As an entrepreneur, your life can sometimes seem like a juggling act. Your business is the realization of a dream and takes a tremendous amount of work. But the effort is incredibly rewarding and it should bring you great satisfaction to know that you have no one to answer to but yourself. This is what you’ve always wanted, so you must be happy
Ask yourself this: what was your ultimate goal in starting your business? You may respond that you wanted to achieve independence from bosses, to have unlimited income potential or to set your own hours. These answers all essentially mean one thing; you went into business for yourself with the ultimate goal of being happy. But, spending hour upon hour on your business is not going to make for a happy family life. Finding a healthy balance between your business and your family life can be extremely challenging, but it is essential in order to realize your ultimate goal of happiness. How do you find time for family when your business occupies so much of your day. The following are some tips to help you to achieve the ever elusive goal of achieving a healthy balance:
1. Create a schedule. Schedule your work time as well as your family time. Keep a calendar or agenda with this schedule and stick to it. If you are feeling overwhelmed and think that just a bit more work time will help, think again. At the end of a long work day, you are in all probability feeling tired and frustrated. Taking a look at things with fresh eyes the next morning will help you to complete the job properly. Time away from the task will help to rejuvenate you.
2. Prioritize. Your family is your number one priority, and don’t forget it. When making your schedule, always plan family time first and include some fun ideas in the schedule. After a long workday, you may be too tired to think of fun things to do, and might just end up in front of the T.V. This is not quality family time. Adding fun items to your schedule in advance will help you to follow through with your plans. Schedule a trip to the park, an evening at the kid’s favorite restaurant, or just playing ball in the backyard. Don’t forget to schedule some time alone with your spouse. A weekly date night will do wonders for your relationship. Even if it’s just enjoying a rented movie and popcorn after the kids are in bed. Anything will do as long as it’s not already a part of your normal routine.
3. Be sure to have some time left for yourself. This is often the most difficult time to schedule. How do you find time for yourself with all you already do in the day? On work days, this could be as simple as a 15 minute bubble bath or curling up with a good book before bed. On your days off, take a walk for an hour, or go on a bike ride. Be sure to allow your spouse the same. He or she needs time alone time as well.
4. Make to-do lists. In order to make the most of your workday, make lists and cross things off as you accomplish them. Being a busy entrepreneur, it may sometimes seem as though you don’t have enough time in a day to allocate to all the jobs you have to do. You will be amazed at how such a simple thing as making a to-do list will keep you on track. Once you have crossed off most of the tasks on your list you will feel proud of all that you have accomplished in the day. Remember though, if you are not finished your list at the end of your scheduled workday, those leftover tasks will have to go on tomorrow’s list.
5. Learn to delegate. You may find it difficult to let go of even some of the smallest tasks. Your business is the realization of your dream. How could you possibly leave any part of it in someone else’s hands? If you don’t want your business to run your life, you will have to learn to let go of some duties. Start with delegating little tasks and build from there. Once you have built up enough trust in the person you are delegating to, you can start delegating a little more. If you have employees, use them, that is what they are there for. If you don’t have the resources to hire an employee, you can still delegate by using contractors, such as Accountants, Bookkeepers and/or Virtual Assistants. All of these will cost you less than an employee and will work from their own offices, so you don’t have to provide them with a work space. Delegating will go a long way in allowing you to work more efficiently. It can also give you more family time. In fact, delegating chores in your house-hold will accomplish the same. Hire a house-keeper to come in once every few weeks, or hire someone to mow your lawn or plow your driveway in the winter. If these are not viable options, get your family to help. The more help you have, the faster the chores get finished and the more time you will have for the fun stuff.
Remember you need to work on your family in order to make it a success just as you do your business. Achieving a healthy balance is not easy, but once you do, the rewards will out-weigh any of the hard work you put into it.