When you consider running a home-based business plus balance life issues facing your family, you must realize your schedule is not just about you and your work. Personally, I like to think that working from home has become a blessing in disguise. For instance, things like picking up my daughter from gymnastics or my son from a guitar lesson allows me the flexibility to do so without having to make other arrangements. I'm lucky to be able to spend quality time with them because 8 years ago that wasn't the case for me.
The hardest part for me in the beginning of my home based business venture was requesting respect for my business hours. When to know how to set apart my business time and family time was challenging. I had to set boundaries with both. Check out The 3 Simplest Ways to Balance Family and Business below that has worked for me and can work for you too:
1. Setting limits
Setting rules can help your family understand that you need time and space for your business tasks. Rules, however, aren’t the magic solution, especially for small children. When your 1-year-old wants her mommy, the fact that you are on an important phone call isn’t going to change her needs. However, having reliable child care is one way to carve out the quiet hours you need. Other options can be a visit to the library when you have an important conference call. Setting these type of business expectations for your family to understand is important.
Since school is just around the corner for my kids, my current situation is keeping them busy with activities so that by the time night time falls, they are ready for bed and I'm able to work while they're asleep. Once school starts again, I can then work in the day hours. Try and figure out what works best for you and your family by testing out different schedules. Before you know it, you'll have a routine set up.
2. Be flexible
Having a smart phone, fax machine, printer, shredder and Internet service allows me the flexibility to get my work done. I can do all of my tasks without having to outsource any of it. Find what type of flexibility makes your job easier to do. If you do have to outsource part of your work, make sure all of your requirements are put forth before completion to avoid repeat visits to outside resources.
For the first year, I was putting in 12- to 14-hour days, six days a week, and by Sunday I was a total wreck. That was only because I needed to find my groove on how to balance work with family life. Now, I don't put quite as much time but I do know how to manage my time. I've been able to accomplish time management with the help of my family. Setting business boundaries, managing my business and personal time has worked wonders.
Every family is different, and you may need creative solutions to accommodate your family’s schedule while maintaining your own personal work time. But you must work with your family, not against it, to strike the right type of balance for everyone involved. Implement the "The 3 Simplest Ways to Balance Family and Business" above and you'll be on the right track.
Feel free to use these FREE Business Schedule & Family Event Templates for your everyday business and family event planning. Right click, select "save image as"on your desktop and print them out. Personalized them to your needs and keep by your computer desk for easy access.
Now it's your turn. What are other simple ways you balance family and business life? Please share your comments below.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below.
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