Stay-in-home dads are no longer rare birds. With an abundance of business opportunities, the internet allows them the opportunity of being their own boss from the comforts of their home office. Excelling in a concept of a work-life balance, these hard-working entrepreneurs and caring family men are still faced with a challenge—are personal and professional lives even possible to separate, and if they are, what is the foolproof way of doing so? Here are some thoughts to consider.
The Struggles of Achieving a Work-Life Balance
If balancing the two most important aspects of your life have turned more difficult than you’ve expected, you’ll be glad to know that you’re are not alone. However idealistic it may sound, the work-life balance is a continuous struggle. The demands are high on both sides, and if just a part of one fails, the structure you’ve been patiently building for so long may collapse in an instant.
Whether you choose to commute or work from your personal in-home office, the obstacles are pretty much the same—to countermand the technological perks that it has endowed us with, the digital age has spurred the problem of being constantly wired to the cubicle. And, having a hard time separating our personal and business devices is not the only challenge. To overcome them all, to devote an equal amount of time to your family and your career goals, and to establish a routine worthy of a perfectly balanced life, you’ll need to do some hard work. Ultimately, being ruthless in setting the limits is what it all comes down to.
Limit Your Technology
The first boundaries you’ll need to establish are those within yourself. In both playing and working scenarios, technology can be a cause of great distraction. While in the office, checking your mobile phone and scrolling down the Facebook feed can be a much-needed relief from the dulling monotony of a cubicle, but if you are unable to control your digital urges, technology can seriously affect your productivity.
Consequently, the work will linger, and you’ll be dispirited to find out that you’ll need to take it home. On the other hand, being accessible at any time means never being entirely devoted to your personal affairs. The relationships with your partner, kids, family, and friends can suffer a great loss. To avoid the vicious circle, try acquiring separate devices for your private and your business affairs. If one mobile phone is as much as you can sustain, start using it to contact your family, and choose the internet channels exclusively for business appointments.
Discover the Efficiency in Routine
If determined to work from the comfort of your home, keeping track of time is another matter you should address. Even if you have your working hours established and your schedule organized to details, being your own boss can tempt you to break some of your own rules. With kids and other members of your family always running around the house, your initial willingness to respect the rules may crumble. The commitment, as well as efficiency, are perfected only with practice. Always try your best to follow your timetable, and ask your family for some understanding. And, if the traditional 9-to-5 regime still doesn’t work for you, opt for a more flexible approach—carefully observe your working patterns and habits, and draft a schedule around the productivity peaks of the day.
Close the Office Door
Having a secluded space in your family house that will serve exclusively as an office will greatly improve your efficiency. Explain to your kids that the room is daddy’s office and that he might lose his job if he himself doesn’t respect it. Once you’ve earned a peaceful corner of your own, make it your personal shrine of productivity. Naturally, you can work with whatever you’ve got in the room, but if that space is going to be your brainstorming cave, redecorating it into a brand new office certainly won’t hurt.
Make Your Family Time Count
Once you’re feeling productive and secure in your working cave, it’s quite possible that you’ll find it hard to leave. In time, your home office may become the same interference with your personal life as your company cubicle once was. Especially if you’re a work addict, it may happen that you forget that the rest of the house is still there, with your family members expecting you to spend some quality time with them. For that reason, remember to restrict yourself once the daily work is finally done. Afterward, when the time for spending an evening with your loved ones is due, make it really count. Instead of ordering pizza and reaching out for a TV remote, take your family out for a walk or suggest a family game night. Like business connections, personal relationships need to be nurtured.
However hard the work-life balance tends to get at times, remember to set your priorities straight. Once they are perfectly clear, schedule the rest of your time accordingly, and remember, every once in awhile, give yourself a break.
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