As a woman in business, you are familiar with the pressures that come with running a business and running a household. Families and businesses both require time, money, and attention to grow. Sometimes, busy entrepreneurs can overlook their family life because they are so focused on their business. Finding the right balance can be challenging.
As an entrepreneur and mother myself, I have first-hand experience with the challenges that come with balancing work and family life. There are many female business owners I look up to who have struggled with the same thing. When I realized my kids knew their nanny better than me, I started to make adjustments. I’m excited to share the tips that helped me create a better balance.
Create a Routine
When I filled every second of my schedule with entrepreneurship and family duties, it became easy to forget important things. So my first suggestion is to create a routine that works for you and your family. For example, it is much easier for your kids and spouse to stick to bath time at the same time each night whether or not you can make it. However, if they’re constantly adjusting to accommodate your schedule, tensions flare, and things get confusing.
Establish a weekly routine that outlines when you’ll be working on your business and when you’ll be with family. Try to keep work and family life as separate as possible so that your family feels like they have your full attention and care when you are around.
Stay organized with daily planning by writing down your schedule each day. Be sure to include any appointments or events you or your kids have, time to respond to emails, and meetings. Daily routine planning offers many benefits beyond work-life balance, including:
- Increased productivity
- Lower stress levels
- Effective time management
- Goal setting
The most important part of creating a routine is staying flexible. When you have kids, it is vital to expect the unexpected. Out of nowhere, one of your kids may need to stay home from school because they’re sick or go to the doctor because they fell on the playground. If something comes up, clearly communicate what you need to take care of to your business team and your family.
Ask for Help
I know it feels like you need to do everything yourself as a mother and a business owner. But trust me on this one: You are allowed to ask for help. In fact, I encourage it! Attempting to tackle everything that comes up in your business and at home is a recipe for burnout.
You hired a talented team for a reason. Learn to trust their abilities and delegate tasks. If you focus on building a good work culture, you can trust that your teammates will help your business find success without requiring you to manage every decision. On the other hand, if you find that your employees and teammates are not good independent workers without you around, it may be time to find more compatible employees.
Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse, parents, or friends for help in your home life. For example, if you have a work conflict coming up and can’t drive your kids to their soccer game, ask your spouse in advance if they are available. Likewise, if you will be out of town for a week on a business trip, ask your parents to come help take care of your kids while you’re gone.
Sit Down for Dinner
Try your best to commit to giving your family your undivided attention for a period of time each day. I found that committing to sit down for dinner with my family each evening was a great way to put business aside and connect with my loved ones. Family dinner allows us to talk about the day, laugh, and solve problems.
I found that this works best when I schedule it into the daily routine that I mentioned earlier. If dinner is at the same time each night, I know to work it into my schedule, and my family knows when to expect me. But, of course, things come up sometimes, so flexibility remains key for everyone involved.
Find daily moments of connection outside of family dinner times. Other fun suggestions include:
- Friday family movie nights
- Sunday walks
- Bedtime stories each night
- After-school bike rides
- Family game nights
Let Your Family Motivate You
Entrepreneurship requires a lot of energy and adrenaline. On days where you feel bogged down and low energy, find inspiration in your family. If you have a significant other or children, they wish the best for you and want to see you succeed.
Not to mention, kids are full of creative ideas. Let conversations about what your kids want to be when they grow up motivate you to keep reaching for your goals. The only thing better than finding success for yourself is when you have people to share it with.
If you feel stuck at work, you can create a fun competition with your kids. For example, perhaps your child is struggling with a math concept, and you are struggling to raise your sales. Talk out your struggles together and commit to working hard to overcome your obstacles. Think of your family as your gym accountability partner, but for your business.
Work When the Kids Sleep
In the same way that it is essential to find time solely for family, it is important to find time solely for your business. One of my favorite ways to focus on my business is to listen to business podcasts when I drink my morning coffee. Everyone else is asleep, and I get that time to myself to focus and prepare for the day.
Perhaps you work from home some days and have an infant or toddler. Maximize your work time during their naps. This is uninterrupted quiet time that you don’t have to feel guilty about utilizing.
If you don’t usually work from home but find that you sometimes need to finish tasks on your laptop at home, try your best to save it for when your family members have gone to sleep. As long as you aren’t sacrificing too much sleep, this can be a great solution to maximize quality time with your family.
Balance Takes Practice
Work and family balance is essential for entrepreneurs. However, the perfect balance doesn’t happen overnight. In my experience, it took a lot of trial and error to find the things that worked for my family and me. Give these tips a try, and don’t give up on finding balance if it seems impossible at first.
If you find that you need more help balancing work and home life without losing out on productivity, schedule a free call with our team. We’ll work with you to help maximize your time.