For many of us, work and life are increasingly intertwined. Our emails flash across our wrists and new mail notifications ping all night long. 

For startup founders, work and life is even more blurred. Their apartment may also serve as world headquarters for their company, and their best friends might double as business partners. But many of these founders have realized that the real trick to long term growth and productivity is also having a life.

MONEY reached out to startup founders across the country and asked for their road-tested strategies on balancing work and life solutions. Here are some tricks to try:

1. Combine something tedious with something pleasant like walking meetings
Courtesy of FitReserve

Megan Smyth, CEO and co-founder, FitReserve:

“Every day, I’ll try to schedule a few calls and I’ll walk while I do those calls. It gets me out of the office and it clears my head and feels like I am doing something else even though I am still working”

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2. Escape into a world you know nothing about
Courtesy of Triplemint

David Walker, Triplemint Real Estate:

“There is this one new series on Netflix, ‘Abstract,’ and it is all about design. When you have had a relatively long day at work, and you intertwine some new learned perspective from a documentary, you all of a sudden see the problem that you have been thinking about all day from a new light. 

I watched one recently that was pretty interesting about one of the most famous designers for Nike shoes. It was interesting to see the way he works under deadlines and is at the intersection of art and creativity and business. That’s something that definitely I can take away, and all entrepreneurs can take away, which is finding that balance where you can free yourself to be creative.”

3. Do something really time intensive like cooking gnocchi
Courtesy of Barkly Pets

David Comiskey, co-founder Barkly Pets:

“I will go back to those hobbies that I’ve always enjoyed doing that I no longer really have the time to do like cooking good food. I try to pick something that will take a minimum of an hour and a half to two hours. 

The beauty with making gnocchi is it’s always best if you start from scratch first, you bake potatoes for 90 minutes, then you let them cool, grind them up into really fine pieces, add flour, and at the end of the day you form the gnocchi. 

It is something totally different and it takes your mind off of what you were thinking about. So when you get back in front of the laptop you have a few hours under your belt of totally clear thinking that will help you be more creative and accomplish the things that you know you need to be accomplishing. But if you don’t have that time when you are putting your life ahead of the business then you are running in circles and not really accomplishing what you need to be doing.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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