How to Balance Your Small Business and Your Family Time
Organize your device time.
What do you spend the majority of your time doing on them? The most important question to ask yourself is, am I using screens to better my life? Is my screen time goal-oriented in nature? Or am I primarily on them and allowing my time to be stolen from me, my spouse, my kids, or my dreams? Do I use my devices to check out from reality? Ask yourself the honest question, is the amount of time I am on my device reasonable, or is it too much? I would say most of us can say we could be doing other things in life with this time. If you want to limit your time, set up and check Screen Time on your I-Phone.
Use your devices for your benefit of achieving your goals. Screens and devices are not enemies! How we use them against ourselves is. Screens can do nothing too you. You choose how to spend your time on your devices. Challenge yourself by limiting how often you check emails, texts, and social media. Consider if possible allotting time slots in your daily schedule for this. For example, plan to check emails twice a day and texts three times daily. Or maybe all your social media together at the same time. Perhaps once at 9 am and once at 4 pm.
Set your work hours and schedule.
Think outside the box when setting your schedule! DON’T do it like everyone else. Build your business AROUND, your family! Isn’t the reason for having your own business to be your own boss? Many of us start out with good intentions. We are going to have this business so we can make our own hours, be available to our families, and make money. If we do not tell our store these are our hours of operation, let’s face it, it can get away from us quickly.
It is crucial to have a schedule primarily if you work from home. You have to know how to turn work off, or your relationships suffer. And don’t kid yourself, if you are in the middle of family time and you get on a call the kids notice. They understand, but eventually, they can begin to believe work is more important to you then they are. When my husband and I started one of our small businesses years ago, we were picking up phone calls from the West Coast at 11 pm. We were afraid not to! We were hesitant to lose a customer! Until it occurred to me to set up regular hours and teach our customers our new work hours.
(I got some push back from my very hard-working husband.) We have kept those hours ever since. The quality of our lives increased, stress decreased, and that business is still in operation two decades later.
How working from home benefits your children
We went through the same thing in our salon when I proposed not working Saturdays anymore. Our sons were young, and everything happened on the weekends like baseball games, birthday parties, and school picnics. It is unheard of in our industry to not work on a Saturday! We lost a couple of clients, but most were able to come in on another day, and we have always been blessed with many clients and all by word of mouth. We never advertised. Not once. By setting our hours on our terms, we had more energy, and when we do work, we give our clients everything we’ve got, and they refer their friends. We built our business hours around our family. What we gained was freedom and years of precious moments as a family. We were better, or it and our sons definitely were.
Know when it isn’t working anymore! Whether it be because the business has grown or your family’s schedule has changed, then it is time to change it up. Being an entrepreneur means life is fluid, and rarely does anything stay the same! If it’s broke, fix it! If you lose a wheel off the cart, don’t try to keep going, pretty soon the other wheels will fall off and the whole cart will break down. For my husband and myself, because we are business partners as well as spouses, our relationship needed regular maintenance. If we were broken, nothing worked—the kids, the business the home.
If you work with your spouse, don’t make the mistake of putting everything before each other! No one benefits the kids primarily. So, make time for each other. Everyone recommends date nights. We had regular date days. It always worked better for our schedules. Find what works for you and be willing to make adjustments through the many seasons of life.
Adaptability makes life more comfortable and honestly more interesting.
Strong Work Ethic!
Having a small business can benefit kids greatly! Both of our sons have a solid work ethic. They pitched in over the years when we were slammed in the salon and exhausted, and they both helped us by sweeping or bringing us something to eat. I think it was so good for them to SEE what we did and how hard we worked.
When a kid SEES how hard their parents work, it leaves a different impression than not seeing. When you work from home, a child learns how to pitch in and help, and if this not come naturally, it’s a great time to teach them how to help.
Working from home meant that we were always home! We could see that they were getting their homework done, which eventually lead to them having great study habits. Their friends hung out here, were always welcome, and they had fun! There was still adult supervision, and they all knew it. They kept showing up anyway. Teens can get into the most trouble after school before parents get home from work. It’s been happening since the dawning of time. When you work from home, there is a constant presence of adult accountability. Since there was two work at home parents between us, we can tag-team between work and our kids. This isn’t just from a disciplinary standpoint! The teen years can be brutal, and your kid knows that they have you there when they need you most.
**Now, all this, OF COURSE, you can turn out great children if you do not work at home!! This is how I witnessed first hand working from home benefited my own kids.