I've spent the last 2 years at home watching my son grow up and it's amazing. I've started a new company in the last 6 months and it's taking off, which is great, but I am nervous about the time commitment it's going to take for the next few years. Any advice on how to balance not missing my kids grow up with giving enough time to my new business?
This is a fantastic question and one I'm actually living through as I type this. My son was born two months ago.
I'm currently too far down the road of an entirely new career and life path to turn back, although not so far down the road that the income I left behind hasn't been replaced by the income I'm pursuing. I'm pursing the new income by starting a new company as well.
It's been hard and that's the truth. That said, it's been rewarding as well. I have to remind myself how rewarding it is by thinking about how fortunate I am for things like going to doctors appointments with my son and wife, just being able to take a 30 minute break and play with my son, etc.
So, to answer your question, here are a few things that are helping -
1 - Setting very clear boundaries in my day. When I'm working I'm working. When I'm not working, I'm not working. This includes putting the phone away, in a drawer, out of sight, when I'm not working.
2 - Set aside time for work and family. Maintain the clear boundaries. Communicate these times to my wife, so she knows what to expect in advance.
3 - Go somewhere physically separate when I'm working. I'm still working from home, in an NYC apartment. Fortunately the apartment has a comfortable common area for me to use. I go there when I work. Making the separation clear and obvious helps avoid frustrations that me or my wife may experience, by me not being fully present with them when I am physically present.
4 - Finally, set my work priorities each day. Fortunately, I set up a system a while ago that helps me be more productive and reduce my stress each day, by setting 3-6 priorities, first thing every morning.
This has been a life-saver since my son was born. First, it helps me focus back on what's important throughout the day, as I inevitably get pulled away unexpectedly during the day.
Second, it forces me set realistic expectations as to what I can really get done, rather than set unrealistic expectations I can never meet, which would only leave me in a place of frustration, that would inevitably carry over into my personal life.
Setting these priorities helps me remember that I am actually getting the important stuff for work done, while balancing the family responsibilities and enjoyment!
Good luck and always happy to discuss further on a call!