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How to balance your work and family life

When you own a business, it can be hard to find time for both your business and your personal life. Your business can take up a lot of your time as you try to make it blossom. Working long hours can be the norm, especially for small businesses and start-ups. Your family life can suffer from neglect, as you spend more time in the office trying to keep your business going.

However, this can be very unhealthy on your mental and emotional wellbeing, which naturally has adverse effects on how you perform in business, as well as the quality of your family life. On the contrary, achieving a good balance can remarkably transform the overall quality of your life: body, mind, spirit, home and work.

If the above is an area that you are having difficulty with, start with these four useful guidelines below:

Keep work and home strictly separate
That means not bringing work home. It would be a good idea not to  have a home office as soon as practically possible. This will force you to be much more disciplined in balancing personal and business aspects, while eliminating various distractions.

Dedicate strict family days
You can choose a day such as Sunday, when business is slow, to spend with your family. Spending a full day paying attention to your family (and personal) needs, can be immensely fulfilling for yourself and them.

Establish limits and boundaries
While at work do not bring family life into the equation, and when at home do not bring work life to the fore. Explain to your family that you should not be disturbed when working and request that they respect this. At the same time avoid using your laptop or tablet for work when at home. You may not achieve perfection, and there may be some exceptions of course, but as you strive to get this balance, the benefits will speak for themselves.

Go on vacation with your family
Set aside vacation days to separate yourself physically from your business environment. Take your family with you to spend quality time away from home. Obviously you should avoid working and maybe only request to be contacted if there is an emergency.

Balancing your business life with your family life can be difficult, but it can be done. It is a matter of setting strict boundaries between the two — and keeping to them. Once you know how to keep them separate, it will be much easier for you to achieve balance. This will contribute towards a happier personal and professional life.

Brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).