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Balancing Work & Family: How the Heck do you Do It?

2 Feb 2011 | Business Life, Happiness, Personal Productivity

Nicole Dean over at nicoleonthenet.com is blogging about “Balancing Work & Family: How the Heck do you Do It?” and asked several of her experts to contribute their stories as well as their tips.

If you’ve ever thought that you were alone in with the juggle and the struggle of trying to do right by your family and in your business, you’ll be inspired by the heartwarming stories and nuggets of wisdom.

I encourage you to go have a read for yourself, and here are some of my favourite snippets:

“Allow yourself a rest and a break and don’t beat yourself up for not getting something done. When your body is tired, pushing on and on isn’t going to be good for you, it isn’t going to be good for your business” – Felicia Slattery

Which is exactly why I posted on Twitter today: “Unfocused down-time can help you recharge your energy, creativity and focus :)” and that’s exactly the kind of day I’ve been having today!

Buy a timer:

If your children are old enough to understand the concept of time, invest in a timer. It’s a life saver. The next time you need uninterrupted working time, tell the kids that you’re setting the timer for 15 or 20 minutes. If they give you 20 minutes of uninterrupted work time, then reward them with quality time with you. Play a board game together or go to the park. But, the important thing is to actually do it. Don’t hit the “stop” button on the timer when it starts to beep and say “just a few more minutes” or you’ll sabotage your free time before it even gets started.

Spooky, I had this thought earlier in the week (see my comments below)

Shannon Cherry on how the ‘perfect balance’ doesn’t exist, with a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

“Bottom line is, even if you see ‘em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”

Then there are others that you’ll just have to go over and read – look out for the song lyrics in “Tell me 10 Things about My Mama” – and I like this note from Nicole herself:

Yeah, making money is fun, but making memories is a whole lot better.

There are some great nuggets in the comments boxes too, like this remarkable wisdom from Nicole’s mom:

“Life’s most precious times will come exactly when the scales ARE tipped. It’s okay to be unbalanced!” – Patti Winker

And here are my comments:

Ah Nicole, you’ve hit a spot close to my heart with this subject! In fact the title of my special report that I give away on my site is called “Yes You Can! Top Ten Ways to Grow a Successful Business without Compromising Your Family

I LOVE your idea of a timer – I was just thinking the other day where I could get a brightly coloured one that the kids could operate too…

I’m with Shannon about the myth of balance, and love she’s got a quote from Buffy which fits so perfectly! I like to think of it more as a rhythm, a dance, than trying to match two sides of a set of scales.

I think the thing that helps me most with this is to aim to be the same person at home as I am in my business.

For example, someone recently asked me what three words I would use to describe what I do in life and business. I chose Enabling, Equipping and Encouraging, and realised the same goes for my children as well as my clients. So I am intentional about investing time, thought and energy into doing this for both.

It’s what I aim for, and it’s not perfect, my family are definitely much more likely to see the irritable side of me than my clients! And I’ve had to apologise to my 5 year old son before, for shouting at him over something that was completely not his fault – that’s quite a humbling experience.

As for perfection, well a phrase I picked up from a friend of mine and often use for myself is: being a good enough mum most of the time, with intermittent lapses into hopelessness and brilliance.

Thanks for the prompt Nicole 🙂

What about you? I’d love to hear some of your tips and stories of balancing work and family? Care to share in the comments box below?

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I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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