By Malini Bhatia, founder & CEO of Marriage.com
Marriage is a full-time job -- and for an entrepreneur couple, it can feel like an enterprise of its own. In an era when many couples struggle to find focused time to spend with their spouses, one can imagine how challenging it is for busy entrepreneurs to juggle work and family life.
If you’re part of an entrepreneur couple, you’re likely well acquainted with these stressors. You might be wondering how you can have the perfect marriage when business is always getting in the way.
While there’s no such thing as a “perfect” marriage, the answer lies in managing your business and love life in perfect harmony.
Is it an easy task? Not even close.
Can you hustle your way to glory? Without a doubt.
So, let’s explore how entrepreneur couples can balance their home and professional lives with panache.
1. Create work-life balance.
Start with the basics. Having work-life balance boils down to efficiency in managing and prioritizing time for yourself, your work and your family.
For two entrepreneurs to make this work, your time management strategies and schedules need to be in sync. What does this mean? Reserve the same time of week for each other, and ensure that you both follow through with it.
A great way to do this is to schedule weekly date nights. This comes directly from Mark Zuckerberg: He and his wife Priscilla Chan have a contract in which Zuckerberg promises to take her out at least once a week, spending at least 100 minutes of focused and quality time with her.
2. Limit work to the office.
Nothing depletes quality family time more than persistent work talk. Conversing about work might seem like time well spent, but couples often forget to account for the stress or emotional turmoil that the practice can breed.
This does not mean that you can’t talk about work at all. However, I recommend that anything in that area be limited to, “Honey, how was your day?”
If you have children, the importance of a routine like this cannot be overstated. Having a stress-free mindset will help you engage with family on a deeper level. The point is to stop thinking about work as soon as you step out of the office. This will rejuvenate your mind and keep you focused on family during your off hours.
3. Delegate both professional and personal tasks.
Never try to be a superhero. The trick lies in deploying a team of sidekicks to do the job for you. At work, this naturally translates to developing delegation as your go-to superpower. With the right kind of support, guidance and instruction, even the most complex of tasks can be delegated.
For example, an intern can be trained to reply to customer questions. Or, an accountant can help you prepare those financial reports. And the best part? This strategy is not just limited to work tasks.
Household chores can easily pile up to become a mountain of despair, just like unattended office tasks. A good management tactic is to divide the chores between yourself and your spouse, and even involve your children in the mix (if they are old enough). Delegating even small tasks will amount to significant time savings over the entire week or month.
4. Hold daily management drills.
While you may have Kanban boards and daily scrums at work, something as simple as a whiteboard can do the job at home. Simply get together and chart out your family members’ schedules for the entire week. You should have a holistic view of upcoming meetings, doctor appointments, maintenance tasks and your children’s school events or games.
Taking five minutes of your morning/breakfast time and having a daily discussion regime will help you be on top of even the smallest chores and events.
5. Go high-tech.
While it is evident that communication is critical in any successful management technique, the manner in which you communicate can make or break things. This needs to be done regularly. The quickest way to success? Embracing technology and visuals.
For instance, you can make a WhatsApp group, even just for the two of you, that is dedicated to lining up personal/household errands. To make things even simpler, try sharing pictures of everything that needs to be completed/fixed.
Maintain a direct line of communication with your spouse and a healthy work-life balance, and treat your spouse right. If you take the time to develop the right strategies in both your professional and personal lives, you can stay on the path of a happier life and marriage.
Malini Bhatia is founder & CEO of Marriage.com, a community of trusted experts that provide information and support on all things marriage.