It's tough to balance work and family visitors during the holidays, especially if that's the time of the year when you make a good amount of money. Some of your visitors don't understand your need to check emails, make phone calls, maintain your website and accomplish other business tasks, especially if they're being paid for time off. If you don't handle the situation correctly, it can lead to tension and even arguments. Here's how to strike a balance:
Step 1: Work during off Hours
If you're able to work any hours, then try to work during the off hours when your visitors are asleep or retiring for the evening. It makes it easier to balance work and family visitors. You may have to do some maintenance and damage control throughout the day, but it won't be as noticeable as working during the hours when they want to visit with you. If that can't work for your business, then you may have to ask your visitors to be flexible and schedule activities after business hours.
Step 2: Plan Meals in Advance
The process of feeding family visitors can eat up a lot of time, leaving you less time to split between spending time with them and work. You can maximize the time you have by planning your meals well in advance and buying what you need before they arrive. It will also save you time if you prepare what you can in advance of the visit. For example, you can brown ground meat and freeze it to use later in an entree that you cook from scratch. You'll also save time and money by not eating out constantly while they're staying with you.
Step 3: Allocate Time with Children
Let's face it, if your visitors are your parents or in-laws, you won't get many complaints from them as long as they get to spend lots of time with their grand-babies. Your situation may not be such that you want to leave your children alone with your family visitors. It depends on who it is and your family history. Use your best judgment, but if there are no issues, you should allocate time for your children to spend time alone with your family visitors. It's a great way to balance work and family visitors, because you can get time alone to concentrate and get work done.
Step 4: Be Attentive
When you do spend time with your visitors, it's important to pay attention to them. You won't be perfect, but try your best not to work in your mind when they are trying to have a conversation with you. Family can tell when you're not really present, and they may resent you for it.
Your visitors might leave feeling neglected and hurt by your absence, even if you stay in the same room with them and work on your laptop. If you use these steps to balance work with family visitors, then you may be able to avoid hurt feelings.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.