As you probably know I run this business pretty much solo (with the odd helping hand here and there). I am also a mum to two young children, Isla is 5 and in her first year of school, Maxwell is 1 and very much a typical one year old, in other words running me ragged ;)
A lot of people I speak to on a day to day basis ask how I manage my time effectively from being business owner to mum and partner. I’ll admit I rarely stop to rest and sometimes this does get the better of me, but most days tick along just fine.
First of all, Max is in nursery 3 days a week. This gives me child free time to focus on my business and make every moment count. I work from home which can often lead to eating too much, doing housework and chatting too much to our neighbours. My bad.
So, as soon as I get home from the school run I get to work, I have a dedicated office space in our living room and this faces me away from any distractions. I set myself mini goals throughout the day, mainly revolving around my next cup of tea. For example, right now I must finish this blog post before I can get up and stick the kettle on. This gives me drive, a little focus and a mini reward at the end. Perfect.
I make sure I have a lunch break, even if it is only 15 minutes. I don’t eat at my desk and I always make sure I have something healthy and prepared in the fridge. Taking this time gives me space to think away from the screen, time to enjoy a healthy lunch (which means I shouldn’t crave crisps and biscuits later on!) and a moment to catch up with what is going on in the world.
The time I spend with my children, is just that. Time spent with my children, no distractions and no work. They get quality time with me and I really find it is guilt free fun. What I mean by guilt free is that I know my business will be tended to when I am in working hours and this isn’t ever too far away, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not posting something on Instagram right that minute or leaving my website updates until the next day.
So where does the cooking, cleaning, washing and everything else in between fit in. I am really lucky to have a partner that helps so much with day to day chores or running the kids around. We both try to work together at tackling the house and garden, sometimes it does end up a little chaotic and weekends and evenings are often spent squaring up. Failing that, what harm does a few toys lying around do, anyway?
Isla... I said a few toys!
Here are 5 top tips for getting the perfect work life balance. Try putting these actionable steps into practise now! No time like the present and all that.
Whatever time you can give to your business, whether its a full week or just a few hours, make sure you have a dedicated space in which to work. I love my vintage writing bureau as I can tidy it all away when I'm finished. The kids can't get in and i'm less tempted to work when I shouldn't.
Set yourself mini goals. That could be five minutes on the sofa, making a mug of coffee or looking on Instagram at cute puppies. Whatever your goal is, don't reward yourself until you have completed your task.
Make time to eat. I try to give myself a 30 minute lunch break each day and always have something prepared. There is nothing worse than looking in the fridge to find a cheese string, a handful of grapes and some left over lasagne. Keep it healthy and filling, I have salad most days and I spice it up with different dressings, nuts and seeds.
Tidy and clean as you go, have a final clear up at the end of each day and rope the whole family in to help you! This past week Isla has finally grasped the concept of taking her dishes into the kitchen when she has finished with them! Hoorah!
Set time aside to spend with the children, enjoy them while they're little. You will feel so much happier in their company if you know your work and chores will be seen to a little later.
I hope this helps all those working mommas out there, it can be a pretty lonely old world and life can quickly pile on top of you. Put these steps into action and I guarantee you will feel more productive, happier and less distracted. Let me know if you have any of your own tips.
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