Running a business, a household, trying to stay healthy, happy and level headed, create amazing school lunches, negotiating with kids, keeping the floors and the loo clean, getting in enough exercise, getting to yoga, finding the time to mediate, staying connected with friends and family, being a wife that listens then finding the energy to get er, intimate at night!!… gah…. Where does it end?
I have been talking with some other Mums and women that run businesses lately on how they balance it all. I was feeling completely overwhelmed recently until I decided it was time to change tact.
Just before Christmas, I really hit a wall. I was juggling all of these things but feeling at the end of my rope, I was anxious, my face was constantly red, I had knots in my stomach, I looked like shit and I was starting to unravel. I felt like if someone asked me for one more thing I would explode. I was doing so many things but doing a lot of them badly . Well at least that’s how it felt. I desperately needed some perspective. And that’s what I got. I took a few days, I listened to some podcasts and listened to A LOT of audio books, I spoke with trusted friends and slowed down. Now looking back, I am surprised I went so long running around with so many things in the air. 2020 has so much more direction and I feel back on purpose.
It hasn’t been an overnight fix, I needed time to sit and sort myself out and I needed some time to get things down on paper to see where I was at. This trap we fall in to of taking on everything and trying to be a super amazing business owner and superhero mum is so stressful. When we have so much going on at one time and trying to do everything all at the same time it just gets crazy.
I always felt I didn’t have time to journal things, but now I don’t know how I went without it.
At first I sat down and just listed everything I had to do, and everything I was imposing on myself to do. What I was doing well and what I was sucking at. Just looking at this list made me feel like I was going to pass out, so I put everything in to groups.
Wellness… you get the drift and then at the top of the list I put my “why’s”. Seeing everything in groups and realising that I can’t and don’t need to do them all at once was a revelation. I realised I was going to tackle one thing at a time and most importantly WHY I was doing it in the first place. With business, when I am going to work on marketing I work on marketing. I know my why first. Not because I need to market the business but if I market successfully then my business will thrive, if my business thrives so does my employees, if my business is thriving then we are making a difference to the planet, If my business thrives so do I personally. And so on. And when I work on marketing I work solely on my marketing, not marketing and paying bills at the same time.
KNOWING YOUR WHY.
I know this is getting a little passé’ these days but knowing my why has made such a massive impact on me and made me love what I do again. It’s a little reminder when the mundane bits of life are getting to me.
I am running this business for my family, to make an impact, to make a change, to maybe make some money and to live the life I dreamed I would live. So when I am paying bills that is exactly what I am doing. Just once a day rather than sporadically over the day while also answering emails and talking to my kids about school. Thinking and working in things in groups is so much more effective and I am actually finding I have so much more time. With everything I tackle now I think in terms of the outcome I want and why I am doing it. It gives that job a purpose and meaning rather than being a menial task. I am beginning to do things because I love to do it not because I feel I have to and it has made such a massive difference to my life. When the kids get home from school, the phone goes away and so does my computer because my family are the MOST important thing, they are my WHY for everything I do and I remind myself of that even when I am cleaning up their mess in their bedroom. Having a strong sense of why makes the most mundane chore really enjoyable or the stress at work suddenly have meaning which makes it more playful.
So, this is how my day looks.
4.30 I wake up. I do a little yoga, I drink some vital greens, I stretch some more and if it’s not raining I ride my bike to the beach and get out for a walk or run for 40 mins and meditate for a minimum of 5 mins.. I do longer if I have time. This is my wellness time and it’s not negotiable. I do this so early because it’s the only time I get to be on my own and it wouldn’t be possible to do later in the day so I set the alarm and I get up at this time every morning!
7 am. Wake the kids up, get them ready for school, make their lunches, do readers, brush teeth and hair and all of that fun stuff. Get them to the bus without losing my shit (not always the way) and kiss them goodbye by 8.15.
8.30 Start work. Every morning I schedule a call with EB staff and talk about what outcomes we are hoping to achieve for the day and what needs to be seen to asap.
9-3 Is pretty much all work. I break every task up in to groups and tackle each thing at a time and concentrate solely on that task. If the phone rings and I am in the middle of something I call them back later. But my focus is on the job at hand and I don’t let distractions in.
Sometimes I go and meet a friend for coffee or a quick lunch and when I do that that is exactly what I do. If someone needs me, it won’t kill them to message me and for me to call back when I am back to work.
4 pm. Computer goes away. Kids are home, we cook dinner we go to after school activities we do all the home stuff and clean up.
9 pm. Kids are in bed and if Ash is home we chat or have a snuggle or watch some Netflix or catch up. If it’s just me I read or stretch or take some more self-time.
I know this sounds rigid but dividing the day in to groups like this has given me so much more focus and funnily enough so much more time. When you focus on your partner and your kids and give them all of your attention (not half to your phone and half to them) they feel important and valued and heard which is how we make long lasting relationships and confident kids. I feel so much more clear and focused and available to my family.
I always say I love a good bottom of the barrel moment, that’s when the inspiration or the great ideas come as long as we don’t stay down there too long. Know your mistakes, write them down, check them out, learn from them and then figure out how to not make them again.
But most importantly know that you are enough. You are doing a great job with what is available to you in this moment. Be kind to yourself always.