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Wellbeing / Work & family

Balancing work and family

When you’re running a business it’s easy to get bogged down with the trivialities and busyness that seem to take over. But balancing work and family actually makes life more enjoyable... and business hours run more smoothly.

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You know the story, each day starts with a million things running through your mind about what you have to achieve in the time you have available. Everything needs to run like clockwork so that you ‘achieve’ your designated goals for that day.

That’s the theory anyway. But is this how the soloist’s life really should be?

Sometimes we forget why we are in this game in the first place. Surely most of us have chosen the solo life so that we can get balancing work and family right to give us time to enjoy everything in life, especially the important things.

Last December I found myself with a choice. Having risen with the larks (necessary for the military precision days of a busy family of five) done the early morning swimming lesson and arrived at school with lots of time to spare, I had the opportunity to rush back home and begin the daily work routine.

Being a soggy, grey old day the children were all safely ensconced in their classrooms, removing any feeling of guilt I might otherwise have. Obviously wise to my plans, my middle son asked if I could stay for a while in his classroom. A few minutes can’t hurt, I thought.

"As I left the classroom, with a great big smile on my face and a lovely warm feeling inside, I realised that I could have missed out on something wonderful, and all it cost me was 25 minutes."

We decided to sit down and draw pictures of Christmas trees. Before long, more of his classmates had arrived and joined us at the table to draw Christmas trees exactly like mine. “I can’t do presents like that. Can you help me?”

All too quickly the 25 minutes disappeared, with my son proudly announcing several times to his classmates, who all knew who I was, “This is my Mum!”

Want more articles like this? Check out the work and family section.

As I left the classroom, with a great big smile on my face and a lovely warm feeling inside, I realised that I could have missed out on something wonderful, and all it cost me was 25 minutes.

For the rest of the day I felt good and was really productive because I had given the day such a good start. And, as a reminder of how important it is to keep the work and family balance, my Christmas trees are prominently displayed in my office so that each day I can smile at the memory.

Whether it’s time with the family, coffee with friends or a visit to the gym (something else I have rediscovered the pleasure of recently), the important things in life shouldn’t be forgotten in favour of what we perceive are the things that are important. Of course we need to devote time to our business to grow it and keep it flourishing, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of other aspects of life.

Although doing the important things in life like spending time with family and looking after our well-being takes up time, in the long run we gain so much more by being more relaxed and productive during the time that we are working.

What important things will you do today to make your business hours run more smoothly?

Karen Morris

, owner of Underground Communications, is a PR consultant and business copywriter with over 20 years’ experience in writing communications designed to grab an audience and deliver a clear message for her clients.

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