If you’re a parent, then you face special challenges when it comes to carving out time to work on your goals. This is especially true if you have young children and you’re the primary caretaker, as young children tend to put a lot of demand on your time.
However, let me warn you about one thing: Don’t use your children or your family as an excuse as to why you can’t work on your goals. If you say, “I can’t do this because I have a family,” that may be your fear talking. Or you may be shifting responsibility to your family rather than taking responsibility for your own results.
Here’s the reason I say this…
I know a mother whose web design business provides the sole income for herself, her disabled husband, her mother-in-law and her children. You’d think that being the sole breadwinner for her family would be fairly time-consuming. But here’s the thing: She has ten children. Ten. And no, that’s not a typo.
So listen, the next time you’re tempted to use your busy family as an excuse as to why you can’t succeed with your business, just think of this mother of ten with the successful business. If she can make time to follow her dreams and start her own business, you can make time to achieve your dreams too.
Here are some tips to help you do exactly that…
- Work when the children are sleeping or in school. This may mean you need to get up a little earlier or stay up a little later. It may mean you need to be flexible and squeeze in a quick hour or so of work when the baby is sleeping.
- Make a deal with your partner (if applicable). If you have a spouse or partner, try to make a deal with him or her where you get some uninterrupted time alone and later you’ll take care of the children so that he or she can get some alone time too. For example, maybe your partner can take care of getting the kids off to school so that you can work in the morning, and you can take care of supper and bath time.
- Swap babysitting with a friend or neighbor. If you don’t have a partner (or if your partner is too busy), see if there’s a friend or neighbor with kids who may be willing to take your kids for a few hours per week… and you do the same for her. That way each of you gets a few uninterrupted hours per week – and usually the kids enjoy the change of pace.
- Get help from extended family. Do the children’s grandparents or other extended family live nearby? If so, see if they’d be willing to watch the children for a couple hours per week
- Ask older children to help. If you have older children, they can help you with the younger ones. What’s more, older children can also do tasks like dishes and cleaning.
- Multitask while you’re waiting. As a parent you probably spend a lot of time waiting at the dentist, the doctor, the school and at all your children’s activities. Be sure to bring work along, as these wait times are great times to get something productive accomplished!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The key is to be flexible and think outside the box. Secondly, don’t ever catch yourself saying you’re “too busy” to achieve your dreams, because there are plenty of people who are likely even busier than you… and they’re successful.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for next time, where we’ll talk about how you can tap into the power of outsourcing!