Ideally, you might like to get your business squared away, so you can devote the majority of your time to your family. However, you really can't focus on one aspect of your life and expect the other to wait for you to have the extra time. In fact, you're not the first one to struggle with balancing your life. While there isn't an easy to follow guide, employing some tricks and tips can help you manage your family and business more efficiently all at once.
In the beginning, you may have thrown a strategy together for operating your business that focused more on getting things done than on the time spent on each task. Now that things are up and running, it may be a good time for you to implement better time-management strategies. Look for ways to get the same tasks accomplished within a shorter time frame, but without compromising customer service. For instance, implementing an omnichannel retail system can help you promote more efficient customer transactions without having to personally supervise each exchange.
As hard as you try to keep a clear line drawn between running your business and your devotion to your family, you'll find it difficult to abide by your self-imposed restrictions. You may have no choice but to work late a few nights a week or you may have to take a day off to chaperone a school function. The best way to manage your time is by scheduling appointments for each activity in your calendar. Even something as routine as a family game night should be assigned an appointment to ensure you don't miss it.
If you're spending more than a few minutes in traffic each day, you may want to look for alternatives. Consider moving to a home more centrally located to reduce driving time for you and your spouse. Alternatively, try to arrange a schedule that allows you to work from home a few days a week. Remote work and remote business management are growing trends that can help you bring greater balance to your life.
While you definitely should feel passionate about your business, you should also feel invested in your home life. Taking your spouse and children for granted is creating a recipe for disaster. You will need to invest both time and energy into developing strong bonds with the rest of your family. This means ensuring you're fully invested in the time you spend with them without letting your mind drift back towards business concerns.
Once you put your children to bed and your spouse is off doing something else, you might be tempted to relax or hit the sack. Instead, take an hour to prepare for the next day. There's plenty you can do in advance from selecting the clothes you'll wear and packing lunches for your kids to organizing your business schedule and responding to late emails. This prep work will help you have an easy day and, more importantly, will let you free up some time in your afternoon.
This is your business and you set the rules, so, if your staff or vendors are bothering you at home, there's only one person to blame. You should let your employees, partners, clients, and vendors know that you won't accept communication once you leave for the day. Perhaps create a code that only one or two people know, which can let you know that there's a real emergency. Otherwise, any communications should wait until the next day.
Supporting your family and growing your business may not go hand in hand, but you have the power to ensure you devote equal energies to each. It's up to you to set the rules that will bring balance to your life. As long as you set up a strong strategy and abide by it, there's no reason you can't have a rewarding business experience and an enriching personal life.