Creating Balance Between Work and Family
Managing your own business is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task even before you add on the obligations and stresses that come with being a mother. It’s common for those trying to balance being a mom with being an entrepreneur to feel like there’s not enough time in the day to accomplish everything they need to do, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In this post, our guest writer discusses the 4 things you really need to do well to make sure you make room for balance in your work and personal life.
Although time management may feel difficult with so much going on, the truth is that 80% of the average workday is spent on tasks that are relatively unimportant. This is a real plaque for modern small business entrepreneurs. Therefore taking time to prioritize tasks based on importance is not only essential to managing time but important to gain traction toward your goals.
Prioritize Important Tasks Daily
Small decisions truly add up to help you use time more wisely. Developing time management strategies based on your time personality type help you use your time more effectively. Focusing on the most important daily and weekly tasks will help you become more productive and balanced. Therefore, prioritizing tasks by importance is essential to managing time to achieve a better balance. When you prioritize important tasks, you’ll still have time to enjoy your habits and family.
Focus on Each Task Individually
When there are many tasks to manage, it’s easy to assume multitasking is the best approach. Yet, numerous studies show that multitasking actually takes more time to complete tasks. When you multi-task often, you’ll have lower productivity and get less done in the same time. It’s better to devote your undivided attention to each task and drive to complete it, rather than trying to finish several at once. Even if you are naturally a Hopper Time Style, there are more effective ways to complete tasks that will allow you freedom and fluidity while accomplishing more.
Learning to clear the fog and focus is essential when it comes to life balance and creating time between work and family. When you multitask, you will likely notice a significant decline in your effectiveness and that it takes a longer time to complete the same amount of work. Don’t waste your time being stuck halfway between the two. Instead, take time to prioritize your most important tasks daily, then spend your time focused on essentials first. Focus then is another important skill to learn that will lead to balance. When you focus, you’ll get your work completed, and then have to spend time with your family.
3. Create A Schedule
One of the reasons multitasking happen is that we don’t allow ourselves to work on a clearly defined daily or weekly schedule. When you ‘live in the moment’ and ignore prioritizing goals and deadlines, all is nebulous! When everything is up in the air, there is very little to structure your work life around your family. Everything needs some type of ‘structure’ to hold it together. Imagine designing a building without footings, pylons or structural support to hold everything up. Your weekly schedule is an essential structure that will help you feel more balance in your life.
Creating a reliable schedule for work is one thing, but you also need to create time for your personal life. When you’re a mom, you really need to create a schedule that leaves time for everything that’s important to you. When you do that, you’ll easily set aside time for work without letting it interfere with family time or other responsibilities and interests. Whether you use a digital or physical planner, simply having a visual representation of your schedule will make you feel in control of your time.
4. Take Advantage of Digital Resources
Today, there are many tools to help you manage your time and make more time for balance. In addition to scheduling calendars such as Google Calendar, there are thousands of mobile apps and programs designed to maximize productivity and streamline all aspects of work. Many of these applications will sync across devices (laptop, phone, computer, iPad/tablet). This is awesome because it allows you to see all your schedules, task lists, and set reminder alarms and timers anytime throughout the day. HOWEVER remember that you need to take time for planning, as well as scheduling. Creating a quarterly plan for your business will help you better manage your schedule, and focus on the most important tasks first. Then, once your tasks are planned out, you can use the digital tools more effectively.
5. Don’t Take Work Home
You hear it all the time, but realize that it’s not always possible to keep your work and personal lives separate. There will be times where priorities clash between running your business and being a mom. But to create balance, you owe it to yourself and your family to give each the attention it deserves. When you do need to work on something outside of your typical schedule, try to avoid cutting into family time. This will allow you to feel present and invested in each activity.
Another opportunity for you to keep an invisible boundary between home and business is to look for coworking spaces. These pod-type environments are popping up everywhere and are very popular with work-from-home professionals. Coworking spaces provide different sized professional office spaces. Some have meeting rooms and wifi. Also, you’ll have a real, non-home address to use while your kids are at school. Rent for these spaces is a fraction of the cost of renting full-time office space.
In conclusion, it’s hard enough to be a mom alone, but if you’re part of the majority of mothers who balance work at the same time as parenting, your challenge is even greater. These five time management tips will help you stay on top of your schedule and make time for living. Balance really means constant adjustments. But following tried-and-true tips and building your life and work around them ensure your boundaries. Following these tips ensure work is completed while helping you be the best mom you can. And that is worth everything.
Please share your thoughts and comments
What tips do you have to share to create balance in your life? Do you have tips to share that always work for you? What is most difficult for you to maintain a balance between business and your personal life? Let’s learn from each other! Please share with us in the comment box below!
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. You can find her on Twitter: @araesininthesun.