Being a successful solopreneur is an extremely challenging goal and one that will present many obstacles.
Being a great parent is likewise an extremely difficult, full-time job.
Both these ambitions will take up a huge amount of time and thought. They both leave you with very little energy at the end of the day. And they both linger psychologically: meaning that it’s very hard to “switch off” in either case.
As you can imagine then, finding a way to do both these things at the same time, is an extremely difficult challenge and one many people fail at.
Perhaps you are too focused on work, which leaves you stressed when spending time with your family – such that you aren’t able to fully focus on your family. Maybe you’re in a bad mood. Maybe you make silly mistakes. Maybe you struggle to pay for dinner.
Or perhaps you’re too far the other way. Maybe you’re a great parent, but you let that interfere with your work-life. Maybe you can’t focus at work and you’re constantly taking holiday to spend time with your family.
Maybe you’re distracted by hearing the kids play downstairs and you just can’t focus on work.
So, what do you do?
There’s no single answer to this. Unfortunately, there are so many variables in this situation that I can’t possibly provide advice that will be relevant for everyone.
But here’s a truth that is fairly universal:
If you try and do both things simultaneously then you will do neither well.
This is why you need to be extremely strict and disciplined about what you consider to be “work time” and what you consider to be “down time.”
Focus on your work for set periods of time, and only once that is done, should you switch your attention to your family.
You might feel as though that defeats many of the benefits of being self-employed in the first place. But there are ways to get the benefits AND still keep things separate.
For one: as long as you are able to focus hard and work fast, there is nothing to stop you taking additional breaks throughout the day. As long as they are clearly defined, and you go back to work afterwards!
Better yet: try to focus on completing a certain amount of work, rather than working for a given amount of time. This incentivizes you to work quickly, and it means you often can take the time off to be with family!