I am slowly beginning to understand something. My business life and my personal life are in direct hand-to-hand combat. The two entities are literally like two giant sumo wrestlers grunting and sweating, trying to push each other out of the ring. On one hand I’m a small business CEO working to get a Christian lifestyle brand going. On the home front I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.

Serving in so many roles often makes me feel I have way too many balls in the air.

As an entrepreneur there is no set schedule. Business hours are from the moment I wake up until I finish what I need to accomplish that day. Evenings, weekends, and holidays are not sacred. Not when the graphic designer is waiting on approvals or I have to do things like buy my domain name on http://www.godaddy.com (christiancultureinc.com) and set up my email address (pattyrice@christiancultureinc.com) so they can be listed on my products and business cards.

There is editing to be done on my “Smart Christian” book series. There is writing to be done on new topics. Tons of tasks make demands on my time. There are no go-to people when you have a zero-dollar budget. Y-O-U are responsible for every deliverable, deadline, and decision.

On the home front, my family and friends appear to be under the impression that because I’m not working a 9 to 5 job, my time is up for grabs. They behave like I’m sitting by the phone waiting for their calls like the head cheerleader waiting on the captain of the football team to ask me to the prom. They seem to think it is their duty to fill my days with idle conversation, and errands and favors I didn’t volunteer for. They don’t seem to realize that they often pull me away from valuable time I could spend writing, researching, networking, and building my zero-dollar business.

So here I am, performing a juggling act with my business and my family that sometimes makes me want to scream. But I am starting to get wise to some tactics that are helping me make this rocky marriage between my business life and my personal life work a little better:

1. Prioritize my work deliverables and set realistic deadlines and goals
2. Screen calls or turn my phones off during peak work times
3. Pre-arrange non-negotiable quality time with my husband and children
4.Schedule time to make touch base call backs to family members
5. Turn on my email auto-reply to let people know I’m unavailable
6. Decline low priority errands and time wasters that disrupt my work day
7. Refuse to be all work and no play; take time out for fun and relaxation to refuel

This week’s takeaway: Stop juggling and start finding more ways to create a viable work/life balance

There are plusses on each side. With my business I get to do what I love. With my family I am surrounded by love. I may never be 100 percent in every role I fill, but I can at least make a 100 percent effort so that both sides win.  What can you do to bring more balance to your life?