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10 ways to bust the Work/Family balance myth

Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your own business for a while balancing entrepreneurial ambitions with family life can be tough. In a constantly connected world where work is just an email alert away the lines between work and family life have become blurred, but here at Vu we’ve got 10 tips to put things back into focus.

Children awake = laptop in sleep mode

Make the most of your freedom to create your own hours, and don’t go straight into the 5-9 after the 9-5. The golden rule is that when your children are awake, leave your work alone. Having a set bedtime will make sure they’re more rested in the morning and that you have a window of quiet time you can rely on to get extra work done.

Be in the moment

When raising children there are moments you can miss that you’ll never get back again. Whether it’s a first word or a first step it’s important to learn that it’s ok to be in the moment and forget about work for a while. Deadlines can be delayed but special moments won’t wait.

Save the jobs that can be done at home

If you know you’re going to be working late make sure you save the low impact jobs for when you’re at home. These jobs might include checking emails, posting social media updates or reviewing the content on your website. These kinds of jobs are non-critical and can withstand distractions such as temper tantrums, grazed knees, and Frozen sing-a-longs.

Let it go

While it’s great if everything is perfect, the reality is that most of the time it’s not – and that’s OK. Perfectionism can produce great results but it can also have a negative effect on your family life, so it’s worth learning to let things go if you’re not entirely satisfied with the day’s work you’ve done.

Cook in batches

A simple life-hack that will give you more free time at home cooking in batches cuts down the time  needed to prepare food after work and means you won’t become reliant on less nutritious ready meals. If you’re in need of some time (and money) saving culinary inspiration check out netmums collection of batch cooking recipes.

Make the most of your mobile

Equip yourself with a mobile device you find comfortable to work on and you’ll be able to utilise downtime while out and about for working. Any idle time where you’re waiting can be made more productive by having a mobile device that allows you to respond to emails, create documents and post social media updates.

Homework for grownups

Children can be surprisingly understanding if you’re honest with them. Explain why you need to spend time working when you’re at home and it’ll be easier to focus on work when the time comes. If your children are older you can tell them that you also get homework sometimes, and even do it while they’re doing theirs.

Have a designated working space

To work from home without distraction it’s essential to setup a designated work space, whether it’s a spare bedroom, the cupboard under the stairs or the second toilet. This will help you to keep things organised and means you won’t have to live in fear over things being spilled on your laptop at the kitchen table.

Get a business coach

It’s not all about the children, running your own business can affect your significant other as well. While it’s important to have someone you can talk to about the stresses of running your businesses, too much stress at home will leave everyone feeling burned out. One way to avoid this is to find a business partner to share the load with. Another is to hire a business coach which not only eases the pressure but can help to drive your business forward as well. We’d recommend our personal coach Steve Gaskell.

Don’t catch superhero syndrome

When your business is your baby it can be hard to let other people push the pram, but for your sanity’s sake task delegation is essential. At work this means handing over important tasks to your team members if you don’t have time to do them yourself. Not only will this show you trust them but it will lighten your load as well. At home you can get your children to help out with time-consuming chores.

 

We know that when it comes to balancing work and family there are no easy answers, these are just a few ways we’ve learned to make our lives better at home and in the office. Let us know if you have any tips for running a business and managing a family, we’d love to hear them.

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