Entrepreneurs have a tricky way of life to contend with when it comes to "Home Life". There often isn't a standard 9 to 5 workday, even if there is a standard 9 to 5 schedule, nor is there often the option to "leave work at the office" when walking through the door at home. As entrepreneurs, the two paths of work and home are almost always intertwined in a big old tangled mess – the question is, how do we know when to scale back from one aspect of our lives to focus on the other, and is that even possible?
We've compiled some tried and true methods for entrepreneurs to leave work at work (so to speak!) with the end goal of enjoying home life guilt free.
Start With Purpose: How wonderful would it be to walk into your office every day knowing exactly what you are going to tackle for the day? By setting consistent and reasonable goals for yourself, whether clearing your email inbox by noon, returning phone calls in the first hour of work, or closing at least x amount of sales by days end, you are not only allowing yourself to strive for productivity, but you are also creating a "schedule" so to speak; something that you can allocate time and effort towards that, if uncompleted by day's end, you can continue to work on upon entering the office the next day. Uncompleted tasks aren't a sign of failure – they will help you to foster a more accurate way to set goals until your work habits eventually resemble those of a well-oiled machine.
- Create a list of 5 attainable To-Do items (extra points for setting a goal time at which to finish)
- Be sure to take into account any actionable items that are urgent (meetings, appointments)
- Aim to address all 5 items on your list by end of the day, even if uncompleted
Go Ahead – Talk to Yourself: There's no distinction between the methods of conversation you can have with yourself. Maybe you're an end-of-day-list-maker, or a throughout-the-day-note-taker; or perhaps you leave yourself voice messages throughout the day to remind you of things that need doing. Whatever system works for you, use it! When you walk through that door at home, your mind needs to be mentally prepared for all that your home means to you; it could be family, relaxation, pets, time with friends, or everything in between. By communicating with yourself about what you need to do for your next work day before your current workday is over, you are allowing your mind to focus on other tasks and moments that are in the now as soon as your office time is up.
- Before leaving your workspace, write down or make a verbal recording of the items on your To-Do list from the day that were not tackled and/or those that you must tackle next day.
- Include any actionable tasks that you may need completed within the week, as a reminder of what needs doing (so that you won't be thinking about it when you leave your workspace)
When Work IS Home: For those entrepreneurs that work from home, or whose main office is at home, the idea of separating work from home life can be especially challenging. Is it even possible when the two are simultaneously connected? While there won't always be a perfect solution, the short answer is yes. Working from home does not always have to preclude functioning in your home the way you would when you're not focused on work; the same can be said in reverse. Yes your laptop will be in your office whenever you need it, and of course it takes just a second to check the email that just landed in your inbox; absolutely, you can be "back in the office" past midnight during the week, or even on Sunday mornings for that matter. The importance of drawing the line between work and home, however, comes in the realization that you hold the power to say No to these temptations, and as an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to ensure that you set parameters around what you will be able to do and when, in order to strive for any semblance of balance and sanity.
Written by: Maria Locker
Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc.
Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc. (www.TheMOMpreneur.com) is the trusted national network that supports, educates, and empowers moms in business across Canada. With close to 20 satellite locations in Ontario, supportive networking groups are now expanding to other provinces in order to connect business women everywhere from East to West of the country. Company highlights include over 10,000 members, presentation of the "Mompreneur® Award of Excellence", and the re-launch of MOMpreneur® Magazine. Contact Head Office for further information on licensing or becoming a member:
Founder & CEO, Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc