It is another year and another birthday is here! Today I turn the big 3-1. Nothing fancy planned but a nap, a mani/pedi, watching some Fixer Upper on demand, and a family dinner that I am not cooking. Most importantly, I am taking the day off. This made me think about how important it is that we make time for ourselves as entrepreneurs, especially for the mammas out there, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you!
Let’s be honest for a second, friend… this running a business thing is hard work. Sure, you can get some really good workflows in place, have an awesome CRM system, and organizational tools for days, but you still have to: 1. Do the work to put those systems into place; 2. Be intentional and learn to love and serve your clients well. Those things take time, energy, and a lot of hard work!
A few years ago, I found myself in a constant state of work. I was always on the go, working on my phone/laptop all the time, at all hours of the day with no boundaries and a newborn. I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with my way of doing things. I loved my job, I was organized, working hard, and my clients were all very happy. It wasn’t until my intern asked me about some recent TV show she was watching, and the conversation went something like this:
Me: “I don’t really ever watch TV”
Intern: “What do you like to do then?”
Intern: “No Tara, like what do you do for you? What do you like to do for fun?”
Me: “Umm… work?”
Don’t get me wrong, it is important for us to love what we do, but it shouldn’t take up so much of our time that our work starts to consume our life to the point that it defines who we are. Loving our job is what helps us to get out of bed every morning with excitement! But there is something so refreshing about being able to step away from hustle, take time for yourself and celebrate life’s moments without feeling guilty, so you can come back to your work with new perspective and energy! Here are three ways I have learned to make time for myself:
Set Office Hours, and stick to them
First and foremost, it is so important as a working mamapreneur to have set office hours. Find what works for you, your family, and your clients. This is all about blending your different roles. It also important to note that sometimes the “working hours” may stretch beyond your office hours during more busy seasons, or when you are working on an awesome new project. It is also important to note these are FLEXIBLE office hours… Oh my, this is a big one! Feel free to adjust your office hours as needed to accommodate your clients, and your new baby’s schedule. Once you and your little one have your schedule down, something changes, so give yourself grace and adjust as needed.
Block Scheduling the Work
Being an entrepreneur, you are wearing so many hats – business owner, marketing, advertising, HR, administrative, IT, designer, accounting, sales, and then the service/product you actually provide (I am sure I am forgetting some here). Add in being a mamma to the mix, and you not only have more hats, but you have another little person to take care of who needs a lot of your attention. Enter Block Scheduling – this was a game changer for me guys! Literally my productivity sky rocketed when I prioritized my day/week and scheduled tasks by the hour. I would account for things like drive time, feedings, getting ready for meetings, etc… This also helped me to be more realistic on what I could accomplish and say yes to.
In order to make points 1 and 2 as successful and efficient as possible, I needed to embrace automation. This reaches far beyond the automatic invoicing. These systems not only remind me of the back end items that need to be done, but they will remind my clients on the front end of where we are at in the planning process, and what they can expect from me each month. There are so many systems out there that you can utilize for this, we could be here for days talking about CRM systems for your business (so we will need to a blog post on just this item later). The kicker is that you have to set it all up on the back end. Oh my word this took SO. MUCH. LONGER than I ever thought it would, but was worth every minute my team put into it.
All of these things combined have allowed me to be more productive with my business, giving me back time to spend on whatever I need in my current season of life. For me, it could be more family time, diving into a good book, watching my favorite TV show – Fixer Upper, scheduling in a nice massage, mani/pedi, going shopping, or redecorating my home for the millionth time.
Whatever it is, here’s to hoping this will help you to create margin in your schedule for the things that you love most!
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Photo Credit: Jamie Sanger Photography