So many of us these days are leading full and busy lives that it’s hard to find enough time to split between family, work and other life commitments. Here’s some advice from business owners on how they achieve work-life-family balance.
Ruth Dearing | Children and Technology
On practising mindfulness:
“It isn’t always easy to balance work and family life when you have young children. My philosophy is to ensure that no matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, all of my attention is focused on that moment (aka mindfulness). When you’re 100% present it can take a fraction of the time to achieve your purpose.
Workwise I find this helps me stay in flow and I can be really productive and efficient. When I’m with my children they know they have my full attention and are the most important people in my life at that moment. I have no doubt that a smaller amount of quality time is worth more than an abundance of poor quality time.
The best quote I heard recently is that “a present mum is the best present” – I love that!”
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Allison Greenland | Leap Into Literacy
On setting a good example:
"It's important when you have children, especially young children, to remember that you are setting an example for them early on. If you appear stressed and frazzled, they will pick up on this. Try to take time by yourself to unwind so that you can devote your undivided attention to them when you are interacting. It's not always easy so when things are a bit hectic, try to walk out of the room for a minute and come back when you are more focused."
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MyDeal Pro Tip:
Hold a family night once a week
Make sure you’re taking the time to zone out from all the work and life duties and focus on quality time as a family. Even if it’s only one night a week where you curl up on the sofa and watch a movie together, it can still make all the difference in your relationship with your kids.
Cheryl Duffy | The Divorce Tango
On planning and routines:
"As a working mother it has always been a juggle but I have found if you plan your day you will achieve the best outcome. This could include doing some healthy activity with the children like a walk to the park after dinner to enjoy family time and a healthy lifestyle. Or if you have a major deadline looming ensure you leave work at 5pm, enjoy a family dinner then once the kids go to bed focus on completing the work deadline."
Yvette & Nitti | Ethical Training Solutions
On finding time for yourself:
“Yvette and Nitti achieve work life balance by scheduling time in their work day to focus on their health and wellbeing. Just recently we rented an office attached to a gym to encourage us to take time for ourselves during our busy day.”
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MyDeal Pro Tip:
Find a space just for you
It’s important to have a space away from the demands of being a parent. Although we’re sure you’d never give it up, there are days you just need some peace and quiet. Create a private space in your bedroom that is just for you and take an hour every so often to recharge your batteries alone.
Julia Hasche | Single Mother Survival Guide
On staying in the moment:
"When you have a business, it's hard to turn your mind off work sometimes. I make a conscious effort to be fully present with my daughter every week day before and after day-care. I also try to switch off the hustle from 10pm at night and take an hour to relax. It is hard though! I usually have to sacrifice some weekend time for work too but I always make sure we do fun things, and I try to keep the work for when my daughter's in bed."
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Michelle Worthington | Author
On finding compromise:
"Work-life balance is just that, a balancing act between finding time for family and following your passion. Some women can feel pressured into the term only relating to them making compromises and putting their business needs aside if they interfere with family routine. A true work-life balance allows for compromises on both sides, with family coming first, as well as conscious allocation of time to building a successful career. Having balance in life is about energising yourself with the things that light you up, which can include family time and achieving work goals. The trick is giving equal value and time to all the things that make you the best person you can be."
Find more advice on Michelle’s blog.
The proof is in the pudding as they say - so give a few of these a go and see if you can’t improve your levels of balance.