When it comes to deciding between working extra hours or heading home to spend some quality time with the family many folks find themselves weighing the option of whether the extra money would be worth sacrificing family time. Terry Cullen from Juggle blog discusses this very topic in the Wall Street Journal online. Work family balance is also an issue that as entrepreneurs we face too. It’s important to be able to step back and take a break. Not just for your family but yourself as well.
We’ve all been faced with this decision: Should I put in those extra hours in the evening or on the weekends to earn that additional money that will make my family more comfortable or allow us to purchase a few of those not-so-necessary items we’ve wanted?
Terry Cullen discusses that very topic in her Juggle blog in the Wall Street Journal Online. The problem she presents is deciding whether or not to accept offers of overtime for those who are employed and the inherent dilemmas regarding work family balance.
Those of us who are entrepreneurs, small business owners, self-employed, and/or freelance professionals know all too well the mental gymnastics we go through when faced with this issue. If we’re solopreneurs, the obvious first question is: If I don’t do the work, who will? Especially at times when cash flow is an issue, it’s difficult not to feel that we should be doing everything we can to build and market our businesses. Those of us with a Web presence or those involved in e-commerce often feel that doing nothing or not going that extra mile is, in effect, the same as going backwards. Deciding not to work those “overtime” hours seems not to be an option.
But we must remember why we chose the entrepreneurial path in the first place. We wanted to chart our own destinies. We didn’t wish to be beholden to someone else to determine our collective fates. We wanted the ability to set our own hours and directly reap the fruits of our labors.
Do you ever feel that you absolutely must be doing something to advance your business even though you don’t have something on your calendar or to-do list? This isn’t unusual for business owners like ourselves. People like us are driven by our creativity and vision. The trick, if I may use the term lightly, is to not feel pressured at all times to do something to the point that you’re always working.
Sure there will be times when your business will demand a great deal of your time – that’s part of owning your own company. But there will also be down times when it will be good to step back and take a break. Get out of the office and take a drive or have lunch with your partner or a friend. Cut out early in the afternoon and pick up the kids from school. You needn’t necessarily take a big block of time, either. A trip to the corner coffee shop can sometimes do wonders to clear the mind and give on a new perspective.
In summary, be aware of how you’re thinking. Try not to feel guilty when you take time for yourself. Don’t feel like you’re wasting time when you’re not accomplishing anything measurable. Work not to be anxious when you find yourself with free time. Make time for yourself and those that are important to you.