Family life is precious, the tight knit family lifestyle with shared meals around the dining table are rare, and television, phones, and computers can detract from times when we could be sitting down together as a family to chat about our day. It is often said communication is key within relationships, yet in a day and age where communication is so easy with these devices, many of us don’t communicate well with those we love.
In particular, when you run your own business or have a stressful job, it can be difficult to switch off worries or concerns, and relax at home knowing there is a large workload the following day to tackle. There are some things which can be done to enable the social and business sides of life don’t become blurred. Below are three tried and true work-life balance tips for small business entrepreneurs.
Unwind during the commute home…
The commute home is the perfect time to get into a relaxed frame of mind. Your own time is time for you to refresh your mind, and spend it with family life. There is nothing worse than sitting with someone trying to have a conversation, when their mind is clearly on other matters. If this is you most evenings, then you can jeopardise your family life. Leave your business worries outside the family home, or talk about them to your family rather than sitting there with your mind elsewhere.
Smart phones have been a great benefit to us over the past few years. They allow us to return emails instantly, check for business updates, we can use apps, get in touch with business contacts through calls, texts, or social media, and they are generally mini computers which we carry by our side all day, every day.
Smart phones are a constant reminder of those emails that await us, and many of us often deal with business requests on days off or during evenings to keep on top of the workload. However your family life is precious time spent together, and constant peeks at smart phones to check progress indicates you are still in work mode, and your full attention is not on your home life.
If possible have a work phone and a phone for social occasions, this way you can switch your business phone on or off when needed. It means weekends can remain clear without having seen that email which you can’t get out of your mind. It takes you back to actual work hours. It can be difficult to do if people have been used to your instant replies, however you are entitled to time off, and people do understand in time and get used to your new approach. Not only that, people should not assume you are on duty when at home.
Close the home office door…
If you work from home, your office is readily available for you to step into at any point. This can be problematic, and you can find yourself at your desk replying to a quick email, only to find you have been sucked into work mode, and spent a couple of hours working. If you plan your schedule properly, you should get all the work you need to do during the week done, and anything else can wait for the following week. Of course there is always work to be done, but family life is just as important, and while you don’t want to fail in your business career, and you want success, family and marriages take just the same amount of effort. So sneaky emails, and telephone calls can build up and steal this precious time away, which can’t be gotten back.
Life is about those small moments of togetherness, sharing joke, or look shared between each other, or seeing smiles on your children’s faces, and with your head buried in your smart phone, or your mind elsewhere these moments are lost.
There is time for family life, and time for business life, and they should remain separate. You spend most of your day at work, and have precious hours in the evening with your loved ones, so make sure that time isn’t eaten up by your professional side to life.