When you’re a business owner, you shouldn’t have to decide between running the company and being able to spend time with your family. In fact, it’s crucial for you to be able to carve enough space in your schedule to handle both responsibilities, especially if they both give you pleasure and fulfillment.
Five Tips for Juggling Babies and Business
With regard to gainful employment or company ownership and parenting, mompreneurs face a particularly heavy burden — and significant challenges. Although there aren’t any perfect answers, you can implement several viable strategies that will enable you to spend more time with your kids without compromising your business.
Take a look at the following five tactics.
- Maintain a Schedule
Whether you have a Type A or Type B personality, you’ll need to keep to a daily schedule. If nothing else, this will make prioritization of your tasks in different realms more manageable.
Instead of keeping separate personal calendar and work calendar, merge the two. When you do, you’ll find you can view your life as one cohesive and integrated field of duties, as opposed to two separate regions.
Give your personal obligations as much weight and importance as your professional responsibilities; which is to say, a lunch date with your child really does matter just as much as a meeting with a client.
- Streamline Time-Consuming Tasks
Any time you’re able to save in your work is time you may reallocate to parenting. For example, saving 30 minutes a day over the course of a five-day workweek means you have an additional 2.5 hours to spend hanging out with your kids.
Study your current roster of tasks from day to day and see if you can find ways to streamline the most mundane and time-consuming ones. HR is an example, if it applies to your operations.
If you have ready-to-use HR documents and forms at hand, you can streamline your activities in that area and focus more on the duties that truly matter.
- Hire People You Trust
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you may have an understandable tendency to grasp your business tightly. If you become too focused on micromanagement, though, you’ll undoubtedly struggle to make sufficient time for family.
The key is to hire people you trust so you can relieve yourself of some responsibilities through delegation. If you don’t currently have employees with whom you feel comfortable, reevaluate your hiring process and make changes.
- Unplug in the Evening
Technology affords us numerous benefits in our work lives, but it has a way of straining our personal life and relationships with family. “Instead of watching the ballgame, you’re checking emails on your phone. Instead of enjoying story time, you’re completing that report for your boss or client on your laptop or texting your coworker about an ongoing project,” Hertz observes.
“For work-life balance, you need to have quality time with your loved ones. It’s important to shut down your electronics, turn off your phone, and be present in the moment.”
Set a time, and make it a point to unplug completely from your phone, email, and computer when the clock hits that magic hour. If you have younger kids at home, make sure it’s a time when they’re still apt to be awake!
- Learn to Say No
Early in your career, you likely spend a lot of time saying “yes” to any opportunities that arise. Yes is what gets your foot in the door and empowers you to launch and grow a business.
But as your plate fills with responsibilities, you shouldn’t continue to accept everything that comes your way. You have to learn how and when to say no.
“As we succeed, a key challenge becomes prioritizing the many opportunities that present themselves,” Ed Batista writes for Harvard Business Review. “We often try to do this without saying ‘no’ definitively — we still want to keep our options open. Inevitably, though, this results in a lack of clarity and overcommitment, and we wind up disappointing people, exhausting ourselves, or simply failing.”
As uncomfortable as it may be, you must learn to deliver a firm no to offers, opportunities, and responsibilities that don’t appear to be integral to your continued success as a business owner or parent. It can be difficult, but it’ll free up your schedule substantially.
Find Time for Both
People often talk about work-life responsibilities in terms of balance. And though there’s nothing wrong with the word, it’s worthwhile to avoid picturing a balance scale where both sides are equal to each other another.
In reality, you’re probably never going to achieve this. Instead, your goal should be to find an acceptable amount of time for each.
In some months you’ll spend more time with your kids, and in others, you’ll be fully engrossed in running your business … and that’s okay. Do your best to move through life with conscious intent, and you’ll probably enjoy success in both work and parenting.