Family and Business Balance
Hi, this is Timon from Finch Rock, and today I want to talk with you about how to improve the balance between work life and private life. So basically, business time and family time. A lot of business owners, they struggle with this because it’s so easy to lose ourselves in spending a lot of time on improving and growing our business.
Because the thing is, our income depends on it. Our livelihood depends on our business. There is a sense of fear that if we don’t spend enough time on working on our business and working with our clients, that it’s going to hurt our income and it’s going to hurt our livelihood, right? It is quite easy to lose yourself and spend a lot of time in your business.
Now, that’s not necessarily bad, but basically, you’re watching this because you want to improve the balance between the business and family life, right? Somewhere along the line, that balance has been upset, or it could be that your family situation has changed. For myself, when I got my first child, that upset the balance that I wanted to have between my business and family time. Because I had a child, I wanted to spend more time with my family. There is a transition that you need to go through if you want to change the balance or if you want to go back to the balance that you once had but longer have.
What do you want?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is what it is that you want. What do I want? You want to be as specific and as clear as you can be, what it is that you want. Do you want to spend more time with family? Well, more, that is not really specific is it? It’s not really clear. Better would be, “I want to spend five times each week with my family.” That’s already a lot more specific and a lot clearer. What could even be better is, “I want to spend the Wednesday afternoons with my kids when they are also free from school.” You want to narrow it down as specific as possible what it is that you want. One of the things you could think about is the amount of time. So, “I want to spend more time with my family.” Another thing could be that you simply want more flexibility.
So for example, once in a month my son has, at school they have a show that the kids perform, but it’s during working hours. So I don’t necessarily want to spend less time in a business, I just want to have the flexibility to, on the Fridays once a month, to go to that rehearsal or that performance for my son. That’s part of flexibility, and it could be that I then use that time I spent with my son, in the evening I recoup that and I work on my business. That’s a part of flexibility. Depending on what it is exactly that you want, you will find that there are different obstacles that you need to get through, and it also means that you have to find different solutions, right? So, it is important that you get clear and specific on what it is that you want.
What is stopping me?
Once you have that, the next step is to ask yourself, is what is stopping me? What is stopping me? Why are you not already at where you want to be? Why can’t you take the Wednesday afternoons off, why don’t you have the flexibility to go Friday afternoons to watch the performance of your son, right? You want to narrow, so the first thing is what you want. The second thing is why are you not getting that already? That’s a very important step, because it shows very clearly where you have to find the solutions to improve the balance. For example, when you want to take the Wednesday afternoons off, it could be that means that you lose four hours of your work week, so that’s roughly 10% of your work week, so it probably means that you need to get someone else to work for you.
One of the problems that can be stopping you is that you have too many clients that require one-on-one attention, and you cannot outsource that. If that is a problem, if that’s the situation where you are in, then you will have to find very different solutions. If you find that you have to spend the time, but you spend most of the time working on social media and on email, well, guess what? Then already have a lot of flexibility, because you can do that in the evenings as well, right? Get specific on what you want, then dig deeper and find out what is stopping you from getting what you want.
What is the first step?
Once you have that, what is stopping you, then you can ask yourself the next question, and that is what is the first step? What is the first step? Once you have clear what obstacle is keeping you from what you want, then you can think of very clear and specific actions. The first step that you can take towards removing the obstacle and moving towards where you want to be. A lot of the times, this is a process. You can’t go from where you are currently to where you want to be in one go. First of all, practically it’s not possible. So for example, if all of a sudden you start taking Wednesday afternoons off, then you could indeed run into problems with your business. That is obviously what you want to prevent. There might be a process that makes you, over time, take more and more time off so that a couple of weeks or maybe a few months down the line you can have the whole Wednesday afternoon off.
The quicker you can go there, the clearer the actual problems will become. You could challenge, you could go all the other way, you could challenge yourself and say, “Okay, from next week, Wednesday afternoon is off. Off limits, it’s clear, I am not working, I am with my family.” Once you do that, immediately it will become clear what is the actual problem, what is stopping you in the past from getting where you want to be. If you start getting overwhelmed with emails, for example, then bam, right away you know that the problem is emails. How can you solve that? Well, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle the emails for you.
That’s just one solution. Another could be, I take every Fridays, every last Friday of the month I want to see my son’s performance. I just schedule that in my journal, I block the time, that’s family time. If I then find that it’s conflicting with, for example, client calls, maybe the first step would be to never, ever book a client call again on Friday, and make sure that I book all the calls on Monday to Thursday. Those are all processes that you can through, but anyway, the clearer you are on what you want, and if you start implementing, the easier it will become to identify the problems and to identify what the first step will be.
These are the three questions you need to ask yourself to improve the balance between your family and your business time. I wish you all the best, and see you around. Bye-bye.
How can you improve your family and business balance? Let us know in the below comments section!