Managing work life and family life can seem like an impossible task. While talking with Brian Covey, a business professional, we dive into what his guidelines are to being a successful businessman and happy family man.
GG: How do you make the shift from businessman you to family man you?
BC: It’s more about shifting my mindset from separating to integrating. Trying to separate who I am at work from who I am at home is mentally exhausting. It can sometimes be difficult to integrate both of my roles, but integration really just means including my family in my whole life, not just one part of it. This might mean just telling them about my job or it could even be teaching them about it. If you have younger kids, maybe integration looks like an afternoon walk with the family. Then, if you have older kids it could include reading the same book and discussing it or watching something together. You could share your knowledge and help them with their school work. Separating what you do as a job from your life as a father and husband is actually a disservice to your family. They can learn and grow from you, and you can learn and grow from them. There are many ways to integrate instead of separate.
GG: Are you able to make it to family events with your busy work schedule?
BC: Absolutely. I utilize a calendar to plan out every week in advance. Having a calendar to plan out your time for work and for your family is necessary to keep you accountable. The calendar makes your work plans and home plans more likely to happen and keeps you organized. It’s best to plan out the week on Sundays to ensure that family time, sports, community events, and everything for the family are on the calendar along with your work schedule.
GG: What would you tell other business owners on how to keep advancing towards their business goals and family goals?
BC: I would say to have clearly communicated goals both at work and at home. Make sure to talk about your goals. Speak them into existence because success doesn’t happen by accident. Your goals for work might be to find more clients. To do that, you need to tell your team about the goal so that you can all work towards it together. The same thing applies to family. If you want your family to be more connected, then you have to tell them that is your goal. You can’t be the only one working towards a team goal, in your work or in your family. The goals should be discussed, shared, and part of daily activities. Dream together at work and at home.
GG: What is one conversation tool that you use to connect with your family?
BC: With my family, we like to reflect on our day using the Rose, Bud, Thorn tool. This is an exercise to do daily with your work team or your family as a reflection. Start by telling the best thing that happened to you. This is your “rose.” Maybe you made a sale at work or in your child’s case they aced a test in school. Next, make a wish for the next day. This is your “bud.” Your bud could be something you hope to accomplish tomorrow like hoping for a successful meeting. Lastly, talk about something in your day that didn’t go as planned. This is your “thorn.” Maybe your thorn is that you missed an opportunity to create a new client. This part doesn’t have to be negative though. It could also just be something in your day that happened differently than you expected like maybe you were surprised with a new task. This is a great way to connect with your family, share your days, and reflect to learn together.
GG: How do you avoid burnout with such a busy schedule?
BC: I make sure to always take time to unplug, recharge, and reset so I can show up as my best. This is key for mental, physical & spiritual growth and wellness. Vacations with the family are key to ensure the family stays mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy. Not only do vacations set the whole family up to come back to school and work with more momentum, but the family creates a closer bond through life long memories and life lessons. Plan more vacations than you might think are necessary because most times we don’t regret them. We only regret the family vacations we didn’t take. It’s also necessary to make yourself a priority. Find something that is entirely your own, like working out, reading, listening to podcasts, or doing things that are challenging. If your thing is running, then make sure that you have time to go for runs throughout your week. You are valuable to your work and your family, and not prioritizing your self-improvement isn’t good for anyone. Having something that you can do on your own in your weekly routine is important to be able to be a great worker and family member.