5 Ways to Achieving Family and Business Harmony
Running a business and bringing up a family is something of a juggling act and you will see a lot of information about striking a work/life balance in order to feel like you have really got this thing under control. This is like suggesting that we can neatly cut our time in half, devoting it exclusively to our home and work in turn. The reality could not be further from this, however, and in all honesty, it is time to ditch this pressurised unrealistic ideal that we keep being sold. You are not failing if you cannot neatly segment your life into the two categories, far from it! Being a parent and business owner is no mean feat but rather than fighting for the unachievable why not strive to create some harmony instead. To be brutally honest there is no such thing as a perfect balance. Sometimes you will actually sacrifice some family time to grow your business, but conversely, you will also find you will sacrifice the business to focus on your family at times too. Neither is wrong or failing and what works for you might not work for others. Harmony is an individual thing and finding your own levels of harmony is what matters. If you resolve to do one thing this year, make it the intent to stop looking for a work/life balance and instead replace it with harmony. Here are five great way of achieving family and business harmony to get you started.
1. Try Themes for Your Week
On a Sunday spend some time deciding what your priorities are for the coming week, it doesn’t matter if these are home or work priorities, they are all part of your life! Then see if you can create a theme for each day, maybe Monday’s are about shipping orders, Tuesdays are for Marketing, Wednesdays for returning calls and answering correspondence, Thursdays for the kids and Friday’s anything goes depending on what is needed. To-do-lists make a great addition to harmony, you can see at a glance what needs to happen, but the priorities give the list a focus and a purpose above and beyond just working down the items. You could organise the list by priority so things near the bottom can be left undo if time escapes you, and you will not worry or stress about these things as they are not the priority they can wait.
2. Choose Wisely
We have all fallen into the yes trap, where anything that comes our way we accept and take on. This can add to our burden and heap on the guilt. It is important to consciously make choices that fit with our overarching desire for harmony. We are conditioned to work hard, in fact so hard it should all but kill us, and while this is admirable, it isn’t terribly practical or harmonious. It is time to take back control and start making choices that actually fit for us. If you do not want to take on something, then don’t feel you have to. No is such a little word but really hard to say. It is time to practice this, as for some reason it tends to be something we can say to our family, but not in business. Examine what you are taking on because if it damages your mental health and your personal and family life, is it really worth it?
3. Get Out
There is a tendency to push vital self-care habits to the side and convince ourselves that they do not form any part of our harmony. Well, that is a common misnomer, and in fact, self-care is an integral part of maintaining this harmony. So what does that mean? Well, it means that you need to be active and get out and about in the real world. It can be easy to go from desk to home and back again, desperately working all the hours you can to get everything done but the benefits of walking the dog or going for a run cannot be overlooked. Exercise helps with mood and the regulation of hormones, which is actually more important than you might realise. So take the time to go for a swim, take the kids out on the bikes or something else active.
4. Don’t Forget to Sleep
Burnout is an issue that can affect anyone, but if you run your own business, then you will want to avoid this one. Not sleeping well can cause a myriad of health issue not least feeling tired all the time. It actually weakens the immune system and leaves you susceptible to coughs, colds and viruses. It also lowers the processing power of the brain which funnily enough links directly to our productivity. Make sure you find time to rest, even if you don’t sleep well at least resolve to lay on the bed and relax with no electronics. Try meditation this is a great way to relax the brain and help restore a natural balance in the body even when you are feeling super busy.
5. Remember Who You Are
We are human, not robot. There is a limit to what we can do, and pushing ourselves actually only means that something somewhere slips. Forget trying to live up to some ideal dictated by the internet or social media and stop searching for the impossible. You are more than enough, and you need to take time to congratulate yourself on what you do achieve rather than berate yourself over things you do not get done. Our children are only young for such a short time you want to look back on the period with warm memories and no regrets. Harmony is how you will achieve this when you realise it is ok to drop the ball on something every once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you cannot attend one meeting or you cannot make every playdate on the calendar. The balance comes not from our work and home life, but from the acceptance, we find within our harmony.