Happy Halloween! It’s a day of celebration for many and a lot of us small business owners are juggling a full day of work and getting the kids out in time to do a little trick-or-treating.
One of the struggles I hear most often is that of the working parent, particularly those who own their own businesses. On a day like today, it’s all the more apparent when you want to be present in your personal life as well as your business life. And this applies to all business owners – the work life balance is an ever evolving entity that changes based on the needs of your business and the needs of your personal life. Here are some tips for keeping it all manageable:
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
The more organized and prepared you are, the less frazzled you’ll be with anything that pops up last minute. Take a few moments each day to make your list of items you want to accomplish. Check in periodically throughout the day to ensure you’re making progress. Make your life easier by doing as much as you can ahead of time and leave some extra time for anything that might come up that requires immediate attention.
When you’re home with your family or with your children, check your guilt about not working at the door and BE PRESENT. The same goes for when you’re at work and feeling guilty about not taking care of other obligations. You will be more effective in both environments if you can recognize and accept the choice to be in each environment and prioritize the things that need to be done in that moment. There will be times when environments overlap and one takes priority over the other, but try to focus on the tasks at hand. It will take twice as long to complete a task if you’re distracted and thinking about something else.
ASK FOR HELP
It’s next to impossible to do it alone. Whether it’s investing in childcare, leaning on a partner/friend/family member or hiring certain parts of your business out, figure out what areas you need help in and get it. Weigh the costs and benefits of getting help. For example, if it takes you 20 hours to do your bookkeeping because it’s not familiar to you and you lose 20 hours of productive time struggling to do it, it might be worth paying a bookkeeper a small fee to do it for you. If they can complete it in 3 hours for a small fee you’ve lost very little, but you’ve gained 20 hours back to be productive in other areas and also avoided the stress of struggling through it.
DON’T FORGET YOURSELF
Nurture yourself. Find some “me” time, even if that only consists of blasting your favorite music on the 15 minute drive home. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, but so very important to remember to recharge yourself – be it a hot bath, a glass of wine or finding a community of like minded souls to chat with.