Time. It’s everything, right? And there never seems to be enough-especially for parents.
Our kids seem to be going in a hundred different directions and we put so much pressure on ourselves to be there every time. We can’t miss a game, a school function, a church event, or even a bad day. Otherwise, we make ourselves feel terrible.
Dad entrepreneurs frequently find themselves in a difficult position-torn between obligations to their families and businesses. They often hold one of three sorts of beliefs on how to manage work and family. There are:
- Dads who prioritize work above family.
- Dads who place an equal value on work and family.
- Dads who put family first before work.
In addition to computers, we also have mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Staying in touch is simple, and many people are discovering that working remotely reduces overhead costs by allowing them to spend less time in the office. So in a technical sense, more dads work from home. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
Ultimately, no matter what we think as fathers, our perspective on work-life balance dramatically impacts the family.
This article addresses ways that business-owning fathers can work toward a meaningful and productive “balance” between work and home by 1. Creating flexible schedules, 2. Maximizing time at home, 3. Scheduling time for fun, and 4. Not biting off more than you can chew.
Create flexible schedules
Does your job need to be a nine-to-five job? Would being at work from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. allow you to drop the kids off at school while your spouse leaves for work? You can adjust the workload by just one or two hours.
It is possible for you as an entrepreneur to deviate from the typical five-day workweek. Think outside the box to make your schedule work. That type of thinking has allowed you to be an entrepreneur in the first place.
Working more during the week and taking days off on the weekend when you commit to not working might be a solution. A schedule like this can allow you to spend quality time with your children and friends and at the same time have a day to fulfill responsibilities like visiting the dentist, having time out with friends, spending time in meditation, and spending quality time with your spouse.
However, if you want to go about it, try a different work schedule to get a few more hours of dedicated family and friend time.
Maximize your time at home
Fathers’ work-life balance involves more than just how many hours they spend doing a particular activity. How can you make the most of your time at home with your family?
Here are a few ideas:
- Find time to exercise. When you feel good, you’ll have more energy to have quality time with your family.
- Enjoy meals together. It’s easy to grab plates and migrate to the TV room, but studies have shown that one of the most beneficial things you can do for your family is dedicated time to eat dinner together — no electronics allowed.
- Say no to your children occasionally. You’ll feel like a glorified chauffeur if your kids are active in every extracurricular activity that comes their way. You want to let children experience things, but it’s fair to underline the importance of family time.
- Try to leave work at the workplace. This one can be challenging. Many jobs have peak seasons, which might result in a month or two of exceptionally high workload. That might not be averted. But think twice before locking yourself in the den to work late into the night. Ask yourself if the task is worth missing out on time with your family.
- Go on trips away from home. Make every effort to plan a getaway with your spouse.
Schedule time for fun
This is something I personally struggle with on a very high level. I have an idiosyncrasy that makes me feel bad if I am not making progress or “accomplishing something.” I know I’m not alone. This prevents me from being 100% focused on my family and leisure. Scheduling time for recreation and hobbies allows me not to feel guilty about taking some much-needed time off.
Experiencing the beauty and blessings of life that God reveals to us may seem challenging when you’re being pulled in many different directions. But incorporating personal interests into daily existence is necessary.
A phone call to a family member, a date night with your spouse or significant other, or a trip to the gym for a workout are all worthwhile activities that can easily be lost if not planned for in the schedule.
Consistent plans for personal joy help ensure a better work-life balance because it will make you more productive while you are working and it will decrease the likelihood of you getting burned out.
Do not bite off more than you can chew
Many of us struggle with turning down opportunities in our personal or professional life, even if it means sacrificing one or both.
Our faith tells us to be prudent and temperate. We are continually called upon to make thoughtful and informed decisions while seeking moderation. As we make an effort to do both of these more frequently, we can observe an increase in our free time and a reduction in our stress levels.
One of the more powerful words we can use as fathers who own businesses is “no.” When we do so, we are giving ourselves the authority to choose something of more importance and value over something of less. When we say “no” to one option, we are saying “yes” to others.
When all is said and done
Creating the perfect balance between work and your daily life as a dad entrepreneur may seem impossible. Considering the rising cost of living, most men prefer to put in all their time at work to provide for their families, which is a good thing. If you are the primary breadwinner in your family, providing for your family should be a top priority.
It is important to remember that working toward a balance is not like flipping on a light switch. It is going to be a work in progress. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to choose incorrectly where to spend your time. That is perfectly normal. And more than anything else, show yourself some kindness and mercy when you do. Make sure to learn from it and move on. If you are constantly beating yourself up for the choices you make (like I have been known to do), you will have the less mental bandwidth to focus on the priorities that are right in front of you.
And some of those most important priorities, like your children, have deadlines that will come and go regardless of the decisions that you make.
Love it. Being a business owner and carrying the weight of making sure things get done is a real challenge. Nobody cares about the business the way you do so it seems impossible to turn it off especially if you truly enjoy work.
I had a busy schedule between work and church responsibilities and when I was released I thought that extra time would go back to my family. Wrong! I just work more than ever.
I’m a work in progress as I navigate priorities to find harmony.
I can teach the importance of a healthy balance to my employees but find myself being quite the hypocrite when it comes to following the counsel myself.
Thanks for the article as a reminder to reset and refocus.