Tips for parentrepreneurs to survive and gradually accept the new normal while prioritising work-life balance
‘In the post-pandemic world, the survival strategy is to set your priorities correctly’
As parents in the corporate sector, we are living in a world which has adopted digital connectivity as the indispensable tool to circumvent and adapt to the disruptive pandemic impact. Although we are all aware of the side-effects of embracing digital connectivity in our lives, the choice was driven by compulsion and the urge to survive. By choosing to work remotely, as a working professional or an entrepreneur, we have managed to take control of our careers and stay afloat so far. However, in that process, we have destabilised the essence of work-life balance.
Entrepreneurs and parentrepreneurs are most likely to pay a high price for being ‘on- the- job-always’ in this hyper-connected eco-system. While giving in to the competitive entrepreneurial landscape, we tend to overlook its aftereffects like reduced productivity, distraction, and burn-out. Scary, right? Let me share some tips and tricks that have helped me keep this scenario at bay so far.
Be prepared for a long haul: First of all, you have to accept the fact that Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. If you are putting extra hours into your work or your venture and nurturing a normalcy bias in your mind that everything will be back to normal soon, you are spreading yourself too thin. The fight against the pandemic is a long-drawn one and you have to keep your firepower intact to go the distance.
Press the pause: If you find it difficult to concentrate on your work because of the interruptions from your family members, treat that as a signal to take a pause from your daily work-schedule. Having dinner with your family, reading books, working out or just connecting with friends are some great ways to regain composure.
Don’t succumb to the working-parent guilt: If you are a working parent, chances are that you constantly feel inadequate. Working-parent guilt may force you to over-compensate your absence with gifts or parental indulgence. Instead, try integrating your slightly elder kids in your work schedules by asking them to Google some information or involving them in small household chores right along with you. Work gets done, child learns responsibility and both of you spend some quality time together.
Nurture a hobby: Working from home offers you a never-before opportunity to pursue your long-cherished hobbies and passion. This way you can unwind and recharge yourself after a hard day’s work. Being a trained singer, I spend my ‘me-time’ by singing and strumming my guitar or keyboard to play my favourite tunes for myself and sometimes, Saadhil, my son. For me, that’s called true peace of mind!
Accept imperfection: You must accept the fact that you can’t have the best of everything, all the time. If you continuously strive to become a good parent and at the same time a good performer in your professional space, you are in for a disappointment. Managing expectations and focussing on one job at a time is your best bet.
It’s no longer about prioritizing your responsibilities. In the post-pandemic world, the survival strategy is to set your priorities correctly. After all, we all are trying to outlive the pandemic.