Working from Home – Make Time for Family

Get the balance between business and family right

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.

Working from Home - make time for familyWhen 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

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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16 thoughts on “Working from Home – Make Time for Family

  1. We spent time as a family communicating to find out what the best working hours for me would be, it works so much better when you get the buy in. Great post :)

  2. We’re currently in the Netherlands temporarily for my husband’s job, but he went back to the U.S. for business this past week, and on Sunday, had one of our typical barbecues, with our two children, their significant others, and friends! Then, they all went out to the movies–another one of our family activities! It’s neat when those things carry on even when your children are adults and out of the ‘nest’! By the way, they said the new Mission Impossible was really good!

  3. So many gems here Mike! I often worry that crafting is dying out in our generation – what a great suggestion to pass this on to my daughter in order to spend time together! I also find that balance is key when working from home. I look forward to starting a Sunday roast tradition with my family.
    Anthea O’Neill recently posted…Moms need time outs tooMy Profile

  4. Yay! I can give myself some ticks today Mike. Since starting the challenge I have been involving hubby much more in my writing. He has always played a part in the 100 Word Challenge.
    We do negotiate as he has projects that need the PC & study space & we certainly have traditions that are key.
    Another great post Mike!
    Julia Skinner recently posted…Top 10 careersMy Profile

  5. Hi Mike, fantastic blog, thank you. So nice to hear someone else speak about balancing time with family. I see so many people writing about sixteen hour work days and almost necessity to burn out to succeed. I disagree with that attitude, I always have Sunday as a day off/please myself day, sometimes work creeps in if I’m really excited about a project but I never book clients or events on Sundays now. I sit with my son’s for an evening meal & my youngest son and I walk together.
    In the evening we are now working on hour before bed completely screen free & we sit to read or draw/doodle or colour.

    • Hi Yvonne, thanks for dropping by on your day off/please yourself day. You’re right far too many people think long hours are a badge of success, not in my world, I’m in the middle of a nice month off, where i do no client work and get to spend loads of time with my kids as they’re home from University and my Wife, as she works in a school and has the summer hols off.

  6. We spend lots of time together as a family, just on our way for a walk around our local country park, shared a late breakfast. We eat 5-6 evening meals together. But we also have our own times and I think its important to share individual timed together too.
    Elaine recently posted…Coach Mentor Trainer or ManagerMy Profile

    • Thanks for dropping by and commenting Joanne, we used have great fun allowing the kids to plan days out and there was always a lunch at a pub in there somewhere beacausse that is what mum and Dad like 😉