Being a Business Owner and a Parent
Most “parentreneurs” dread the summer holidays because they have to juggle between business and parenting. While the two are essential, there’s always the risk of favoring one over the other. Finding a balance may help save your business without letting it run your life. But how do you go about it?
Setting Boundaries as a Busy Parent
Learning to allocate time for all aspects of your life is a good discipline. If one suffers, it affects all the other faculties.
For example, spending more time in your business could lead to burnout. Consequently, you will not have the energy to commit to the business. Disconnecting after the workday ends, maybe 5pm, and on weekends may improve your productivity and creativity.
At first, this might not be an easy task. However, once you develop some consistency, it won’t only be easy, but you’ll also appreciate that decision. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries; see it as a step in the right direction.
Visualizing your week or day can help you avoid any surprises. Ask yourself these questions to help you get ideas:
- What do I want to accomplish by the end of the week?
- When do I have family commitments?
- How do I allocate my time between business and family?
- When can I set a time for unforeseen occurrences?
Sundays might be the best time to figure out your next week’s schedule. You should avoid overcommitting your day or week.
When and how you wake up is a major factor in determining how your day goes. Therefore, you should have a routine that keeps you on track. Waking up at the same every day might be helpful. There’s also some benefit to practicing meditation in early morning hours.
Prioritize your Time
How do you prioritize? One technique is to use the prioritization matrix to identify the most impactful and easiest activities.
A prioritization matrix has 4 quadrants:
- Most impactful and easiest activity
- Least impactful and easiest activity
- Most impactful and difficult task
- Least impactful and difficult task
This will allow you to see which tasks can be done first, perhaps the ones that provide the most impact, but are easier to accomplish.
Along those same lines, another strategy is by making a list of items you need to complete. Adding another level of prioritization, you can take those tasks and rank them by importance. The simple act of putting your tasks down on paper is a great start to the process of prioritizing your time.
Build a Support Network
The most ignored aspect of running a business as a parent is having a support system. Whether it’s a spouse, a partner, or your friends, asking them for help is a necessary component for success.
No company has achieved success because of one person. Ever. It takes a group of people, pulling in the same direction, to build a successful and profitable business.
Building Systems to Save Time
To effectively manage your time as a business owner and parent, it's essential to build systems that save time. One approach is to implement Dan Sullivan's Entrepreneurial Time System. This system involves categorizing your time into focus days, buffer days, and free days.
Focus days are dedicated to high-value activities that directly contribute to your business's growth. Buffer days are for handling administrative tasks, meetings, and other non-urgent activities. Free days are designated for family, relaxation, and personal time.
Additionally, identify repetitive tasks or processes in your business and create systems to streamline them. Automate or delegate tasks where possible to save time and reduce your workload. Implementing effective systems can help free up time for both your business and family.
Include Your Children in the Business
Involving your children in the business can build important life skills which can never be taught in class. They may also develop a sense of responsibility as they see you in action. It’s also important for children to understand how their parents might spend their time at work, leading by example.
However, bringing your kids to work shouldn’t compromise their desire to have fun. Therefore, you should find fun ways to involve them. Some of the ideas you can implement include:
- Create a mock business where children can take on roles such as CEO, manager, or employee.
- Ask them to draw something for the business.
- Request them to help with simple activities like counting items to take stock.
Find a Balance. Foster it.
Once you have found a strategy that works for you, you should foster it. Finding work-life balance requires commitment and consistency. Your productivity is likely to increase when you put structures in place. Having a flexible mindset and adjusting as per the demand is important.
By incorporating principles such as utilizing Dan Sullivan's Entrepreneurial Time System, and building systems to save time, you can navigate the challenges of being a business owner and a parent more effectively. Remember, finding a balance is an ongoing process, but with determination and thoughtful planning, you can create a fulfilling and successful life on both fronts.