Everyone goes through difficult times trying to find a way to keep your family and friends happy and your home in order while also achieving success in your career. As an entrepreneur balancing work, home life, and other activities can prove to be even more challenging. But don’t worry because I’ve got a few tips that will help make sure balance is achieved in life while still pursuing what really matters most: success with work AND your personal life. You can have it all. You just need the right strategy!
Create a list with your top to-dos in your home, work, and life each day
Focus on 3 tasks daily in business, self development, and home/family using the Priority 3’s . The key to “having it all” is prioritization. I know for me when my kids were little (they are grown now) I found myself sometimes looking up and it’s 7pm, the kids were home from school, and I hadn’t stepped away. I moved past this stage in my life when I got really focused on just one thing I could do every day in those three categories. Once I did this, I felt so much more on top of my goals and in-tune with what was important at home. As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I will soon be launching a notepad that specifically helps with this! There will be a section each day for sharing your gratitudes and a section for business, self development, and home/family which I have found to be the more important areas of my day to day life.
Figure out a schedule that works for you and stick to it
You can have a successful business without neglecting your personal life if you spend time creating an effective schedule that works for you. It is important to prioritize work and family time. Set aside certain hours during the day for work and other times for friends and family. That way, when you are working you won’t have to feel guilty or distracted. Work time is exclusively for work, while personal time may be spent as you choose. A lot of people feel like having a schedule is restricting but in reality, it gives you the freedom to do what you want because you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything that is important has a time and place on your schedule and will get done when the time comes.
Eliminate all distractions while working
On the same note, it’s so important to be focused on work during those working hours. Use strategies like turning off your phone and shutting your door if you work at home so you can stay zoned in on the tasks at hand. You’ll accomplish many more tasks in less time than if you had allowed yourself to become sidetracked by checking email every five minutes or getting pulled into a rabbit hole that wasn’t on the agenda.
Creating a space that is solely for working is also so important. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted or want to be doing other things while you’re working. Working at the same table where you place all your bills to be paid, food to be eaten and in general, everything else that goes on in your life, means that you’re constantly making decisions about work and not working. It’s easy to say, but a lot harder to do. I struggled with it for a long time and I still forget from time to time. But now that I have my own office, it’s so much easier! And if you can’t afford a whole room or area at least dedicate a desk or corner of a room WITH a door as a space.
This same strategy goes for your other rooms as well. The living room and your bedroom should NOT be used for work. These are spaces for personal time to relax or spend with your friends and family. Using and optimizing these areas separately helps your brain associate them in that way, meaning your brain will automatically be more present in your shared spaces because it knows this is not the place to be thinking about business.
Working from home with children is both a blessing and a curse. You get to spend more time with your family, but the everyday distractions of the household can be hard to work through. This is where creating designated “work hours” is an absolute must. That means no interruptions or questions for Mommy until at least 3:30. This helps both the parent and the children – with a set time to work you can feel punctual and focused, while your little ones know when they can expect some interaction with you. It’s also a good opportunity for them to start learning that there is life outside of themselves. It’s also important to stagger your work times to allow some time during the day where your children can get your attention. That way, they know that you will make time to answer all their burning questions that they were just itching to distract you with all day.
Using these strategies will help you actually unplug when you do end your workday. Nothing is worse than working all day long and then feeling a heavy cloud over your evening when you are meant to be relaxing and enjoying time with your friends and family. That’s not healthy for you and it’s not fair to the people in your life who expect to get your undivided attention.
Communicate with your family about your work obligations
Sit down with your significant other and talk about how you’ll communicate during the times when one person has more responsibilities than usual at work. For female entrepreneurs, this can be especially important because much of the household duties fall on female partners in a relationship. Communicating about this ahead of time eliminates so many arguments and misunderstandings. It is incredibly easy to fall into this trap of trying to be a superwoman and do everything all at once. Instead of pulling out more of the stops, sit down and have open conversations with the people in your life about what you can do for them. Starting a business is hard work and there will be times that not everything can get done and it will be important to have support at home when this happens.
Get help if needed
If this balancing act is just too much for you or your family to handle, that’s okay. There are so many ways to outsource some of the tasks that you feel are holding you back. Hiring help does not need to look like getting a maid or a nanny. Sometimes it looks like getting your groceries delivered with an app like Instacart or hiring a meal kit delivery service. It could also look like trading off babysitting duties with a friend once a week so you both can get an evening of quiet time to get ahead on work or have a date night.
At work, it can look like hiring out help on the areas of your business that aren’t in your zone of genius. You can hire an assistant on an as-needed basis or hire contractors for specific areas of your business like social media or graphic design. Hiring help in these areas can free up so much of your time so that you can focus on what is important.
Be flexible and don’t put too much pressure on yourself
It’s hard to balance the demands of home, work, and life as a business owner. While you do want to have a schedule that works for you, be flexible when things inevitably come up. If your kid gets sick and you need to take the day off, that’s okay. If a work crisis comes up and you have to stay late, that’s okay too. Don’t let feelings of guilt creep in when these things happen. Pushing yourself is a great thing but no one can be on top of it all every day without a break so don’t beat yourself up if things go wrong from time to time. Life happens, just roll with it.
Enjoy the journey
And lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Starting your own business is so rewarding and you should be proud of what you’ve built! But because this is something you are growing and learning with, it can take some time to find that work/life balance. When everything is going well, be sure to recognize the little victories, and if things at work or at home get hectic, remember to be grateful. I know I feel lucky everyday that we live in a world where anyone can be a business owner if they want it enough.
I hope sharing my personal strategies has helped inspire you to find your own ways of achieving balance as a business owner! Stay tuned for more tips on female entrepreneurship coming soon.
Do you have any tips for female entrepreneurs who are balancing work, home, and life? Let us know in the comments!