For Parent-Entrepreneurs, Stop the Guilt by Focusing on One Thing at a Time
The only job that is more never-ending than being an entrepreneur is being a parent. When you try to do both, the days and nights seem to never end. There is just never enough time to really do everything at work and there is just never enough time to really do everything at home.
As a result we feel guilty that we aren't doing more. The problem is that there is always more to do, so it's almost impossible to not feel guilty about it. We end up painfully multitasking all day and night, only to feel like nothing has really been accomplished.
The problem is that we try to do everything all at once. We've been conditioned to juggle many balls, with the goal of not dropping a single one.
I know that I do it all the time. When I get home, I try to spend time with the family yet still keep things going at work. I check emails all night and make a few phone calls with lots of back and forth between work and family. The minute there's even a bit of downtime or I let something slip, I feel guilty, and sadly it seems, everyone in my life feels like they aren't getting enough of me.
I think there's a better way. Instead of continually multitasking, we should focus on one thing at a time. We should concentrate on life's demands in sequence, perfecting each one along the way.
So for example, when you get home at night after dinner and you have two hours to get everything else done, instead of constantly checking emails while also taking care of the kids, put the smartphone down and concentrate on the kids.
Let them know that they have you for a full and undivided hour to help with homework, read a book, watch television or play a game. After the hour is up, give them an activity to do on their own (or have them check their homework) and tell them that you need an hour to do your work.
This is much better than multitasking the entire time. Everyone feels nurtured and everything gets done.
And you can stop feeling guilty that you can't be there for everyone. You are there for them, one focused moment at a time!
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