Being small business owners, we know it's hard to draw boundaries between working and resting. The line between work life and family life is sometimes blurred and often overlaps.
Let's face it, that's a big reason why we like working for ourselves. We can jump from playing trucks with our toddler and rocking the baby to sleep, to answering a client's question about a recent project or booking a photo shoot around our family's schedule. But being our own boss also means we've got to give ourselves some time off. And that can be tough.
Here are a few ways our family turns off, clocks out, and is intentional about rest.
Because we're evangelical Christians, many of our tips are part of our practice of honoring the Sabbath and are biblically-based. We believe these tips can help you create boundaries between your personal and business life.
1. "Create Don't Consume"
We've heard the phrase before on Todd Henry's Accidental Creative podcast, and it's so true. When we wake up in the morning, feeling like P. Diddy, or more like "What day is it? How is it already 6:30?" we try to make sure the first thing we do is something creative, rather than consuming.
On a typical day, the first thing we would do after hitting snooze on the alarm, is open emails or check social media feeds. But if we give our first moments to our phones, we can easily become influenced by them. The trajectory of the day, or even the week, is affected by those outside influences.
But we're not powerless! We have the power to decide what - or who - influences us. Instead, when the babies allow, we try to give our first few waking moments to prayer, reading Scripture, and reflection. Ideas that popped into our heads get written down, tasks we'd like to undertake the upcoming week get added to the list - just giving ourselves space to breathe and connect with our Creator before the day gets busy is important.
2. Go Directly to Jail
Something I've talked about before on my personal blog is phone jail. Yep. If Marcus is looking down at his phone when J is trying to talk to him or when he's clearly distracted and I could use his help with baby C, I'll snatch his phone and declare, "Phone jail." We both know what that means.
I'll usually put it on "do not disturb" and relocate the phone to a random drawer or cabinet where he won't find it. (I might also threaten to run it over if he doesn't comply! Ha!) Keeping our phones out of reach, just one day a week, does wonders for our ability to be present where we are and be with those we love.
3. Put Off Your Chores
You heard me! No laundry. No grocery shopping. Minimal cleaning. Make a list of the things that need to be done instead. One day a week, we try to KISS (Keep It Simple, Sally). All those clothes will still be in the hamper tomorrow.
Those big projects, they'll be waiting, too. Rearranging our week to allow for one day of relaxation, connection, and creativity is so worth it. In addition to taking our family of four to church, where we can connect with other Christians and worship God together, we also have a tradition of eating lunch with my (Kennan's) extended family. It's another way we hope to demonstrate values to our kiddos. All work and no play does make Jack a dull boy.
4. Create an Environment
Because at this point in time, our home is also our office, we rest by creating an environment. Instead of our kiddos starting the day with Bob the Builder or Thomas the Train (Don't challenge us to sing the theme songs, we do know all the words!) we usually play instrumental music or take them outside.
Instead of the TV being left on, "just for the noise," we're intentional about creating room for quiet. That means, we also try not to go poking around the ol' home office. We know ourselves. If we go in there, we will turn on the computer, and then we're bound to start working on something. It's just too tempting.
That's where list-making comes in handy. If you're tempted to start working on something, just write it down. That way you won't forget about it when it is time to work, AND you'll give yourself some peace of mind in the moment that it will eventually get done. Just not today.
How do you balance business and your family? What ways do you make time to rest?