24 Feb How To Juggle A Business And Family
If you’re a running a business from home, this can bring a multitude of benefits (no commuting, able to do the school run, no office politics, working in hours to suit you, to name but a few) but there can be a downside too. Often working from home can cause a blurring of what’s work and what’s family life.
There are things you can put in place to stop this becoming a problem. Here are my tips for helping you to juggle your business and your family effectively:
1. Have a separate space for working in – of course it’s great to have a separate office that you can use at home to run your business from. However, if you don’t have this, think about how you can still create a working space. Is there a corner of a dining room or a spare room you can designate to your business? Could you convert part of the garage? Personally I love those garden offices that companies are offering now at a relatively low-cost – this is definitely on my wish list for the future….
Be creative and you’ll figure out a way to create a separate space to work in – and, once you have it figured out, make sure the rest of the family know to stay away! Though no matter how many times I tell my eldest not to go into my office, I am still often greeted by little notes from her when I go in. She tells me she is just doing her work!
2. Set clear boundaries for working and family time – try to keep the 2 separate as much as possible. It can help to imagine that you are actually ‘going to work’ to focus on your business in work time. Try not to get distracted by putting a load in the washing machine, the kitchen that needs tidying up and that bit of ironing that needs doing. Keep work time as work time and vice versa, so, when you are in family time, focus on being with the kids and not getting distracted by checking your emails and finishing that order you need to get out.
One tip I’ve known people use is to put a lock on the office, if they have one at home. So, when you finish work, you lock the door just like if the office was away from home. This can help you mentally stop being in ‘work mode’ and get back to the family.
3. Get a support network – this is so important if you work from home, to avoid feeling isolated. See what networking groups are run in your area or go and contact other mums you know working from home and arrange to meet up for a coffee regularly. Treat these as your virtual colleagues who you can bounce ideas off, run things by them and have a moan with at those times when we all need to let off a bit of steam.
Of course, this can also be a great way to promote your business and get recommendations and referrals.
4. Ask for help – all of us need help in running our businesses. It’s impossible to be an expert in everything and it can be stressful trying to do everything yourself. Work to your strengths and try to find others to fill in the gaps for you. Outsourcing is great way to do this – get a virtual assistant, an accountant, IT support, whatever it is that you are struggling with and need help with.
Sometimes business owners avoid doing this to cut costs but consider what else you could be doing in the same time that could be adding value to your business. If costs are really holding you back then consider a skill swap. See what skills your support network has (point 3), and if you can arrange to swap skills rather than paying for the help.
Of course, employing a business coach is a great way to help you and your business and the cost of employing one is outweighed by the benefits this should bring to you and your business – but of course I would say that wouldn’t I!
If you’re not sure how coaching will help you then please contact me for a complimentary consultation and discover how – there is absolutely no obligation so what have you to got to lose by trying it out?
I always love to hear from other business owners working from home, so please feel free to add your comments and share any other advice you have for juggling a business and family.
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