If you look at statistics across the U.S. and Canada alone, it’s safe to say that the state of business is overwhelmingly small business. There’s no better time to be an entrepreneur.
Ask someone juggling both parenthood and a small business though, and they might argue otherwise.
By no means are we here to oversimplify either job—especially in the midst of back-to-school season. It should go without saying, but always bears repeating that choosing either path for yourself is hard work. Let alone choosing both simultaneously.
You’ll have those days where, after nonstop meetings, “family dinner” means frozen pizza in front of the TV. Along the way, there may be a missed hockey game, or a cluttered house in need of some overdue cleaning.
The point is: there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. There’s no such thing as a perfect entrepreneur. Beating yourself up over perfection will do more harm than good—so let it go. And instead, use these tips to help in striking your own sense of balance between the two.
Time Block Your Day
When you’ve got multiple tasks to manage—whether they live in the personal or professional areas of your life—to-do listing the day away just won’t cut it. Especially nowadays where screentime distractions are the norm.
You can be more successful at balancing your parental and entrepreneurial duties with time blocking. This productivity habit doesn’t steer too far from the name in implementation.
Look at your calendar at the start of every week and map out your priorities of focus. In taking this approach, you start to attribute more weight to your to-do’s in the form of time spent rather than just bullet points on paper.
As it Makes Sense, Give Your Kids Insight Into Your Business
Communication is just as important for the sake of your family, as it is your business. Just as you would sit around the dinner table to ask your kids how their days at school were, offer up insight into what’s going on in your life, too.
It’s easy to make assumptions around what people don’t care to listen to—to bottle up your feelings and stories for another time. Obviously, there are some stressors from work life that you may choose to keep to yourself. But try to make your family a part of your world and express passion for the work that you do. In doing so, you may find them inspired to pursue entrepreneurial interests of their own.
Learn Alongside Them
The idea of “learning” is something that’s often only associated with childhood. You go to school, read textbooks, and then head out into the real world where everyone knows everything.
As an adult, and especially as an entrepreneur, continued learning is an investment worth making. In fact, it’s an investment you should never stop making.
When your kids sit down to tackle their homework every night, join them to work on your own studies. Treat it as a time blocked part of your day where everyone comes together to read, write, collaborate, ask questions, and problem solve in an effort to grow.
Get Out of Your Head and Off Social Media
Remember that word we talked about earlier? Perfection? Let’s talk about that again.
If you’re an avid social media user or parent blog follower, you may be prone to giving yourself a hard time for that Pinterest-inspired school lunch you didn’t make this morning. Or the cleverly themed slumber party on Instagram that you weren’t able to provide for your kid and their friends over the weekend.
No matter what scene your social feeds are setting, remember that they’re heavily staged. Every photo is handled with care to show someone and the life they lead in the best possible light. So put your phone down more often than you feel comfortable doing and rejoin the real world. We’re all imperfect here.