or reply to a work email when your phone starts flashing at 9 pm. People take their phones on vacation with them and it’s impossible to take a flight, train journey or coach ride without seeing passengers tapping away on a keyboard or calling into a meeting on the go. 

Drawing clear lines between work and leisure time is essential for a healthy work-life balance. There are lots of ways to do this including setting up a dedicated work email address, using services like YourBusinessNumber to get a company WhatsApp number, using different phones for work and socializing and setting yourself working hours.

Answering calls at midnight and emailing clients during the day every day on a vacation are not conducive to rest and relaxation, let alone work life balance for women. Set your hours, communicate clearly with employees, colleagues and clients and let people know if you’re taking leave or you’re finishing early one day. A quick and simple voicemail, internal email or out-of-office response will suffice. 

Say no

There are people in this world who have no problem saying no to others, but for most, it’s an action that doesn’t come naturally. We struggle to turn down invitations or jobs even if we don’t have the time or resources to take on more work or the inclination to attend an event.

Saying yes is the default response most of the time. If this scenario sounds familiar, learning to say no is an incredibly valuable lesson and a tool for work life balance for women. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge that there are only 24 hours in a day, remember that it’s impossible to be in two places at once and understand that there’s no harm in missing a non-essential meeting or a networking event somebody else could attend on your behalf. 

Saying no is important because it prevents us from filling every minute of every day and it helps us to prioritize what matters most. There will be meetings, events and other commitments that you can’t miss as a company owner, but there will also be things that you need to do outside of work.

This may include spending time with your family, being there to celebrate milestone achievements or special occasions, or simply taking time to unwind and rest when life gets overwhelming or you’re sick. It may seem unnatural at first, but you will soon adapt to making decisions where no is an option as well as yes and it will become much easier. 


Delegating is a skill that is not always easy to master. Many entrepreneurs are programmed to take on more work than they need to and they find it difficult to pass jobs on or ask others to take care of them. Delegating can be beneficial for entrepreneurs to manage work life balance for women, but also for their teams and the business as a whole.

Business owners can free up time by delegating, employees can gain confidence, hone their skills and develop better leadership capabilities and the business can benefit from improved efficiency. In many cases, delegating can also ensure that projects and tasks end up in capable hands. Entrepreneurs are often multitalented, but nobody is superhuman. If you don’t have expertise in accounting or digital marketing, for example, it makes sense to let people who do have the relevant skills and experience handle these jobs. 

Another important benefit of delegating is building trust and cohesion within a team. Giving employees more responsibility can help them to develop and thrive and it also shows them that the boss has confidence in them. This is good for employee morale, which has a positive knock-on effect on productivity, mental health and staff retention levels. 

Take control of your spare time

Most company owners are proficient in scheduling when it comes to organizing meetings, planning business trips and attending events. The trouble is that they don’t apply the same rules to their spare time.

Gaps in the diary become few and far between because they get filled with other work commitments. A lack of balance can undermine work life balance for women and increase the risk of burnout and stress. A recent survey showed that almost half of small business owners in the US have experienced burnout in the last 12 months. Taking control of your diary and managing your spare time is a means of lowering the risk of stress and exhaustion and making time for activities that have a positive impact on your health and well-being. 

When managing your diary, devote as much time and energy to planning your free time as you do to arranging work events, calls or conferences. If you enjoy walking, cycling or doing yoga, for example, block out times to go to classes, take a hike or get your bike out.

If you want to spend more time with your friends and family, keep one evening a week free for social events or make sure you have work-free weekends at least twice a month. Be proactive in keeping in touch with your loved ones and get some dates sorted to give yourself something to look forward to. 

Don’t underestimate the power of self-care

Entrepreneurs tend to prioritize work and other commitments over their health and well-being, let alone the work life balance for women. While it is crucial to work hard to achieve results in business, it’s also important not to underestimate the power of self-care.

If you don’t look after yourself, you won’t be able to perform to the best of your ability and your health may suffer. Take good care of your body and mind. Simple steps like exercising regularly, eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, avoiding stress triggers and staying hydrated can all help. Make time for activities that make you happy or help you to feel calm or content, put energy and effort into the relationships that matter most to you and try to be kind to yourself.

Running a business is tough. Nobody makes it to the top without hitting a few hurdles or taking a few falls en route. Recognize your strengths and celebrate your achievements rather than focusing on flaws or mistakes. Every day is a learning experience. 


Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a challenge for most entrepreneurs. Business owners are naturally ambitious and driven and this often means that they work long hours and never really switch off. Following the steps in this guide can help entrepreneurs to achieve a better balance, enhance productivity and improve mental and physical health. 

Photo by Oluremi Adebayo

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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