Work life balance: Tips for business owning parents

When taking a huge leap of faith into the world of entrepreneurship and business owning, it’s important to feel like you have made your business a success.

However, an increasingly demanding work culture coupled with ambitious and often difficult to achieve targets is bumping up the hours worked by business owners putting their work-life balance out of sync. In the quest to be successful, CEOs and owners alike are more often than not going way above and beyond in terms of workload, never truly shutting off and leaving the business day behind.

work life balanceForbes recently reported on a survey undertaken by Alternative Board which outlined worrying stats surrounding the work life balance of entrepreneurs. Of the business owners studied, over 80% reported feeling like they work too much, with 30% admitting to working over 50 hours per week and 20% 60 hours of more. Many reported starting working from early in the morning and continuing to work well into the night, whether that’s at a workplace or at home. Put simply, it’s becoming more and more common to find a huge work-life imbalance in business owners.

A good work-life balance is one where the amount of focus and time given to work is balanced with other aspects of home life, such as taking time out and raising a family. While the exact balance between work versus personal life varies from person to person, it’s important to try and keep it as even as possible. It’s a difficult topic, each individual will have a different way to cope and different balances that work for them and whilst there’s no magic solution for finding a perfect work life balance, there are several tactics that you can use to ease stress and increase happiness.

Stick to a schedule

Schedules are key no matter what industry you’re in, they keep you on track and ensure productivity and organisation is at the highest possible level. By implementing a schedule, you’re able to fit in your daily business goals around your family.

Make family time non-negotiable

If you really want to find a healthy balance between your business and your family, then you’re going to need to make some sacrifices. By sticking with your core values and implementing healthy boundaries, you’re much more likely to keep things in order. If you feel you need more family time, or even time to unwind alone, block out non-negotiable time in your schedule.

Build a team you can trust

When you’ve built up a business from scratch, it be exceedingly difficult to relinquish some of the control. By building a team that you trust in its entirety, you’re able to make executive decisions and which activities can or should be delegated, outsourced or automated.

Beyond the struggle in balancing work and parenting, recent research by Vistaprint suggests that entrepreneurship can actually make Mums and Dads better parents. With the research going on to suggest that working parents have the ability to leave an important impression on their children, teaching them the importance of qualities such as a strong work ethic, responsibility, leadership skills and commitment, there’s a whole load of evidence to suggest that children within these ambitious and creative families are thriving.

We wanted to gage this topic from the perspective of a successful business owner, sitting down with Anne Davies, entrepreneur, owner and specialist in children’s bedroom furniture from Room to Grow to discuss how she manages the progression of her thriving business and the day to day life involved with being a parent.

“For all working parents it is a constant juggling act. I rely on family to help at times and I work at night when my daughter is in bed to catch up. Having said that, I wouldn’t change this for the world. I always spend time with my daughter on an evening finding out about her day and I like to have one day at the weekend when I switch off and spend time with family and friends. I work hard but I love what I do and I just hope I can be a good role model for my daughter.”

Owning a business isn’t for the faint hearted, especially for those juggling businesses and bringing up children. By staying organised and never losing the passion in what you do and by ensuring you’re surrounded by a fantastic network of supportive family and friends, you’re sure to make a success of whatever you set your mind to.