Balancing your family and your business is a challenging task that entrepreneurs face every day. Here are 5 strategies to help make things easier.
Two of the most crucial aspects of life are family and business. Each demands a lot of attention and dedication from an individual and it can often be overwhelming, trying to balance the two.
In life, there is never a manual on how to be working parents and make things work. As an entrepreneur, venturing into new opportunities, crafting working strategies, and getting results is your sole purpose. You do this for self-improvement, portfolio expansion, and financial betterment.
But when your family enters the picture, things can get a bit complicated. Your work rate and results have to improve because you’re now not just responsible for yourself, but your family too. The attention you previously gave solely to your business now has to be divided and shared with the addition of your new obligations and balancing the two can be quite a challenge.
Regardless of whether you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey and are considering a family in the long-run or are currently rooted in the trenches of the two, the following tips will help you find that all-important balance between the two.
#1 Create a Routine
As full-time or part-time working parents will know, spending time together with the family is essential. When our valuable time is wasted, it’s not uncommon to be left feeling both stressed and fed up. That’s why it’s so important that, as working parents, you are mindful of how you spend your time. Create some structure in your day by implementing a daily routine that works for you and your loved ones.
Not only does a routine keep you organised and productive, but it makes your days more predictable, saving you time and energy. Set aside an allocated period of time for each task, both business and personal, and embrace flexibility because things won’t always go as planned.
Examples of helpful routines you can start implementing today:
• Prep a to-do list each night for the following day.
• Designate a time of the day that you check and respond to emails (e.g. once at 9am and again at 6pm).
• Start meal prepping.
#2 Be Fully Present
It’s not uncommon for working parents to get sidetracked by either work or their personal life. But when distractions seep in from other areas of your life, entrepreneurs often face a disorganised workflow, excessive stress, and inefficiency. On the other hand, if you focus too much on your family to the point of neglecting your business, things can go south very quickly. It’s clear that shortchanging does much harm, especially when we procrastinate from one thing to give the other our immediate attention, which is why it’s so important to fully show up in each role and be present in the moment.
Let’s say you had a small child who just turned 2 years old on the same day that you’re expected to join in on a board meeting. Where will you direct your attention?
When it comes to juggling multiple responsibilities, entrepreneurs need to give their full attention to the task at hand. There’s nothing wrong with being fully present during your business meeting – as a parent, you can’t be with your children all the time, nor should you. To help assuage your guilt from being away, remind yourself of what you are working towards and who you’re doing this all for. Oh, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to source some of the best toys for 2-year-olds on Top-Mom before heading out for that critical meeting, so that you know your kid is well-catered for.
Once your workday is over, you can return home and give your kid all the attention in the world. Some weeks, the balance will be focused on your business. Others, on your family. It’s a delicate balance, so don’t sweat it too much. Just remember to stay focused in the present, taking into account your priorities that week.
#3 Make Meals a Priority
Mealtimes are the most sacred time for a family. It’s during these precious pockets of time that you get to bond, catch up, and cultivate that culture of togetherness. It has been shown that families that dine together are both healthier and happier. Other benefits include improved behaviour and literacy, increased stability within the home, and enhanced family dynamics. Plus, as a parent, you’re able to learn something new your child or spouse did that day, helping you reconnect, strengthen ties and build better relationships.
New to family mealtimes? Start by designating one evening a week to family dinners and slowly start increasing as you go. Also, try and get the whole family to pitch into the cooking process. Not only will this help them build a new skill and learn about nutrition, but it’s also a great way to connect and will help develop lifelong healthy eating habits.
#4 Set Clear Objectives and Be Disciplined
Outlining your business goals might be easy, but have you tried pairing them with your family goals? Having clear long-term plans and aspirations for your business is wise, but having your family’s best interests at heart is all the more crucial.
For every passing day, have a clear (and realistic!) objective regarding your business and family and work towards achieving it. The goals will help you to fulfil and mark milestones as you grow as both a family and company.
Ultimately, your family objective should not just consist of things that you ought to do for them, but rather include what you’re supposed to do together. Money comes and goes, but your family’s emotional and psychological needs should be part of your daily goals. So, when you do have spare time, be sure to spend it together as a family.
#5 Embrace Self-Care
Most often, you’ll find yourself worn out. Giving your all to your family shows significant devotion, but the question remains: who will take care of you? You could be the glue holding everything together, but overstretching the glue breaks and weakens it. Neglecting your own mental or physical wellbeing could lead to poor performance as a parent and a boss.
It’s important to find time to recharge and fulfil your own needs. Unplugging from stress points in your life will help you rejuvenate and refresh your mindset with more creativity, willpower, and ideas to take on life head-on.
With discipline, an open mindset, and determination, it’s possible to balance both work and family successfully and have things work out in your favour.