How to balance running a business with your personal life, and all of your other commitments. It’s such an important question if you’re considering starting out as an entrepreneur.
As working mothers and business owners, Anna and I are all too aware of the need for balance, and the challenges it can bring. And this is one of the key reasons why our programme does not just focus on learning business skills. Instead, we start with your wellbeing.
So, how do we manage the juggle of our business commitments, our passion for what we are creating, and the desire to just keep working, with maintaining a connection with our family and friends? And we must not forget to look after ourselves too. We all know if that slides out of the picture, it’s a downward spiral and then we can’t make any progress at all!
Family vs. business
Our families are so important. There’s no question about that. But if we don’t put some structure in place to be with them and appreciate one another, what happens? Time has sped up. Marriages could be neglected. Children have suddenly become teenagers, and we’ve missed too many important events that we just cannot get back. We know you want your business to be hugely successful.
We know that your business represents a gift to share with others and it’s your passion to put that out there. But is one more important than the other?
Is it actually possible?
We think it’s all about priorities and boundaries. Can we really have it all? That’s a tough question, and opinions vary, but in order to get as much of each part as you would like, here are our tips to start your own juggling strategies and get the most out of your business AND your family life.
1. Set your boundaries
What is work time? What is family time? Are weekends for your family only? How will you manage that if your personal phone is also your work phone? Have a think about how you ideally want your time to look like. Some people are more disciplined than others and find it easier to set out the work / down time and stick to it. Think about things you might need to put in place if you want your weekends reserved for you and your family. How might you need to better structure your week for that happen?
2. What’s important to your family?
Do they want to see you for dinner, for weekends activities, for the school run? Listen to their needs and make compromises where you can, rather than assume you know what they need and when they feel it’s most valuable to have you around.
3. Get up early
Have a morning routine. We have previously written about morning routines and how they can really help you to get organised and hit the ground running, especially once everyone else in the house is up and about. Have a read and see if an earlier start is something you could consider in order to win more time with your family in the end.
Do not try to do it all yourself all the time. It doesn’t work. You get burnt out and end up spending way more time that you need to on tasks that you shouldn’t necessarily be doing yourself. Write a list of things you know only you can do. Then write a list of all the tasks you either hate doing yourself, or know could be outsourced with a bit of effort from you, but a lot of rewards in the long run in terms of time.
5. Prioritise your self-care.
How can you do this massive juggle without looking after you? Self care comes back of the line time and time again. What do you know is essential for you to look after yourself? For example, most of us a good nights sleep as regularly as possible, regular exercise of some form, eating well and taking quiet time out for yourself are all non-negotiables unless you want to face the consequences further down the line.
6. Learn from others
Read books, listen to podcasts, ask questions of people you know and admire who seem to juggle well. Then try different approaches. They may not necessarily be quite the right mixture for you, but experiment! So try one thing at a time, and slowly you should be able to shift the balance.
Deciding how you to balance your business with your personal life is such an important choice. But the outcome of the decision is also one that will be unique to you, your business and your family. So why not have a think about the tips above, and then come back and let us know how you get on?