Struggling to make ends meet, facing bankruptcy, and spending long sixteen-hour days away from my new baby, entrepreneurship didn’t look like I had hoped.
I always wanted to own my own business. I thought it would allow me to be a present parent, a compassionate boss, and the champion of my own destiny. Why did nothing look like I’d always dreamed it would?
Something had to change. In 2015, I spent the year getting all the education possible on how to run a profitable and successful business. Today, I’m the mom of three under six (including twin boys!) and the owner of a seven figure wedding and education business. I work six hour days, I support a team of five amazing employees, and I rarely miss a school party or softball game.
So how do I set boundaries and create a work life balance? Here are my top seven tips to reclaim your life.
- Determine your ‘why’.
Making big decisions can feel overwhelming. Simplify those decisions by establishing your ‘why,’ and use that as your compass. For example, my ‘why’ is that I want to work hard so I can spend as much time with my husband and children as possible. When I’m given an opportunity to do work that will (short or long-term) allow me more time with my family, it’s an easy yes! If not, it’s an easy no.
Determine your ‘why’ and allow it to guide your decisions– big and small.
- Don’t check email until after lunch
Most women I talk to have gotten in the habit of checking their email first thing when they wake up and the last thing before they go to bed. When you do this, you open yourself up to others’ problems before you even get a chance to work on your own to-do list!
If you read an email at 10pm, there’s probably nothing you can do about it until the next day anyway! You’re going to get a terrible night’s sleep worrying over something you can’t do anything about.
I never check my email until after lunch. I give myself the entire morning to be my most productive, and I don’t allow other people to speak into my day until after lunch. Once I’m done checking my email, I’m done! I’m not constantly refreshing my email app on my phone.
Bonus tip: don’t have email on your phone! Want to read more about productivity? Get my productivity free resource here!
- Have a separate work phone
I bought an inexpensive work phone that I use exclusively to communicate with clients. I leave this phone in my studio space. When I’m in the office, I answer the phone. I don’t take the phone home with me so I’m not tempted to do work once I’ve left the studio.
As soon as you can, outsource the tasks that you struggle with to someone else. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time! By offloading some undesirable tasks onto someone who is qualified and equipped, you’ll have more time to do what you do best.
- Spend time meeting your own needs
Every day, I exercise from 2pm to 3pm. I need that time to invest in myself so I can be the mom I want to be for my kids. It shortens my work day, but I’m more productive when I do work because I’ve reaped the benefits of exercise.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Your kids and your business deserve you at your best!
- Create set hours
My kids are school-aged, so my hours are set by their schedule. I drop them off and then head to the office. I leave the office when it’s time to pick them up. My hours are posted on my website, so my clients know when they can expect to hear from me.
Creating set hours allows you to establish a routine. Even if you can only work an hour a day, or five hours once a week, having a predictable schedule will allow you to be productive and focused!
- Invest in childcare
There is no way you can be productive working with your kids climbing all over you. I guarantee that you’ll get more done when you set aside time to focus solely on your business. Not only that, but when you are with your kids, they’ll see you as a mom who is engaged and focused on them.
Can you send your kids to Mother’s Day Out a few days a week? Can you have a sitter give you six hours straight one day a week? Can the kids have a grandma date every Friday? You’ll be amazed how much you can complete in a few hours when you can devote your whole attention to your work.
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