Balancing between family and business is a battle that most entrepreneurs especially women wage within themselves. Work-life balance is often an elusive concept for everyone these days. It seems like our lives are getting busier and our visions of productivity and peace are often interrupted by demands and obligations beyond our control.
Women entrepreneurs have a special perspective on work-life balance, because they are often expected to fulfill a particularly demanding role at home and at work. Women are often expected to provide a lot of support in their relationships with their families; to act as a mom, wife, sister or daughter. On the other hand, they are expected to pursue their business and career goals.
Let’s face the reality. While you obviously love your family the truth of the matter is that you also really love your work. But don’t forget the old adage that nobody goes to their grave saying, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”
The question is; What can you do to try to strike the right balance between business demands and family?
1. Be exceedingly organized
Schedule your time. Set aside time purely for family no matter how tight your schedule might seem. You can choose Sunday’s, Friday’s or Saturday’s, depending on your work. Having a dinner together, playing games or going to church together is the best way to spend time with your family. You should plan this in advance.
If by any chance you fail to spend time with your family as scheduled, ensure to make up for the lost time. Remember that lost time can never be recovered but more money can always be made. Never ignore family gatherings because of business, reschedule them whenever you miss.
2. Never compromise yourself
Be Honest With Yourself. Many times the busy executive rationalizes cancelled family get-togethers, trips (and even vacations) by saying to himself that he’s only really doing it for them and their future—so it is OK. You can rationalize all you want, but deep down those of us who are driven to make it to the top know that it’s our passion. We have a work ethic that leads to long hours. We believe in what we’re doing and we want to be the best at what we’re doing. So let’s not kid ourselves.
3. Patience is a virtue
Since everyone knows that entrepreneurial and startup life is an energy and time suck however, what many, especially those around you, are not prepared for is the sustained pace of startup life when you’re two, three or even five years into your journey. Learn the value of patience and understand that it will take time for others to adjust and accept the needs of your chosen path. Similarly though, ask for patience from your friends and family. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t understand; simply take that as a challenge for you to better share your vision and goals.
4. Converse openly about your needs
Learn to share The Journey Open up to those closest, say your partner or friend, to you about your work life. If you’re pursuing a lifelong dream explain it to them so they have a better appreciation of what drives you and what keeps you away from them. Date nights are essential. If you have young children, nephews, nieces, talk to them in terms they will understand to explain your absence—and then make it up to them with surprise appearances and surprise treats.
5. Separate work from home
Nowadays the boundary between work and hoe is fuzzier than ever. One is able to work anywhere anytime. In the car. On the train. At home. More people than ever actually work from home. So try to bring the curtain down on the business day. Keep the computer turned off and the laptop in your briefcase. It’s up to you to recreate the boundary.
Finally, just go ahead and give it a shot. You probably already feel guilty about lost family time. So make a commitment to adjust your business-family balance.I know after reading this you can go ahead and do something with it. Maybe, I don’t know, but Chances are you’ll feel refreshed and reinvigorated and your work will benefit as much as your home relationships.
“You have more than you’ve got because you can become more than what you are” – Jim Rohn