As entrepreneurs, we are running companies. But for many of us, we are also caring for our families or loved ones. When you consider women specifically, according to Pew Research Center, “Mothers are spending more time in the labor force than in the past, but also more time on child care.” This shows that we’re constantly juggling our commitments and responsibilities, both personally and professionally, which can make finding a balance difficult.
When I first opened my business years ago, I was sure I could figure out how to manage a work-life balance as a mother. I’ve learned a lot along the way, including how to help minimize stress and maximize positive experiences. Below are eight tips that help me blend my professional life with my personal life at home:
First and foremost, stop comparing yourself to other businesspeople. Start working on a personal and professional balance that works for you. When I feel like I’m not doing enough, I remind myself that we all see our fair share of challenges and no one is perfect.
I also keep a collection of motivational quotes. Put together a list of your favorite sayings, and include plenty of humor. The next time you worry about living up to expectations, chase away self-doubt with a good laugh and phrases that leave you feeling inspired rather than deflated.
I’ve found it’s easier to create personal balance when you can see the whole picture. A desk calendar helps me with that because I can track everything, whether it’s a business meeting or someone’s birthday.
Adopt one for yourself, color-code it and transfer it to your phone. And most importantly, block out one weekend every month for doing absolutely nothing. Give yourself time to recharge.
This is one of the easiest work-life balance tips because you already know your company’s and your home’s busiest seasons. For example, things might get hectic at work just before the holidays, which might also coincide with a break from school.
Pay attention to seasonal changes that might undo your best plans to stay organized. When your personal and professional lives do collide, be prepared to delegate, which leads us to No. 4.
Delegating is key in achieving a work-life balance. For example, my work in the restoration industry often puts me in situations that demand an emergency response. I ease the scheduling crunch by bringing in extra employees who can cover some of my responsibilities.
Sharing the workload streamlines everyone’s schedule. It makes a positive difference for our customers, and it helps us get back to our families a little sooner.
However, it’s also important to delegate at home, too. Women are often responsible for the bulk of household chores, but it’s important to remember that you routinely delegate assignments at the office and in the field. So apply that same professional talent to organizing your family. Show them how to pitch in and be part of the home team.
To give yourself more breathing room between your personal and professional life, track your attendance to luncheons, conferences and awards ceremonies. Add up the time you spend networking or attending various events. I compiled a list of events I participated in over one month, and it was an eye-opener. I saw how much time I was losing unnecessarily.
As a result, I learned the importance of learning to say, “No.” Spend some time determining your long-term personal and professional goals. If an event does not serve these goals, there’s really no need to attend it. Doing this has allowed me to focus on attending events that are important without losing time in my personal life.
You already know that physical activity reduces stress and improves your health. Still, between your job and your family, it can be a challenge to find time to head to the gym.
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