So far in this series of blogs on working from home we have concentrated on getting stuff done in the business, so today lets look at the other side of the coin, after all, whats the point of working from home if we can’t make time for our family.
When you are running a business and working from home it is sometimes difficult to get the balance right between the amount of time you spend on the business and the amount of time you spend with the family, and in many cases the business wins because you have to make a living to look after the family.There are many ways that you can make time for your family and still enjoy working from home. By making an effort to be with your spouse and children, you are showing your love for them and highlighting their importance in your life.
Communicate and negotiate. Talk about what the family want to do and get, from time spent together. Sometimes it can be hard, your children want to play on the Playstation, you would like to go out for a walk in the country. But we all have to make adjustments, just don’t be tempted to go back into the office whilst they’re on the computer, for your kids just being around and there for them is better than the actual activity.
Share what you know. If you have a passion for football, or a hobby like crochet, share it with your children, you just might find a convert, or at least a cheering section. By sharing, we extend ourselves into the next generation. Many times the things that we enjoy doing now, were started by a parent sharing an experience with us. The upside is that you get to do what you enjoy, and the bonus is that we can spend time doing it with our families.
Get down with the youth. Sometimes just letting the kids plan the day takes the pressure off of you and can open the day for an adventure you might never have thought of yourself. We have a tendancy to think that children have no interests outside of their computer and video games, but you may be surprised, most children are very tuned into what the likes and dislikes of their parents and siblings are, and when given to opportunity to plan a day, will take everyone into consideration. You just may learn to relax when your working at home, with the result that when you are finished for the day you can leave work in the office and not worry about it until the next day.
Sunday roast. Most parents in full time employment are off work at the weekends, but it not usually the case if you’re running your business from home, there is always something that needs to be done. By having special routines on the weekends, you let the time together become an extra-special looked forward to event. Make memories and new family traditions. You can change anything up and make it your own. In our household Sunday dinner was always the time that we sat down as a family and caught up with what was going on in everyones lives, no phones, no tablets just good hearty family conversations and laughs and now when the children come home from University, they always look forward to a Sunday Roast before thay go back.
Trim the excess togetherness. You don’t have to do everything as a family. Pick and choose what to do together as a group and what only two of you want to do. Spending time alone, or all sitting in the living room together in quiet is fine. Mum and dad chat or read whilst the kids listen to their music or play video games with headphones on, all together, but pursuing separate interests is still good.
When working from home, making time for your family can be the rock you build your business and life on. Work and family life don’t have to be at odds when you take the reins and define a place for each in your life.
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor