• Team Tandem

Can you REALLY balance home and work?

Updated: Oct 27

6:37am coffee in hand, you sit down to look over emails that came in over the weekend and start to get your head wrapped around your week.


6:55am kids are awake, pause on work till they go to school.


7:45am work feverishly to get as much done as you can before they get home.


9:17am get a call from school that your youngest forgot her lunch box, drive it to school.


10:12am sit back down to start working


10:25am dog needs to go out


10:26am sit back down to start working


10:32am dog needs to come back in


10:33am sit back down to start working


11:27am another call from school, oldest is sick. Drive to school, tend to sick kiddo.


12:18pm sit back down to start working, realize it’s time to each lunch. Shovel leftovers in your face.


12:37pm sit back down to start working


1:48pm neighbor pops by, knows you work from home so figured you had time to chat about all the weeds in your other neighbor’s yard.


2:16pm sit down to start working


2:17pm kids walk in the door from school


You: “Hey kids, if you could grab a snack and get started on your homework, that would be great! I’ve got some work I need to get done.”


Kids: “Well, what have you been doing all day?”

{{Proceeds to bang head on desk}}


Does this sound familiar to any one else? Because it *might* have been a snapshot of my day as I tried to write this blog post. Balancing your life as an entrepreneur with your life at home is HARD. And truthfully, it’s not an exact science. It’s definitely more of a trial and error situation. 

Here’s a few of my tips on how to make that happen.



1.  Keep consistent work hours. We all know that there will be people in your life that just don’t get what “working from home” or “being your own boss” looks like. Yeah, you can probably wear pajamas most days but it doesn’t mean you can just take off for 2 hour lunches whenever you feel like it or watch your friend’s kids while they run to an appointment every Tuesday. Part of having boundaries means saying “no” to something that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to everyone else, but you know it would completely derail your work day.


If I plan to work from 9-2 in a day, those hours are sacred. I don’t answer the door (you know how chatty those UPS dudes are.) I don’t answer my phone unless it’s my husband or my kids’ school. If it’s urgent everyone else will leave a message or text (well, let’s be honest here. No one who knows me actually expects me to answer my phone EVER.) Lastly, and it’s a biggie, I don’t go on social media. Scroll holes are REAL and I can easily waste an hour (or three) without even batting an eye.



2.  Stop checking those dang emails after work hours. This goes along with #1 but constantly hearing the ding of another message coming through is not only going to bug you, but it’s going to be a distraction for whomever else you’re with. How many times do you think, “I’m just gonna check this real fast” and that turns into another follow up email or a call you have to make. Not only that, but even if it IS a 3 second check of an email, now you’ve flipped the “work switch” and it’s going to be nearly impossible to focus in on what you’ve got in front of you.

If possible, turn your work email notifications off after a certain time or, better yet, don’t even get them on your phone so you aren’t temped to take a peek. I promise, nothing will burn to the ground. Well, unless you’re an entrepreneurial firefighter who gets his fire fighting notifications through email. In which case, you should probably just keep that on.


3. Involve you kids in your work. No, I don’t mean have them write your pitches for you or do your bookkeeping. But help them catch the vision. Let them know why you love your business. Why you started it in the first place. Let them see that this isn’t JUST work for you. Little conversations like this can go a long way for when you have to tell them you can’t play ANOTHER round of Go Fish. 



The more opportunities they can have to see their mom or dad just crushing it at this whole entrepreneur game, the better. It shows them that hard work is worth doing and that most of the best things in life come from hard work. BUUUUUUT (and this is a big but) the most important conversation you can have with them is that no work is ever more important than family. That there’s not an amount of money or a goal to be reached that would ever make work higher on the priority list than family. 


In fact, let me just finish by telling you that balancing your life as an entrepreneur with your life at home is a myth. Balance implies that things remain equal. That they’re always staying the same. And that just isn’t the case. There are seasons that ebb and flow. Seasons where your work is going to be more demanding. Seasons where your kids, family, and home are going to need more of your attention. That’s just life. But the key to “balancing” home and work life is about setting healthy boundaries within that. So that neither side feels like they’re getting your leftovers. 


As my good friend Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest.” Okay, he’s not my good friend. He just yells at me from the TV while I work out. But the statement is true! Your kids, your spouse, your business—all they want is your best! All they need is YOU.

 

So carry on, my friend. You’re killing it. 

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