We are all too busy! It’s not surprising that 58% of Canadians report being overloaded from pressures at work and at home. There’s no doubt about it; when you’re trying to run a business and take care of a family, there is always more work than you can handle. So what do you do? How do you climb off this hamster wheel and find the elusive work-life balance that you always hear about? Here are some tips that will point you in the right direction:
Focus on the positive. We spend so much time lamenting about the challenges of being both an entrepreneur and a parent that we often forget about the benefits. Try to identify some of the opportunities that are available to yourself and your family because of your business. Are you able to put aside some extra money for your childrens' education? Think about the example that you are setting for them. Reach out to other entrepreneurs who are in a similar position so that you can trade strategies and support each other.
You don’t want to ignore work-life balance until something forces you to take notice.
Get organized. Disorganization wastes a lot of time. Take a moment to put strategies in place to organize your life and you will find that everything goes a lot more smoothly. Create a shared calendar with all of your family’s events, organize chores and have a family member assigned to each task, have an organized space near the front door to store keys, computers, jackets, cell phones and purses, plan your meals for the week and buy your groceries on the weekend, and check in with your spouse every Sunday to discuss events for the week. Putting these plans in place is easier said than done, but you will quickly find that it’s well worth the effort.
Get support. You can’t do it all by yourself and you don’t have to. There is nothing wrong with getting support with groceries, housework, cooking, and childcare. Also, make sure that you have all the support that you need at work. Entrepreneurs tend to want to do everything themselves, but that approach is not good for your health or your business.
Stay connected. You can’t always physically be there with your children, but by making an effort you can still stay connected. Write a note to put in their lunch box and call them when they get home from school. Ask them about their day and listen to their stories. Make plans with them on the weekend and spend quality time together. Also, don’t forget about your spouse. Try to have a date night at least once every two weeks. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate; just having a glass of wine together and sharing a funny story will keep your relationship on track.
You don’t want to ignore work-life balance until something forces you to take notice. It’s too important to your health and to the well being of your family. You might not even have to make big changes to achieve a better balance; sometimes just putting the computer down on the weekends is enough.