For many generations, women who work outside of the home have had a challenging time balancing career and family life. The ultimate goal of a fulfilling home life and career takes more energy and time than one might imagine.
Although balance can be difficult to achieve, prioritization is a better goal and it is not impossible. Running a home-based business can make it easier to raise your children, be there for your spouse, enjoy time for yourself and the flexibility of a rewarding career.
With thorough planning, good organization skills, and smart time management, you can divide your time between work and family and find peace in the process.
1. First things, first
How do you prioritize when everything seems like a priority? Only you know what your true priorities are, but writing them down or using a task management app can help you focus.
What your responsibilities are on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis – as a mother and separately, as a business owner. List daily and weekly recurring tasks using free mobile and desktop apps like TeuxDeux to set your schedule and keep things organized.
Keep a separate family calendar for appointments, vacations, and schedules. Next, fit your business tasks into the larger picture. Also, set aside time alone in your home office (or head over to your local coffee shop or bookstore) every Saturday or Sunday to review the week ahead.
2. Set ‘office hours’ boundaries
When you run a home-based business, creating boundaries helps to establish clarity between your business and family life. You will need to “no” to activities that do not align with your priorities as a mother or an entrepreneur. These boundaries will help you to focus and stay present through the day. Set your limits, make your goals and stick with them.
It is especially important to maintain tight boundaries when working out of your own home, including setting aside a separate home office space. Keep your computer turned off at the end of your office hours and use social media management tools to manage your social presence (and avoid scrolling your personal account news feed every 10 minutes).
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
After you have prioritized your daily and weekly tasks it’s time to figure out which ones to do and which ones to delegate. When it comes to family roles, make sure you’ve sat down wit your spouse, children and extended family to ensure everyone can pull their weight. You might choose to hire out for specialized business tasks like social media management and accounting.
Delegating tasks that you don’t enjoy or lack the skills and time to do can help with time management. You can also use helpful apps for busy moms like HatchedIt and Cozi, which function as family calendars, reminders, and shopping lists.
4. Take care of yourself
With a growing number of family and business needs it’s easy to put your own needs on the backburner. But don’t dismiss the importance of scheduling your personal time to recharge, refocus and become inspired again.Taking care of your physical, spiritual and emotional
Taking care of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs will equip you to better care for others and handle your business. Prioritize healthy eating, exercise regularly and getting a full night’s sleep. Consider what makes you feel the most satisfied, such as a weekly coffee date with friends, a spa afternoon or a monthly date night with your spouse. Whatever makes you happy, prioritize those things too.
These four tips will help you prioritize family life with growing a home-based business. This also enables your personal success while being there for your children and spouse. You will need to work as a team in order to achieve more “balance”. By setting boundaries, making priorities and knowing when to say “no,” you can experience both personal and professional satisfaction as a hard working mother and entreprneeur.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the recent trends in the business world. She spends her free time trying out new recipes or reading Scandinavian crime novels. Connect with @LisaBMichaels on Twitter.