Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2014 Contents B24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Running your own business, whether or not you
work out of your home, will be a lot easier if you
learn that work-life balance is not about giving equal
time to people and things; it is about setting your
life up so that you are not constantly shelving the
things you want to be doing, or should be doing.
Children can be very vocal about the need for
attention and if their needs are not met they will
feel second rate. If a child resents your business, they
may feel the need to compete for your time and
Children who feel ignored usually respond in one
of two ways: they will act out, demanding your atten-
tion, or they will withdraw, feeling less important.
When that happens, moms feel guilty about the
having a need or desire to work.
A Business Is Like A New Baby
When you start your own businesses you take on
similar responsibilities as if you had a new baby. You
may have to stay up all night working on deadlines,
you need to nurture and grow the business because
no new business can take care of itself, and a business,
like raising a child, is a serious choice and long-term
commitment that often involves a financial com-
mitment of some kind as well. And, just as in the
case of a new baby, the entire family must make
adjustments when you run your own business.
If you have children and were introducing a new
baby into the household you would probably explain
to your children they are loved, and the new baby
is part of their lives now too. You would get them
excited about the new baby and try to find ways they
can be included, rather than excluded. For example,
you might ask a young child to fetch a stuffed toy
or diaper or sing to the new baby; an older child
might be able to hold and feed the baby.
New babies take time and attention away from
your other children, and caring for a newborn can
you leave exhausted and distracted - just like running
a business can.
But putting kids first does not necessarily mean
that they always need the lion's share of your time.
Even full-time stay-at-home moms join playgroups,
have coffee dates, have a hobby, or find time to hit
the gym. The point is, no mother should be expected
to tend to a healthy child 24-7 and you should not
feel guilty if you don't.
Find ways to get your kids excited about the busi-
ness; ask for their opinions about your logo design,
or have them create one for you to consider. Kids
are also good at coming up with marketing ideas,
and because they are usually very honest, can tell
you if your ideas of great or not so great.
Kids may not always have ideas you can put to
use but they will feel more important when you ask
By giving them a voice, you empower them to feel
better about your own work.
Do you work extra hard because you need
to "make time" to fulfill your family commit-
ments and other obligations? Do you fit in a
few more hours of work in the evening, or
even pull an occasional all-nighter when a
deadline looms? And do you feel especially
stressed because there's never enough time,
no matter how hard you work?
It's not the amount of time that matters,
though, when it comes to time management,
but our perception of it. And our perception
of time depends on our attitude. Think about
this. We can all remember occasions when
time seemed to pass excruciatingly slowly, or
weeks that seemed to whiz by. Time is fixed,
but our perception of it isn't.
Our basic biology is also fixed. Most people
need a period of time each day to recharge
themselves. They need time to reflect, to enjoy,
to energize, or to simply pause - to do some-
thing that gives them respite or pleasure so
they can deal with the stresses of the day.
So think about you and take time for your-
self. What is it that you like or need to do
that will refresh you and allow you to return
to the fray with a clearer head and more ener-
gy? Is it a daily jog? A walk with the dog?
Time spent playing with your children? Sitting
and sipping herbal tea? A short nap?
Whatever it is, schedule it into your day,
just as you would any business-related activity.
Think of it your time to yourself as a meeting
and stick to it just as religiously as you would
if it was a meeting with a client. That daily
half hour or hour that you schedule for taking
time for yourself you will more than repay
the time invested. It will make you better able
to cope with stress, more productive in your
work, and better tempered.
Who's the most important person in your
business? You are. Keeping yourself healthy
by scheduling time for yourself each day is a
great business investment - and fun, once
you get used to it!
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
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