Whether you’re a full-time entrepreneur or you’re clocking in at the 9 to 5 while burning the midnight oil on a side gig, we all could use a little more quality time with the family. These days, since we’re so overly connected with technology, it’s hard to escape the bevy of emails, texts, and social media notifications that come our way.
Like Pavlov’s dogs, we’re trained to salivate and get an adrenaline rush at the sound of every ding, buzz, whistle, and chirp. But, all is not lost my fellow entrepreneurs and side hustlers.
You can be a family man or woman – and run a successful business. It just comes down to priorities and being in the moment.
Allow me to explain.
Tip #1 – Be present at work, doing the side gig, and with the family.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. If you’re going to be successful in life, you need to be present.
Don’t be worried about the side gig when you’re at work. I know it’s hard to do because chances are it’s something you’re incredibly passionate about. However, resist the temptation to get sidetracked.
This ability to focus and be in the moment is even more important when it’s family time. Put the smart phone, tablet, or laptop away. Turn off the sound.
Be there with your wife, husband, son, or daughter. Let yourself relax and be engaged with the family. After all, they are why we do the things we do as entrepreneurs in the first place!
Tip #2 – Make time blocking your friend.
If it’s on the schedule, it gets done. If it’s not on the schedule, then forget about it.
You have a schedule for work activities and a schedule for side hustle activities. Do you have one for family activities and events?
Put things on the calendar. Go to the pool or waterpark. Make plans with your kids.
The father of one of my wife’s friends has a few children. He plans a night out with each of them individually as often as possible. Now, I realize many of us have younger children (including myself), but the concept is transferrable.
Make the time for family time.
Tip #3 – Allow what little time you get to work on your side hustle to your advantage.
It’s amazing how productive I am now that I’m a father. Making family time a priority allows me to completely focus on my side hustle when I get that precious time.
My method is similar to the 80/20 principle. I work on the 20% of things that earn me 80% of my revenue, clicks, pageviews, etc. Basically, I focus my efforts on the drivers of my business.
With blogging, my business is writing. Without content, I have no product. Without a product, I have nothing to market.
Side hustle time isn’t time to play around on social media or watch a ballgame. It’s time to work on the one thing that matters most in your fledgling business.
Otherwise, go spend that time with your significant other or children.
Tip #4 – Make time for yourself and recharge.
This one might be even more important than family time itself. In my experience, if I’m tired and grumpy, I’m only hurting my relationships. It would be better for me to be elsewhere if I’m in a bad mood around the family.
That’s why I pray and I run. Faith is an important aspect of my life and it helps define how I interact with the world. Running keeps me from going crazy. I pray to develop a relationship with God and run so I can release all the anxieties from the day.
Those two things keep me grounded and focused. It’s cool if you don’t adhere to what I do. But, I know we all need some type of outlet.
Find yours and you’ll be a better father, mother, husband, or wife for it!
Tip #5 – Be kind to yourself and remember that you are only human.
The world is a tough place and life can downright unfair at times. Don’t add to the difficulty by being your own worst enemy.
Instead, be kind to yourself. Accept your failures with humility and work on changing course. Realize that you can’t be Superman or Superwoman. It’s just not how we’re built.
It’s how you bounce back from a tough day at the office, a setback with the side hustle, or a difficult day with the family that matters. Fix the mistakes and make the apologies. Then, move on.
Being negative doesn’t miraculously turn things around. Rather, work to be great in everything you do.
Be a great employee or boss. Be a great business owner and entrepreneur. Be a great partner and parent. Focus on those things and you will have no trouble juggling them all.