Any entrepreneur knows that running a business takes focus, commitment, a good deal of hard work and long, long hours.
But what if you also have to look after the family at the same time? The kids need your attention just as much as your business and you certainly don’t want to neglect them.
At the same time, you have to get the job done, nail that deal, work on your digital marketing and a host of other business commitments.
Getting that work life balance right is essential and it’s something that many entrepreneurs struggle with on a daily basis.
#1. Use a Productivity App
There are all sorts of excuses for working hard – after all, you’re trying to build a business and make it a success in a pretty competitive environment. You want to provide for your family and build a nice life. That doesn’t mean, however, that your kids and partner must take a back seat.
It’s all about balance and finding ways to achieve it.
Productivity in the workplace is key, as we all know. This is not just about getting more done, however. Productivity is about making sure you have more time.
Why spend three hours on a particular task when you can get it done in just one if you have the right approach? The good news is that there are plenty of productivity apps on the market nowadays and all you need to do is download them onto your mobile phone.
If you want to get the perfect balance between work and family, you have to be clear about what you want to achieve. Focus on that before you select a productivity app and make sure that it ticks all the right boxes. And, when you are using your productivity app, factor in time with the family as part of your day. It’s not just an add-on but a vital part of your life.
#2. Get a Parental Control App
It’s not just parents who get access to great technology nowadays. Kids have it too and that can be a worry for busy mums and dads who have got their hands full at work. No matter how hard you try, there are going to be times when you’re stuck with the business when you should be at home. There’s plenty of news in the media about kids hooking up to the wrong sites or getting bullied online.
This is somewhere that technology can really help. There are a growing number of dedicated parental control apps such as Family Orbit which helps track kids’ activity online. You can monitor their phone usage, lock and unlock their devices from your own smart device and block sites that you consider to be dangerous or harmful. You can also track that mobile phone so you know where your kid is most of the time.
While it may seem a little draconian at times, at least it gives you a certain peace of mind when you’re busy in the office.
#3. Invest in Automation
How often in your business life, do you spend time doing the same repetitive tasks? For most entrepreneurs, that’s going to be a significant portion of their working day, especially when they first start.
Tech has developed a lot in the last five or six years and business software automation is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Exploring this area can certainly free up time and leave you with more energy for doing other things, such as planning a day out with the kids.
If there’s no software automation for what you need to do, however, perhaps it’s time you looked at delegating. Entrepreneurs can often think they are the only ones who can get things done – that’s not true. Practice the art of delegation and you’ll be surprised how much it benefits your business on a day to day basis.
Another option is to outsource and there are plenty of ways to do that today. Let’s say, for example, you need to write some blogs for your website, using a freelance site can take care of that for you. Outsource options can be picked up as and when you need them and cost a lot less than people think.
#4. Setting Up a Home Office
One way to keep close to the kids and run your business is to set up your office at home. Most startup companies begin here anyway as it’s a lot cheaper than renting out premises somewhere else. But even if you have achieved success and now have a permanent office and a bunch of staff, keeping the one at home is important.
It’s so much easier nowadays to work from home and there are plenty of apps and communication tools that help you keep in contact with the main office. Ideally, you want just the right amount of space and a location that is dedicated entirely to your work. In other words, you don’t want a room which is used for several other things, including storing clutter.
The design is important but the essential purpose is even more so. Having a home office allows you to be around and near your family with all the connection that brings.
#5. Have a Flexible Mindset
It’s often said that to be successful, entrepreneurs need a ‘flexible mindset’. It’s useful when having to cope with all the challenges that come with running a business. You have to be able to bend with the wind if you like. It also means you have to be focused on your core goals and one of those should certainly be having quality time with the family.
That means keeping your options open as much as possible. Entrepreneurs love technology and so do kids. Using your smartphone to Skype or video call the kids several times a day is one solution. But nothing substitutes being there in person. Make sure you are flexible about the framework of your life. For instance, not having your main office too far from home so you spend more time traveling rather than being with the kids.
No one is saying it’s easy to run a family and run a business at the same time. Most entrepreneurs struggle with getting the balance right.
Many older entrepreneurs actually rue the fact that their kids grew up and they didn’t get to play their part. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is set your family life on an equal footing with your work life. There doesn’t have to be a conflict and using today’s technology is a good way to find workarounds which can have real benefits.