Whenever a person transitions to running their own business, they have to adjust their concept of work/life balance. In return for equity and the possibility of financial freedom, you’ve got more responsibility and much longer hours. This means that work/life balance as an entrepreneur is challenging, if not impossible, to achieve.
Now imagine adding an adorable newborn to the mix.
My wife and I recently welcomed our third child, and part of why I’m not completely frazzled by the demands of a new baby is because I’ve worked out some basic practices to balance work with family time. For any new parent who’s also an entrepreneur, these tips should help you maintain your sanity, and also give you a little more time for your family.
Turn Off Work at Set Times
As entrepreneurs, we tend to forget that one of the best advantages of a typical nine-to-five job is being able to stop working as soon as you leave the office. Early weekday mornings, evenings, and weekends are off limits, and people who work normal jobs can fill those hours with leisure activity. In contrast, most entrepreneurs work long hours, on weekends, on national holidays—pretty much any time they can. Their main focus is growing their business, regardless of timing.
In my case, I also want to make sure I have time for my family, especially with a new baby. I do this by ensuring I have at least two to four hours each day when I can turn off work. I usually stop working around 5:30 p.m. My phone and laptop stay in my office while I help with dinner preparation, eat with my family, and then spend some time on a leisure activity with the kids before putting them to bed. I don’t touch a computer or laptop until 8:45 or 9:00 p.m., and I only do serious work during this second shift if I’m in crunch mode. Otherwise, I’m usually doing low-touch things such as reviewing code, clearing out my inbox, and other low-priority tasks.
Jared Brown is a freelance developer, Purdue grad and co-founder of Hubstaff, a time tracking tool for remote teams. Unlike other time trackers, Hubstaff makes it possible for managers to verify that their team is working efficiently. It has dozens of time tracking integrations to handle payroll, accounting and invoicing all from one tool.
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