Posts with Category: Time Management
Whether you own your own business or you have a successful professional career in a company, it’s no mean achievement to juggle your work and family life effectively. One part of your life always seems to encroach on the other and more often than not, it can feel as though you can never give each part your full attention.
A couple of months ago I made the big decision to merge my two websites, Motivating Mum UK and Mum’s the Boss. The merger took place on 21st September 2016, and all links from Motivating Mum UK are now pointing to Mum’s the Boss.
Procrastination is the thief of time – so they say
We’ve all had one of those days. You’re sitting on your own in your office and you know that there is something you absolutely need to do, but for some reason you just can’t bring yourself to get going at it.
It’s holiday time again and already you may be beginning to wonder ‘How am I ever going to fit in any work?’. Most of us are self-employed because of the flexibility this affords us to be able to be with the children during their school holidays. But how do you keep everything ticking along?
Nobody said it was going to be easy….but mums are incredibly clever at multi-tasking and time management, and work at home mums even more so. Try not to feel guilty about finding time to do some work in the school holidays – you are still spending more time with your children than normal, and it is good for them to know you have to work sometimes, and that it is for the whole family’s benefit in the long run.
At some time in our lives we’ve all had a Christmas day where we’ve been not been on top form: either a sickness bug brought home by the kids; or the dreaded flu right when you should be relaxing and enjoying yourself! It’s an experience best not repeated!
I’m often haranguing the children at this time of year to wash their hands thoroughly and to keep wrapped up warm to avoid the winter bugs. But what about us Mums? We’re dashing about doing all the shopping, cooking all the food, preparing the house for visitors, making outfits for nativity plays, writing the Christmas cards, as well as attending all the school plays, concerts and services. It’s easy to forget about looking after yourself at this time of year when all your energies are concentrated on ensuring your children and family are having a lovely time!
As a successful business woman, I wish I could say that I did it all on my own without the support of anyone. The truth is my husband has been the rock for which I lean on when things get rough. He has been the perfect sounding board and my “go-to” guy when I need help balancing our family dynamic. How does this wonderful man get me through my day and make me realize how much he means to me?
- Children – With two daughters in the house, it can be difficult at times to balance what needs to be done while keeping the business functional. Instead of sacrificing time from ensuring the continuation of my business, my husband takes care of the children and their needs. Sometimes, they’ll even surprise me at the office. Fortunately, my husband is keen on my emotional states and knows when it’s a good time to visit or just say hello and leave.
- Housework – In our family dynamic, we believe that everything is a concerted effort by everyone to pitch in. Although I’ll try to get a few things done around the house, my husband usually beats me to them. He understands that he has more time than I do as he works from home anyway. Even when he had a regular job, he still managed to get more of the housework done than I have. To be honest, it’s very liberating to come home after a harsh day and relax in a clean living room – no minor feat considering our children are extremely messy.
- Emotional Support – Although my business is small, there is a lot of times where I feel like I am stressed to my limits. Often times I’ll come home and my husband will sit and generously listen to my complaints and stresses only offering a few caring words. I just need to vent and he knows how to handle the situation should I become an emotional wreck.
- Understanding – My business is something I’ve always had an interest in. Although my husband makes more money than I do as a freelancer, he understands that this is something I would like to do. We make enough money to pay the bills, but not much after that. When there are times I think that maybe I should just find a better paying job, he reminds me that we are OK and that things are getting better – which they are. He understands how much I love my business and doesn’t push for not having extravagance.
- No Separation – Unlike many households, we don’t separate our money or bills. Everything is a team effort and our money is ours. Although we tend to stash a bit from each other for birthdays and Christmas, we are a team and work together as such. This greatly helps my frame of mind when I walk into the office. I am part of a very successful team at home and that confidence is shown through my workmanship.
I suppose the above could be more for men to read than other women of business. This is how my husband keeps my sanity and helps me succeed. He has made a conscious effort to keep the tops spinning for he knows how important this is to me. If you have a man in your life, I hope he is as understanding to your situation as mine. You’d be amazed at how well the business can function if there is a team effort within the home.
Working from home mainly suits me very well. It became clear to me quickly that employment was not going to fit around our family life. Taking into account the cost of childcare for three children and commuting costs, most jobs available locally would have actually cost me money rather than earning it!
Running a successful business is a commitment and requires balance within your life. It’s easy to allow the business to take control of your life and problems are a regular part of business life:
- Staff issues,
- Customer issues,
- Cash flow….the list goes on…
To achieve business success, look at both sides of the coin, don’t let the problems take over, instead look for the opportunity to improve. It is normal to make mistakes but take the time to learn from mistakes and make improvements.
Stay open minded to new ideas, you cannot know everything, and adaptability allows your business to respond to changing circumstances. It is important to be realistic when implementing change and new ideas take time to work. Don’t change too much at once and take time to see how each new change works.
My friend and colleague Grace Marshall is launching her book today – 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff That Sucks Up Your Time.
Let’s face it, we all have the same 24 hours in the day, but sometimes ‘stuff’ takes over – little stuff (like email) and the big stuff (perfectionism-driven procrastination) – and we’re not as productive as we’d like to be.
This brilliant little book will help you to manage the ‘stuff’ that sucks up your time, so that you can gain more time for the things that really matter in your life.