Tips for Small Business Owners: Making Time for Family Time
Work is essential to the realization of your entrepreneurial goals. There is a lot that small business owners are willing to give up or do without in order to reap the satisfying rewards of running a successful business. But one of the things that can supersede the desire to push forward is a need to spend time with family members and other loved ones. It’s part of what allows us to keep working and making progress towards our dreams, and maintaining a connection to your support network should not be allowed to fall to the wayside while you run your business.
Managing a work life balance calls for some strategic compromise. It will be unlikely that you are able to take off as much time from work as you would like to, just as it is unlikely that there won’t be any work related tasks that can wait for a little longer. The trick to making sure that you can have both is learning to identify priorities both at work and at home, and then attempting to shift your schedule so that priorities overlap as little as possible. Scheduling family time and projects at work realistically means figuring out what time is the most special, for example dinner time when your whole family is able to be at the table together, and what time can be reallocated to business. If you decide that family dinner is a priority for you, you may leave the office an hour earlier to go home and make dinner. If you feel you still need to get work done, then consider setting up a home office where you can tie up loose ends after you eat.
Foster strong client relationships to allow for flexibility. The more your clients and yourself enjoy a mutual sense of trust, the more flexibility you are generally able to work into a relationship with the understanding that things will come out as they need to for the bottom line. While getting your relationships to the point that this is feasible can take some work and a dedication to providing quality, it’s worth it in the end as it brings you business to a better place and allows you to schedule more time with your loved ones.
Plan family events in advance. It is an unfortunate tendency of many business owners to pile work onto their plate until there is no room for anything else. Putting a black X through family dates on your calendar can prevent you from going ahead and squeezing in more meetings or accidentally placing a conference call on the same night as a holiday dinner. If something is truly a business emergency, your family will understand, but by holding a certain number of family days as inviolable, you can build your schedule around these commitments instead of the other way around.
Photo Credit to Parker Knight on Flickr