The kids are back in school and for many entrepreneurial moms this means back to business – big time! The excitement which surrounds the new school year for kids can also permeate your business. For many working moms, back to school provides a reprieve from having the kids around all day long while trying to get work done. And if you do not have kids, the fall is a great time of year to rev it up a gear. Below are some tips on how to increase your profits during the school year, without compromising your relationship with your spouse and kids.
- Maximize the time the kids are in school for growing your business by scheduling client calls and meetings during school hours – if at all possible. This might not always be possible, but offer up school hours first when scheduling with others. (By the way, your clients do not have to know you are unavailable during certain hours because you are wearing your mommy hat – just say you have previous commitments during the hours you want to spend with your children.)
- Create clear role boundaries. Do not try to be a business woman and mom simultaneously. This is a prescription for disaster. When you are at work – focus and concentrate on your work. If you work from home, designate a specific work area that is off-limits to your kids (and spouse for that matter). They wouldn’t be walking in on you while you are working if you worked outside your home – so make it clear they are not to walk in on you just because are working from home. You are still working. In addition, the time you have scheduled to spend with your kids – spend with your kids. Be totally present with them. Turn off your iPhone, BlackBerry, etc – believe me, the world will not stop spinning on its axis because we are not available 24/7, although we often think that it will. Trying to work and parent at the same time often leaves professional moms feeling inadequate in both roles, so please avoid this at all costs. It is not fair to do this to anyone – especially yourself.
- Communicate a clear consistent work schedule– and stick to it. Clearly communicate your work hours to your spouse and children; and be firm on the fact that you do not expect to be interrupted during these specific work hours, whether they take place during the daytime or evening, or both. Be disciplined when at work and do not allow yourself to be distracted with other responsibilities, especially extraneous emails. Emails have a way of zapping hours of productivity out of our work day. Avoid opening emails during work hours that are not essential to your work. You will be amazed at how much more work you will get done.
- Schedule private time for yourself and your relationship. Once the school year gets into gear, it is so easy to go from work responsibilities to parenting responsibilities and back to work responsibilities again, for days on end– without ever taking any time out for ourselves and our intimate relationship. This will produce burnout in all areas of your life. Be kind to yourself and your partner by prioritizing your relationship – and this might require literally scheduling personal time and date nights into your calendar. Please do so – you, and your relationship deserve it.
John Maxwell discusses how people who are happy and successful at home find that happiness and success in other areas of their life come easy. The foundation for our ability to take care of others begins with our ability to take care of ourselves – and our most important relationships.
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