Although running your business is a huge part of your life, it’s likely that it’s not the only thing in your life. You might have a family that depends on you, and it’s vital to spend the same amount of time on your personal connections that you do on developing your business. Spending too much time on one can greatly harm the other.
This article will provide a few different tips on how to balance work and family life. We’ll cover a variety of topics, including:
- Work out your priorities
- Create a workspace
- Plan and schedule your days in advance
- Hire staff if possible
- Set expectations
- How Countingup can help you balance work and family life
Figure out your priorities
The first step in balancing your time correctly is to figure out your priorities. You may already do something similar to this when you organise your workload — you’ll do the really crucial jobs first, but only complete the non-essential jobs if there’s time.
Prioritising the important things does not necessarily mean always putting family life before your business or vice versa. Instead, try to break both down into specific moments. For family life, these moments might be things like graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. For work, these moments might be client meetings or major tasks like creating your annual budget.
Once you’ve got specific moments in mind, it’s much easier to figure out priorities. For instance, you might prioritise a client meeting over volunteering at your child’s school fair, but only because you know you’re prioritising that child’s birthday over everything else later in the week.
Create a workspace
Being self-employed commonly means running your business from home. This can have a huge impact on balancing your work and family life, but it’s not necessarily a negative one.
If you work from home, you’ll be much closer to your family and won’t be away from them for long periods of time. This means that you’ll be able to squeeze family time into your lunch breaks and mornings, and you won’t have to worry about your commute taking away from your family time.
On the other hand, working from home means it’s much harder to create boundaries. Having physical distance between your work and your family means you can devote your time entirely to one or the other, but working from home means the two tend to blend together. If you’re reading work emails at a family dinner, or playing with your children when you need to sort your business accounts, you’re not balancing work and family life effectively.
A good trick is picking a room in your home to be your ‘business headquarters’. Depending on your business, you may need a large room, but if you work entirely on a computer it’s possible to create a home office in a small space.
By creating a room dedicated to your company, you should find it easier to stop working when you’re not in that room, which means your work and family life won’t blend together as much and become unbalanced.
Plan and schedule your days in advance
A huge part of balancing work and family life is working out how to spend your time more efficiently. This means that improving your time management should be a priority.
An easy trick for improving your time management is to plan ahead. If you know what you’re doing every day this week, it will be easier to know when you’re able to stop working and start spending time with your family. Find out what tasks you need to complete each week, as well as what important family events are coming up. Once you have a list of both, you can begin scheduling your days.
It’s a good idea to leave some spare time in your schedule, too. Say a work task takes more time than expected, or a family member visits you unexpectedly. This can ruin your schedule and cause an imbalance in how you spend your time. If you have some spare time within the schedule dedicated to unexpected events, you’ll be able to finish work tasks and enjoy unexpected visits without sacrificing the balance between your business and family life.
Hire staff if possible
For many small businesses, the costs of hiring your first employee can outweigh the benefits. If you can afford an employee or two, though, it can hugely help with balancing your work and family life. Having an extra person to rely on to complete business-related tasks means you can spend more time with your family without worrying about what’s happening with your business.
The downside is that having an employee can create more work for you — like working out wages and employee training — so you may not save as much time as you think.
If you’re hiring an employee to improve the balance between your work and family life, make sure you use their time (and yours) wisely. Don’t give the employee too much work, but remember that you can rely on them to oversee things if there’s an important family event you need to be a part of.
How a simple app can help you balance work and family life
There are many tasks you’ll encounter while running a business that are very simple but very time-consuming. These sorts of jobs are particularly common in accounting; they include things like making up invoices, organising your expenses, or digitising your receipts.
In order to free up more time to spend with your family, consider using software to do these tasks for you. Countingup is a great example of this kind of financial management software and has a range of features that will help you do all the jobs we just mentioned.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.