I’ve been out of the world of “work” about eight months at the writing of this post.
And I don’t envy any mother out there who has to manage home and work and maybe even a side business.
It is really tough to do all of this.
But someone we women are built for this kind of thing right?
Would I be right in saying that a man who is working and had to take care of the home, would probably never think of starting a business.
I’m sure your answer was yes.
Men can only handle so many things at a time.
But we women do need some help.
I actually got a lot of these tips from a The Business Wire.
Every so often I read a post related specifically to women, mothers and female entrepreneurs.
So here goes!
Tip 1: Establish Boundaries between work and home
You’re probably sitting there thinking well that obvious!
But I was the type of worker that brought my work laptop home.
I was the one who used to take calls all hours of the day and night.
I was the one who didn’t go to family functions because we were “needed” on a Sunday.
If you establish boundaries early in your career I’m convinced you’ll be able to manage and almost compartmentalize things in your life.
Tip 2: Prepare the Night Before
When my daughter was born I started off all hot and sweaty trying to organize everything for her in the morning. I would wake up before her, my husband was usually already awake.
I would pack everything that was needed for the day (because she was either going by my mother or staying with my husband).
And I would be off to work before she even got up.
Mind you after returning to work from maternity leave – the stress of work started to creep in. I couldn’t wake up as early as I wanted.
I didn’t even have time to organize my own lunch and bags etc.
Then I started doing every the night before.
I was able to get a little extra sleep and not worry about what I left home!
Tip 3: Take time for weekly and daily planning
Now that I own my business this is most important. Every Sunday I sit down and I determine what are my goals for the week. and every night before heading to bed and create a “to do” list for the next day.
It’s most important because even though my daughter is older and is off to “school” my day at the home office is much shorter and I have to get a lot more done.
But this “planning” doesn’t only apply to your work or business. You have to plan personal and family time to.
Who are you going to visit this week – which granny, which aunty.
Do you have a friend that you need to call this week.
Are you helping plan a baby shower for a relative.
All these things need to go into your planning.
Tip 4: Write it Down!
There was this joke going around the office when I was pregnant, that I was losing my mind….
They were right. Somehow I started forgetting everything!
And I mean everything.
I would forget to eat!
It was during that first pregnancy that I started writing everything down. So much so that my friends started to buy me pretty note books as gifts for Christmas, birthday etc.
Even with my “memory” loss I used to write down alot of things. But after becoming a mom it was either I write it down or it will never get done.
I’m sure you can relate.
Tip 5: Group Like Tasks together
This came naturally to me. It was what I studied – Industrial Engineering. We optimize as a career. So I was able to relate to this.
But sometimes you don’t know what is meant by like tasks.
The way I saw it at home – I cook and do laundry at the same time.
For my business I will blog and write emails at the same time, most times it’s on the same topic 😉
When I was at work I will perform customer segmentation analysis and a promotional analysis at the same time.
This saves time. I wouldn’t call it multi-tasking. I firmly believe that doesn’t exist, but what you do is kill two birds with one stone.
Tip 6: Learn to Say “No”
There isn’t much I could say here but check out this blog post.
When I read the book Essentialism I realized why No was so important in my life. If I had applied it earlier I wouldn’t be as frustrated as I was at work.
But then it was that frustration that drove me to start a business.
Now that I run a business, many things present themselves in the name of “opportunity”; but I have learned to say, “No” so well that some people think it is going to hurt my business.
Let me ask you a question –
If you are in the gardening and landscaping business and you love what you do, you’re building this business, you’re seeing revenues coming in, will it make sense to accept a full time offer for an IT manager?
Now I forgot to mention you hold a BS in IT. So it’s not like you can’t do it.
But doesn’t it make more sense to stick with what you have going?
Doesn’t it make sense to continue to put in the work with what you’ve already built?
Well learning to say no is something like that.
Tip 7: Estimate Your Time
Another great point. Something that I also learned from reading the book Essentialism.
We are all horrible at estimating how much time we will really need to perform task.
We always need to have a buffer.
Be realistic with your estimate.
If you’re like me and have a 3pm pick up and it takes 15 minutes to get to your child’s school with NO traffic – then you need to leave 30 minutes before pick up time.
Because most likely you WILL run into traffic.
On certain days of the week I have to give myself a 45 minute lead time.
And guess what ALL this has to go into your weekly and daily planning.
Tip 8: Be Flexible
Ok! So here it is!
Do you have OCD?
Every woman has some level of OCD.
Guess what somehow when you have your first child, it’s like the OCD levels increase!
Has that ever happened to you!
Well it happens to me all the time.
Here’s a tip from a very recent mom – and I know the more experienced moms out there will agree with me –
Take a Chill Pill
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
It’s NEVER going to be.
I reflect on how rigid I was for my wedding. Yea! I’m smiling in that picture but you know what was going through my head!?!!?
“Will they hurry up we have to get to the reception! We are LATE!”
Imagine on my wedding I’m stressing over a timeline.
Poor thing, I had her eating when she was full, and hungry when she should have been eating.
And don’t talk about me at the office.
I was the most INFLEXIBLE person alive.
Now I just “Let it go!!!!”
Tip 9: Establish Routines
Now you’re probably wondering. Hilary you just told me to be flexible, now you want me to establish routines.
A routine isn’t tied to a specific time.
I had to learn that as well.
So routines with my daughter around bed time looks like this
- Night prayers
That’s her routine.
But that could start at 5pm , 7pm, 9pm
It just depends on the day.
So make sure in your business or work you establish routines.
Tip 10: Make “Me time” A priority – Renew Yourself
Most women, myself included, find this very hard to establish.
Right now I’d be honest. I don’t have “me-time”.
I need to create that time out of this busy schedule. My “me-time” is usually wrapped around my religious and spiritual practices.
So I attend Mass daily and I spend time in pray before or after Mass. That’s my quiet time.
But you also need to have time to pamper yourself, go watch a movie with the husband, go on a date!
Renewing yourself at least weekly is very important.
If you’re not strong, you can’t be strong for your family, customers or colleagues.
So make sure you do some R&R once in a while.
I’m really glad you stuck through with me on this one.
It’s really important as women for us to figure out how to balance all the madness that is life.
My family is the reason I started my business and I haven’t looked back.
Every single one of these tips I apply every day because it is what drives success, not only in my business but in my life.
Are you open to a side project that will help you build the vision of your life as a wife and mother? Click continue below to learn more.
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