Running a successful business and raising kids are two of the biggest challenges that people face in day to day life. Juggling both these at once can feel overwhelming at times and it can be hard to find the right work/life balance. Here are five tips to help you maintain a productive work life whilst raising a happy family.
1. Adapt working hours around your kids
The standard 9-5 working times won’t be the best hours to work if you want to spend time with your kids. If you’re running your own business, take advantage of this flexibility and try to set work hours when your kids are asleep. Nap times are a good opportunity to focus on some work without distractions.
You should be prepared to do some work at night and spend some time in the day to see your kids. Try taking a break from work to collect your kid from school and spend some quality time with them. Then you can make up a couple of hours work in the evening. Luckily, kids go to bed early so you’ll still have plenty of time while they’re fast asleep. Finally, don’t forget to factor in time to wind down and relax. It’s important to take some time out of your day just for you to do whatever you enjoy.
2. Learn how to work from home
Whilst it might seem important to keep work and home separate, learning how to work from home can have a lot of benefits if done correctly, including saving you money on childminders. You could even get a coworking space and work from home just a couple of days a week.
If it’s the summer holidays or your kid hasn’t started school yet, your best bet will be to get up early before your kids and get some work done before they wake up. This takes the pressure off in case they distract you throughout the day.
Working from home is a great opportunity to see your kids more, but of course, it can make your work less productive. If your kid hasn’t started school yet, you’ll need to keep them occupied to stop them constantly distracting you. Preschoolers have a lot of energy, so consider buying them something fun that will engage them for long periods of time. It’s also important to set rules that they don’t disturb you at certain times such as during an important conference call.
3. Take days off
Don’t forget why you quit the 9-5, being self employed is great and you can take time off whenever you want. When you’re really busy you can forget to take advantage of this. Remember to take a day off every now and then and take your kid out.
A random trip to a zoo or theme park can be a memorable experience for you and your kids. Try booking a holiday for a week and taking the kids. If you go on a longer holiday there’s no harm in spending an hour every morning checking up on your business before your kids wake up.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
It can be tempting to try and spend time with your kid whilst doing work. If you take your kid to the park you might want to check your emails whilst they’re playing on the swings. Alternatively, you may choose to work on the sofa, keeping an eye over your kids.
For the most part, you’re better separating family time and work time as much as possible to ensure both aspects get the best attention. Organize your time so that when you’re working, you’re focused and getting work done. Then when you’re with your kid you can give them 100% of your love and attention. Separating these two important parts of your life and creating a structure can really improve your professional productivity and joy as a parent.
5. Be there for your kid
Teach your kid the boundaries for not disturbing you whilst your working, but let them know you’re always there for them. Children can be afraid to approach you about something important when you’re busy working if you’ve told them not to disturb you. They may be worried about a potential danger or have something important they want to tell you that’s happened at school. Let them know you’re always there for them if it’s something important.