As a busy mom working in the largest real estate market in the country, while raining two tween kids, I am on the go constantly. Running your own business generally takes an average of 60-70 hours a week of pure dedication in order to help it thrive and grow. Despite the amount of hours involved for a business to thrive, with some planning, there are several ways you can avoid work and family burn out, something I have personally encountered more than once in my life.
Here are 5 tips that can help you learn to balance your family life and work life whether you are a working girl like me, or not…..
1. Focus on being present, despite the location or vast amount of distractions floating around your mind. Frequently, entrepreneurs appear to be distracted, and in some cases disrespectful or rude. To avoid giving off these impressions, only take phone calls when you know you will not be distracted, and do not need to tend your children – lock the door to your office! Remember, the minute you get on the phone is the minute your child needs you beyond desperation.
2. Apply the “5 before 11am” principle, and tackle or accomplish 5 things you need to get done, before 11 A.M. In order to make this technique work for you, write a list of things you need to accomplish the night before – I have a tack of cards next to my desk and every night I decide what my “big rocks” for the next day will be. This way when I wake up in the morning, I can begin tackling the list without hesitation or need to prioritize the tasks to be accomplished that day.
3. Always treat you family as though they are your number one client. As a busy real estate agent, my schedule can become rather hectic and things always pop up at the last minute. In order to be sure there is plenty of time with my family, I try doing a couple of these things: first turn your cell phone off when your children or family members are in the car; return home from work at a couple nights a week at a reasonable time; and set a night each week to spend time with your significant other. These three simple steps are essential to reminding your family that they are your number one priority. The last thing I want to happen is to make my family feel as though my work is more important than they are my work is incredibly important to me, but I am proud to share that with my children when it is appropriate.
4. Do something special with your spouse or children during work time. Being able to leverage your work and family time means more to your family than you know. Try doing something such as meeting your spouse for lunch, or if you will be travelling out of town, take your family with you for a couple of days. By taking your family with you, you can create the feel of a mini-vacation for them when you are not working, especially if you need to travel out of your local area. Since I sell homes in Malibu and Pacific Palisades, often times I take my kids out there with me and after the home showings are finished, we take a walk on the beach, have a sunset dinner, or spend the night in one of our favorite hotel.
5. Engage your family in your business. By finding age appropriate jobs for your children, you allow them to feel like they are a big part of your business. Plus you have the opportunity to spend more time with them, while making them feel important. The more you reach out for help and assistance from your family, the more they will appreciate what you are doing, plus they are less likely to develop feelings of resentment. A small example of a task I gave my children to do for me recently, was helping me sort through the mounds of unfiled paperwork from a busy year in real estate. When my tweens helped me stuff and seal the envelopes, they felt as though they were playing a big part to the success of my real estate career.
Working hard and raising a family is a difficult task that can easily lead to burning yourself out. However, by following the simple steps mentioned above, you will be able to create a balance between your work and family life that will prevent burning out and family resentment.