How to Juggle Your Life and Your Home Based Business
Hats off to you, the confident juggler! There you stand, doing your best to balance the demands of family, work and self-care. And now, you've tossed another ball into the air--your Home Based Business. How can you add productive work time for your business to the whirling responsibilities you already keep aloft? Try these tips.
Keep it clean. Are your business materials piled on the kitchen counter along with your knitting basket, last night's dinner dishes and last year's science-fair project? If so, it might take longer to find the catalogs, much less get the mailers out. Would you like more time to be productive, then relax with your family? Use a file cabinet or bookshelf to keep your business materials in order. and spend the last few minutes of each business day neatly putting away your business materials, for a quick start next time.
Think ahead. Planning is essential if your business and your family are going to thrive side by side. Do you start each week with a road map to guide you? Or do you leave your daily route up to chance? Set a time to chart your path for the week and month ahead. Should you work Thursday evening so you're free Saturday night to celebrate your anniversary? Should you head to the children's section of the library today so your kids have plenty to read tomorrow while you work on your business? Don't creep into crisis mode; march into the week with a plan.
Give a timeframe. When is Business Building today? Tell your kids. Most likely, they'll be more patient while you are working if they know when you'll be done.
Fill them in. Does your toddler develop phone jealousy after you've been clutching the receiver too long? Don't let the same thing heppen to your business. Stamp out business jealousy! Talk to your youngster about your business and why you're working to build it. That way, your business won't seem like gremlins that keep snatching you away.
Include them. Help your kids befriend your business by getting them involved in it. Can your preschooler mail brochures with you? Can your third grader do his/her homework alongside you as you work at the kitchen table? Thank your kids for keeping you company on a trip to the post office or during an online training. As you complete task after task, your kids will feel that they're sharing in your success.
Ask for assistance. In the words of psychologist William James, "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." You know when it's time to move ahead on your business. If you've set a date by which you want to finish as task get the help you need. Pay a babysitter to watch your infant for an afternoon while you work on the task. Ask your spouse to make supper while you spend time on a conference call. There's power in meeting a deadline that you've given yourself.
Streamline. "Saying no," says author Claudia Black, "can be the ultimate self-care." When asked to give your time to a new project, consider this: How well does it support your top priorities? Should you agree to plan the annual charity baike-a-thon, or should you politely decline? Especially when you're completing something for your business, try to streamline your schedule.
Go with the flow. You'd planned to send out brochure packets this morning, but your middle-schooler woke up with a cough that means a trip to the doctor. Take a deep beath, and remember one of the benefits of your home based business: It fits in well with the unforeseen evenets of daily life. Felx! Business can bend a bit to accommodate family needs.
Remember what's important. As much your business tries, it's never been able to give better hugs than your four-year-old. Know when to call it a day and enjoy the company of those you love.