When people find out that I am a mother of three and have two businesses, the questions start.
How do you do it all?
When do you find time?
Well, I’ve had a lot of experience in the fine art of work/life balance. Are you a parent and an entrepreneur? Allow me to share 10 tips I have successfully embraced that will help you, your business and your family grow:
1. Be passionate about your work- It is so very important to identify your passion and to love the work you do. If you don’t have a fond love for the work you do, your business will feel like a chore.
2. Treat your business like a child- Having nurtured and poured so much time, energy, and good intention into my business, I have come to love and embrace it like one of my children. I envision a bright future for it, and I am so proud of how it shows up in the world. Seeing your business as one of your children can be helpful perspective. Take good care of it and commit time to give it the daily nurturance it needs to thrive.
3. Realize that work and life won’t always occupy a 50/50 split. There will be days when you must give more energy and attention to home and others when it has to be your work. Embrace that reality. In the beginning, just like when a baby is a newborn, your business will require so much time, attention and resources. It won’t always be that way. Don’t look for a perfect balance daily; look to see it over time.
4. Prioritize and Systematize Strive to make significant progress on the most important things first. This approach will keep you moving forward on your BIG goals. Develop a laser focus for priorities and deadlines. Use technology to create systems that talk to you to help remind you of all the important moving parts.
5. Stay in the Moment. Stress comes from being here and wanting to be there. Maintain separation: when you are home, be home, and when you are at work, be at work. Trust that if you stay focused, all the important pieces will come together just as they should.
6. Kill the Frivolous. Guard your time like the precious resource it is. Say “no” to what doesn’t matter, so you will have time for what does. Be honest with yourself. So often we are not honest about ways that we waste time. Don’t let anything frivolous take over and steal the precious moments of focus you need to grow your business. A wise mentor once told me, you can’t be upset about the results you don’t get from work you don’t do.
7. Make your business your watchdog. Building your business will require concentrated effort, so you really have to learn to prioritize. If you find yourself saying yes to unimportant things that you don’t even really want to do, that is a sure sign that your time needs a watchdog. Make your business your watchdog. When you have things to do, but people try to borrow your time tell them, “I just don’t have room in my schedule right now.” Practice that. Stick to it.
8. Think Integration. I have one, color-coded calendar that I used to manage EVERYTHING. It’s good to see everything all in one place, and it helps me to build out a daily pattern that maximizes my efforts. Build patterns into your schedule so you can be sure to make time to complete those regular to do items that are essential to your success. While you are building that schedule, don’t forget to include one-on-one time with your spouse and children to nourish the bond you have with them. They need that time to unplug, and so do you.
9. Embrace supports. You will not be able to do it alone. Who are the people who can help you both at home and at work? Identify like-minded people that can be supportive of you and allow yourself to form meaningful connections with them. They say it takes a village to raise a child. The same concept applies to building a business. One is too small a number to do anything great. You don’t have to go it alone.
10. Watch your self-talk. Repeat after me. “I am going to mess up.” Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on. Undoubtedly, there will be mistakes, errors, misspoken words, forgotten appointments, technological failure, and some not so delicious dinners. Even hearing these tips can set you off on a tangent of what you aren’t doing right. Let all that go. It happens.
Instead of siding with the negative, keep your eyes on what you want from life both at home and work. Know that mistakes are a part of building greatness. The most important part is to approach life with some intention and planning and then to be easy with yourself in the process. Live life like you mean it, and you will get there. Enjoy the ride! You will get there.
Got other ideas that help you make it all work. Feel free to share them on Perfected Practice’s Facebook Page. You never know how what you contribute might be helpful to someone else.