Okay I have to be completely honest before I write this…. I’m not a pro at balance. I actually believe balance is a unicorn; it’s impossible to remain balanced all the time and if you try you’ll end up stressing out even more. However over the last 7 years as I’ve built a business and 3 babies I’ve learned a few things about what works for my career and my family.
Things That Don’t Work:
- Working Everyday: This will leave you burnt out and resent your work and people you love.
- Answering Emails as they come in: this will leave you scattered feeling like there’s always loose ends to tie and you’ll make way to many typos. Trust me I’ve been there.
- Working only at night: I used to do this and it worked for a period of time but after I had my 3rd baby I could no longer function that well at night. My writing suffered and I just wanted to zone out so I gave myself permission to do so. I now answer emails at night which doesn’t take too much brain power and I watch a show so I feel like I’m getting some down time.
- Posting a photo everyday to Instagram: now this might not be part of your job but if you run a business you’re probably using social media. I used to think that I had to post an epic photo everyday to my feed. I learned that it’s not realistic for my business and phase of life so I wait until I have a quality photo and caption to go with it. Posting something just to post something will hurt your brand more than taking a break.
- Working around my children: I used to be able to do this when my boys would watch cartoons in the morning but for some reason it just doesn’t work anymore. I now go into our guest bedroom to work if I have to finish a project during my non office hours.
- Saying YES to everything: I used to say yes to everything. I was so excited and honored to be asked to collaborate with others that I didn’t feel like I could say no nor did I want to. I wanted to see it all and do it all; that’s just my personality. But eventually I burnt out on doing everything and honestly it wasn’t good for my business or family. I now say yes to only the things that really light me up.
- Trying to be productive all the time: I used to think that I had to be “on” or “creative” all the time until I learned that as a female that’s not feasible. Your productivity rate as a female can not be the same at all times during the month due to fluctuations in hormones like estrogen and progesterone; we must stop modeling our lives on a masculine biochemical 24-hour schedule. Working based on a female paradigm of productivity, success and fulfillment should be key for females in the workplace. Click here for a great article on this subject.
Things That Work:
- Batch Working: I’m essentially a stay-at-home-working-mom so I’ve learned the value in hiring a babysitter. I have a babysitter twice a week and I work my tushy off during those kid free hours. This is the first time I’ve actually made office hours for my business (aside from seeing clients) and it’s made such a difference in my work flow. I book all my interviews and complete my most pressing work during these hours and leave other things like emails and research to times when my children go to sleep or when they’re playing peacefully.
- Saying NO: It’s hard to say no to money but when the pay doesn’t represent what you’re worth a NO is needed. You will only be more magnetic and attract more money and bigger jobs when you say no to the ones that don’t pay what you’re worth. It’s scientific! It’s all about the law of attraction. You attract what you think and feel so start saying no more and see how your business grows.
- Cycle-Syncing: By synching our professional life to our females cycle it allows us to be more efficient, productive and to stay in peak creative flow. Using apps like MyFlo app women can know what times of the month they can be at their best in terms of communication, creativity, productivity and more. We can also know when to slow down and relax knowing that it’s pointless to develop a new plan launch a product during menstruation.
- Using apps: like Planoly, Plann, Unfold, and Lightroom to edit and store all my photos and stories for social media while planning out when I’m going to post them. I also utilize “Notes” and “Reminders” on my phone as well to write out ideas, things to do, appointment reminders and captions.
- Using google calendar and linking it to my iPhone: I literally just learned that you can link your google calendar to your iPhone calendar and it’s been a game changer! You can add family members or business partners to your calendars as well so they can see what you have going on for the week/month.
- Picking 2 times a day to answer emails: I learned this from Tim Ferris’s “The 4 Hour Work Week“…. You do not have to answer emails ASAP. You can control this area of your life. Set an automatic response on your email so that senders will get an email back right away that says when they can expect to hear from you. For example: “Hi! Thanks for your email. I’m a busy mom running and empire. I’m so excited you reached out to me. I answer emails at noon and 6:00pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I might be slow to respond but you can be sure to hear from me soon. Thanks for your patience, Chrissy.”
- Utilizing my FREE monthly social media calendar! Seriously I made myself a calendar so I can plan out my ideas, goals and captions for the month and I’m giving it away to you for FREE cause I want to help take the stress out of posting to social media for you. Click HERE to get that goodness.
- Know when to throw in the towel: I mean this in the sense that if all the things you’ve set up aren’t working for you and your family or friends need you, just throw in the towel and come back to your work later. Relationships and connection is always more important than getting the job done.
Check out my latest podcast episode on BALANCE in which I interview the Beyonce of blogging Danielle Schaffer of City Girl Gone Mom. Danielle is a busy mom of 4 with a thriving brand and business that she loves. She talks all about how she blends all that she loves into her life and remains a steady CEO and matriarch of her family and career.
With Grace & Gratitude,