One challenge of growing your business is finding time to spend with the important people in your life.
My approach is to start this process by identifying the expectations and needs that you have, and that other people have of you. It might be best to start with a conversation and work together with your loved ones to define what a reasonable balance looks like, with the goal of setting quite specific ground rules so everyone understands each other..
When I was building my first business, my wife and I agreed that Mondays to Thursdays would be longer days. In order to achieve balance with the family, I would always be home for Friday night dinner with the kids, would rarely work weekends, and would always take some regular breaks with the kids when they were young (and still wanted me around!).
This meant I had managed expectations from the start.
Having an agreement with your significant others and asking, "What's a good balance and how do we make that happen?", and then sticking to it, might help eliminate some of the pressure as your business grows.
Block time for important reminders
Many people use a diary or calendar of some kind to schedule the things they need to do for their business. It’s also a great tool that might help improve your relationships and quality of life.
One way you might adapt your diary is to extend it into making room for the important moments of your personal life.
I use my diary to help me make other people a priority in my life, by planning and blocking time out in advance. Even in my busiest years, I put all of the important dates in my diary at the start of each year - my wife's birthday, my children's birthdays, and wedding anniversaries. I block out annual leave, and on top of that, three times a year I'd schedule a long weekend to take my family away.
Master the mobile
Technology, like mobile phones are there to help you, not to drive you.
The average smartphone can offer enormous flexibility and drive efficiencies, but mobile phones can also drain your time if you let notifications and calls constantly interrupt you.
You might like to set yourself rules – for example, when you're in a meeting you might have to make a note or put something in your calendar, but then put the phone away.
When you get really busy, there are lots of competing priorities. If you try to do too many things at once, you may miss important details, leading to serious mistakes. I know I did.
Frameworks may help manage time more effectively
Setting up frameworks to guide routine tasks may help you minimise the time you spend on certain elements of your business and eliminate unnecessary repetition.
If you find one or more of the frameworks don't work, refine them until they do.
For example: my recruitment companies, had frameworks for everything. We had frameworks for how to meet and greet a candidate who came in for a job, how to handle telephone screens, how to do a reference check – these weren't rules and regulations, but they were guidelines that made us all much more efficient.
The frameworks helped ensure nothing important got missed, and we got tasks done right the first time. These efficiencies helped free up time to focus on the important things.
Understand the rhythm of your business
Some people believe that the day-to-day of managing a business is mostly unpredictable, but every business has a rhythm. There are certain times when phones run hot, deliveries arrive, or traffic to your site spikes. .
Understanding the rhythm of your business, allows you to build your diary around its rhythm. When combined with the efficiencies that can be gained from setting frameworks, you might find more time is freed up for the important things in life.