My family plays a very important part in the success of my business. But finding the right balance can often prove challenging, especially when my daily schedule is often driven by client priorities and staff needs.
So what is the perfect balance? This will vary from person to person, but one thing is for sure. If the scales are grossly one sided to your business, with you dedicating little time to being with your family, then you need to make some adjustments.
I have on occasions found myself engrossed in work, leaving for the office early in the morning before the family wakes up, getting home late in the night when the family has gone to bed and finding that 3 or 4 days will go by before I get to have a quality conversation with my wife or play with the children.
I have gone on holidays with the family only to find that I have spent 5 hours of each day on my laptop answering emails, holding conference calls and never really taking my focus away from work.
In my mind, I thought that working long hours was going to be beneficial to the family, when in hindsight, I know that my family were craving for time with me and I didn’t provide that. That created an unhappy environment for them and me. So what I thought was in the best interests of my family was actually detrimental to my family’s well-being and that affected me and my business.
Whats a common day for me; Wake at 5am and check emails before the children wake up. I spend an hour or so with the children as they have breakfast and prepare for school. I drive one daughter to school before heading to the office and conducting business until about 3.30pm when I go for a run or hit the gym. Im then home at 5pm to meet my daughter coming home from school and I spend the next 2 hours playing with the children and eating dinner together. At 7.30pm I put the children to bed and then sit down with my wife and chat with her. At 9pm we hit the bed – my wife reads while I jump on my laptop for another hour before going to sleep. That hour together doing our own thing is actually some fantastic quality time together.
And if you can’t conduct your business in 9 hours each day then are you really being productive? are micro-managing your work and staff? Perhaps you need to look at the way you conduct your business.
The end result is I am now spending more quality time with my family while still leaving a good 9 hours to conduct my business. My scales are far more balanced. My family is happier, I am happier and my business is doing much better.