Five ways to see more of your family

 

1. Build family time into your business schedule – and stick to it

 

Make diary entries and treat them as business appointments that absolutely can’t be missed. It’s also important to plan your family time so you can make the most of it. Plans don’t need to be elaborate or rigid – you can plan to do nothing – but a little forethought will improve the quality of your family experience.

 

2. Take time to make time

 

Start each day with a short time management session and rigorously prioritise your work. If you appear to have 20 tasks for a given day, ask yourself how many of them you really need to complete. If the answer is 15, then reschedule the remaining five.

 

3. Operate more efficiently

 

Working smarter enables you to win back time that would otherwise have been wasted. For example, don’t answer the phone just because it’s ringing or e-mails simply because they arrive in your in box. Also, avoid getting sidetracked by instantly giving people your attention if it isn’t important. Instead, structure your day so you have specific slots for answering emails, returning phone calls, and dealing with colleagues.

 

4. Be the master of technology, not a slave to it

 

Huge advances in technology mean executives can manage their businesses flexibly and spend more time at home. However, technology is a double edged blade: you may be able to watch your kids’ sports day, but then end up on the sofa at ten o’clock with your laptop. The key is to use technology in a self-disciplined way that means you don’t get sucked into work issues at the expense of your family commitments.

 

5. Delegate – for the benefit of your family and your business

 

Giving greater responsibility to your team members will not only give you a better work-life balance, it will also enable your colleagues to improve their skills and boost their self-confidence.