How to Balance Work as a Single Parent and an Entrepreneur

Business.com / Work Life / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

An exhaustive plan is the key to efficient work and high productivity. Learn how to balance single parenthood and your entrepreneurship.

It becomes extremely challenging when you have to juggle between a full-time job and take care of a family, especially when you run a company and to top it off, you are a single parent.

According to a research by Pew Social Trends, less than half (46 percent) children live in a two parent household nowadays, and the single parent lifestyle is on the rise with 26 percent children living with a single parent.

Failure to manage the two roles can lead to stress and a feeling of guilt because of divided attention. Here are some ways to balance the two, effectively.

Related Article:Keeping Your Cool: Maximizing Productivity in a Chaotic Home Office

Be Organized and Follow Pomodoro Technique for Time Management

An exhaustive plan is the key to efficient work and high productivity. It helps you to do things faster and better. Create strict routines and structure your plan on a day-to-day basis. Don’t react to everything that comes up, in the spur of the moment. Anticipate your needs and plan ahead. Instead of creating a common routine for all days, get organized the night before. Mark important activities like family priorities and business meetings on the calendar and set reminders for the previous night.

Have a backup plan ready, in case of emergencies. Connect with friends and don’t hesitate to ask their help.

Split your day into fixed time windows (like 30 minutes). Divide your day into productive bursts using the Pomodoro Technique and assign activities for each one. Get a timer to alert you at the beginning and end of each Pomodoro. Work on a single task until the timer rings.

If any distraction comes in your mind, note it down and resume your work. Take short breaks (five minutes) after each pomodoro and a longer break (20 minutes) after four alerts.

Master the Power of Delegation and Spare More Time Than Ever

A good leader must know how to delegate tasks to employees. Use these tricks to assign work to your staff and get time to spend with your family:

  • Focus on HVAs: High-Value Activities are the fortes of a person. Create a list of strengths, weaknesses, potentials and range of skills of your workforce. Work that corresponds to their HVAs is completed earlier, with exceptional quality.
  • Fix Guidelines and Provide Instructions: Firm guidelines help your staff to give standardized output. Even if the task seems obvious to you, remember to provide detailed instructions, especially the specific preferences for unique projects. Be clear and straightforward about deadlines.
  • Trust your workforce: Sometimes owners feel too dedicated to complete their work that they feel afraid to delegate it. Trust in the ability of your staff, by starting to transfer small tasks. Learn to let go of the fear, that no one else has skills to execute the work effectively.

Hire Help 

Delegation is not only useful for office work, it can also be used to ease and automate your chores at home. According to Kamil Kowalkowski, Co-founder of King of Maids, “It costs you less to hire a housekeeper than to get up early, reorganize your home and attempt to get things done in a chaotic environment”.

Related Article: Helpful Tips for Maximizing Employee Productivity in a World of Distractions

Ease your chores at home with:

  • Babysitting: Hiring a babysitter is an effective way to look after a child, in your absence. It ensures plenty of individual attention to your young ones even when you are indulged in number crunching activities.
  • Maids and cleaners: When you are running a company, it is really difficult to manage cleaning and maintenance of your house. But nowadays, cleaning services can be booked online almost instantly. They are experts at their work and provide you with a clean house, right from your bedroom to the dirty tiles of your bathroom.

While caregivers ease your household, be careful while choosing one:

  • Ask other single parents for recommendations.
  • Search online for referrals and the current rate for services.
  • Check reviews and ratings online, or the past clients.
  • Ask “what if” type of questions.

Get Rid of Toxic Advice and Use Your Sense of Humor to De-Stress

People advise you all the time. It becomes really difficult to sift through the clutter and find a good one, but it’s important to ignore a bad advice:

  • Consider the source of information. Advice is usually customized by the giver and may not show you the correct picture.
  • Learn to say no. Don’t let your advisor cling on to the idea with a maybe. Be brave and say no.
  • When in doubt, trust your instincts. Not the suggestion which impressed you the most, but the action you would take, in absence of such toxic advice.

Talking helps you to ease your pressure, and when it is combined with humor, it is a medicine in itself:

  • Browse the Internet and search for funny videos and pictures. Search for stress relieving jokes and games.
  • Let go of defensiveness, release inhibitions and be more spontaneous.
  • Talk to your subordinates and build an environment of comfort. Humor strengthens relationships by triggering positive feelings and enabling emotional connections.

Prioritize Your Health. It Is a Serious Business

Creating the right balance between running a company and maintaining a working household is very demanding. The resulting stress can result in various ailments if you fail to look after your physical and mental health.

Have a healthy diet, emphasizing on fruits and vegetables. They have highly nutritional density and consist of vitamins and proteins which are easily consumable by humans. Choose Lean meat, low-fat dairy, and whole grain pasta. As a thumb rule, browner the grain, better is the nutritional value. White grains are a higher processed food from which all the nutrients are pulled out. Totally cut out processed junk food.

Drink a lot of water. If you stay properly hydrated, almost all of your body parts will stay healthy, including skin, hair, senses and even your mind. Drinking water keeps your stomach full and also improves your metabolism. Exercise is the best way to drive blood to your body parts. It does not need to be a heavy workout, but a regular exercise schedule for 30 minutes is enough to distress you.

Related Article:Office Organization Tips to Help You Work More Productively

Reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking. Occasional drinks may have mental health benefits but smoking is an absolute curse for your health, life and for the people around you. Keep yourself mentally stimulated and take proper sleep. Keep your mind active in the day, and sleep for about eight hours at night.

Single parenting is tougher than most people imagine. With the increase in demands of your child and a constant need to shoulder the responsibility of your business, it gets harder as the time goes by. Use dedicated tools along with the above-mentioned tips and balance your home and work in a better way.

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