We are living in an era of entrepreneurs. Each year more small businesses are opening and employing more people. Nearly 70 per cent of Canada’s total private labour force are people who work for small businesses, and some reports predict that 45% of Canadians will be self-employed by 2020. That makes them a critical part of the Canadian economy.

Many entrepreneurs are also simultaneously raising families. The story of the business owner who balances his or her work with their family is common. But how do they do it? It can be overwhelming, and while it is important to remember that providing for your family is important, spending time and being present during family times is just as, if not more important.

It doesn’t always come naturally. You have to train yourself to have a good balance in your life in order to be successful while being a parent.

Tough day at the office.

Have a dedicated workspace

Have you ever heard of the saying, “don’t work where you sleep?”  This is because your brain will associate your bed with a workspace, making it less relaxing.

The same thing happens when it comes to doing your work while spending time with your family. It’s hard to focus on work when you’re surrounded by distractions, and it’s also hard to focus on the family when you always have work on your mind. Something as simple as a desk located in another room would help you separate your work time from your leisure time.

Get a planner and stick to it (mostly)

Focus on one thing at a time. When you’re with your family you shouldn’t be thinking about work — and visa versa. Having a planner or using an organization app on your phone to dedicate specific times of the day to work will help you stay on task.

The important thing is sharing your schedule with your family, and being honest with them about how much time you have. Don’t agree to anything you don’t have time for, and then end up disappointing someone. And make sure that when you do set aside family time, they know that they can trust you to stick to it.

But remember: things you schedule are not set in stone and you shouldn’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as plan. It is just a tool for you to use to manage your time more wisely. Because let’s face it, the reason why many people become entrepreneurs in the first place is to have more time with the ones you love.

Make sure you are giving yourself enough rest

This may seem like its been beaten over your head but you have to make sure that you get enough downtime. Being sleep deprived will not benefit yourself as a business owner or a parent. It has been proven that sleep deprivation results in moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, as well as a a lack of focus and motivation. These are bad traits in both business owners and parents.

According to Medical News Today Along with the many health concerns, “Sleep loss alters normal functioning of attention and disrupts the ability to focus on environmental sensory input.” Although you may want to put in as much time and work as possible in your business, you need to know your limits in order to be able to put in the quality of work you need.

Running a business while raising a family can be one of the most challenging things we can put ourselves through. Although the possibility of a successful outcome is tempting, most startups do not surpass five years in business. Giving yourself a good balance will help you bring your company to the top while also being there for your family. You want to enjoy what you do and not run yourself dry. You will have a higher chance of surpassing that five-year mark when you manage your time wisely, give yourself space and enough rest.