Is the closest thing you’ve had to a cocktail lately a delicious blend of Alka Seltzer and tonic water?

If life hacks are little tricks to save you time, energy and money, then no one needs them more than a small business owner in their first year of business. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a startup techie, chances are you’re always short on time – especially “me time.”

Here’s how to hack your way back to a balanced life:

Accept the inbox

When you leave your job, or retire, or kick the bucket, you’re going to leave unfinished business. Not only are you not going to get it all done today; you’re never going to get it all done. Relax, and just do as much as you can.

Make YOU your top priority

Guess what comes before that important morning meeting, or even before meeting that killer deadline? Your yoga class, that’s what. Or your meditation hour. Or, um, eating lunch. What good are you to your startup if you’re starving and running on empty?

It’s OK to cheat

Using life hacks isn’t cheating – it’s just working smarter! And what’s wrong with that? Make time management a top priority so you can finish your work more quickly and actually have a social life. Which leads us to…


12 hour days, every day, and you’re working weekends? Remember that creepy famous saying…”All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” (And probably also makes Jack garbage to talk to at cocktail parties.)

There are no emergencies

Unless someone needs to call 911, whatever fire you’re putting out is not an emergency – especially if it belongs to someone else. No one is going to die if that email campaign doesn’t get sent out or a mistake was made on an invoice.

One of our favorite life hacks is simply this: you’re human! Remember that! Everyone makes mistakes, and the rest of the world understands when other people make mistakes. Think of how you react when a coworker or client drops the ball once in awhile. Do you write them off forever? Of course not. (And if you do, where do you work, at the offices of The Devil Wears Prada?)


Life hacks don’t need to be complicated. They can even be primal. “Take a deep breath” is perhaps the most tried and true method of calming someone down, and for good reason. This hack works!

So inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 8, and remember – it’ll all get done. Or it won’t. And either way, it’ll be just fine.

How do you balance startup life with real life?

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