I absolutely love owning my own business and being a Mompreneur. I get to do what I love every single day and there is unlimited potential – there is no glass ceiling. I also get to stay home with the kids instead of sending them to daycare. The hard part is that there is always a never ending to-do list that is looming over me. Some mornings I wake up and I am ready to take on the world. Other days I wake up feeling completely discouraged and I wonder if I’m going to keep slipping further and further under the pile.
A few months ago I had a huge wake up call on the way to volleyball. I all of a sudden felt extremely uncomfortable and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Even though it was freezing and rainy outside, I felt like I really needed to get out of the car and just walk. I started to walk down the busy road and proceeded to ugly cry until the point of hyperventilation. There were moments that I felt like I was having a heart attack because I was also experiencing chest pain. I eventually went back to the car only because I was freezing cold. I made us late for our volleyball game and we had to forfeit our first game. That night I felt uncomfortable sleeping in our bed so I made Kevin sleep with me on the couch with a bunch of blankets piled on top of me. I kind of figured during this episode that it was a panic attack but I didn’t fully realize it until I knew for sure it wasn’t a heart attack. For about a week after I was having lingering symptoms. Every time I tried to do anything or leave the house, I would feel a panic attack coming on. I managed to get to the walk in clinic and was given some sedatives to get me through it.
I knew the reason this was happening was because I took on too much at once. It’s hard to be an entrepreneur. It’s hard to be a mom. Being both and being successful at both is extremely hard. I felt bad because sometimes the only way I could get any work done was by planting the kids in front of the television. Sometimes I would go days without showering. Most times the house was a disaster, the laundry and dishes were both piled up and the floor looked like there was an earthquake. There were tasks on my to-do list that have been there for over a year but more important things kept coming up and I had to prioritize. Date nights for Kevin and I were non-existent and it was taking a toll on our relationship. When we were spending time together we were getting work done or talking about work. I didn’t know how to excel in all aspects of my life that were important to me. How could I meal plan and cook healthy meals, exercise, be a good mom, have a healthy relationship with friends, family and my husband and also have a successful business?
I started doing a lot of research. I listened to podcasts, read blog articles and books, and asked other successful Mompreneurs how they managed to achieve it all. The answers to creating more time in my life were a matter of tweaking my daily routine. It wasn’t anything revolutionary that I haven’t heard before, I just needed to buckle down and implement the changes.
CREATE A DAILY TIMELINE
I’ve never been one to follow routine or plan out every single minute of every day. I have always liked being more of a free spirit and doing things on a whim. What can say, I like to keep it interesting. The problem is that you can’t have super unpredictable days every day when you are an entrepreneur. You end up focusing on too many things and not having time for things like dinner or having a shower. You do so many things during the day that you barely have time to sit down and at the end of the day you feel like you accomplished nothing. If you figure out a plan for your day and stick to it you can focus on one thing at a time, make sure you are sleeping at the same time every day, have time to cook, workout and spend quality time on your business. You have about 15 hours throughout the day that if you put to good use you can accomplish everything that you want to.
Here is an example of my daily routine:
7am – Wake up and have breakfast
8-11am – WORK
12pm – LUNCH
1pm – Workout
2-4pm – OPEN
5pm – Dinner Prep 6pm – Dinner
7pm – Put kids to bed
8-9pm – Book or podcast 10pm – Bedtime
On weekends I take work out because I want to spend more quality time with my family on days that I am not filming weddings. Some days will change for me because I have volleyball on Tuesdays and Emmett has Taekwondo three times a week but I can slightly tweak each day’s schedule how I need to. If I have a base outline of how I want every day to look like, I can fit in everything that I need to. I left a few hours of each day for open time to clean, take kids to the park, etc. Something you also don’t see on the schedule is that my kids are in nursery school for a few hours three times a week from 9-11:30am.
GET PROPER SLEEP
Oh sleep. It’s the one thing I can never seem to get enough of. I come by it honestly, my mom and sisters are night hawks like me. In high school I would wake up 5 minutes before I had to leave for school because I stayed up late reading Harry Potter and wanted to catch up on sleep. This routine followed into my adulthood. The fact is, you feel so much better when you are well rested. Well rested people have more energy, get sick less often, have better focus, can metabolize food better, and have less stress and anxiety. Those are just a few examples, the list goes on and on. If you get sick less often, can focus better, and are less stressed you will definitely be able to finish tasks faster and have more time to spare. You won’t be hazy and falling asleep at your desk. You won’t need to take a few hours for a midday nap. The best time to go to sleep is 10pm. Between 10pm and 12am is when your melatonin production is the highest. When your body produces melatonin you feel much more rested after sleeping and will be able to focus better on your work, kids and home tasks. Another good tip is to avoid electronics at least an hour before bed. Electronics before bed can overstimulate your brain, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.
OUTSOURCE YOUR LIFE
If you are finding it really hard to be on top of everything, try not doing everything yourself. Focus on the things only you can do and hire someone to pick up some of the slack. – If you have young children put them in nursery school or hire a babysitter a few times a week. The kids will have undivided attention on them and it will leave the house empty for a few hours every few days for you to work or get things done around the house. – Hire a cleaner once every week or two to take care of the heavy duty cleaning that you can never find time to do. – Try a meal delivery service such as Good Food or Hello Fresh to eliminate some meal planning and grocery shopping time. – Hire an assistant or virtual assistant to take care of the things you don’t need to do yourself such as research, booking in clients, and planning events. One thing you will notice about successful entrepreneurs is that they have a team of people around to help them. You aren’t Wonder Woman. You can’t possibly do absolutely everything. You can either outsource some of your time or you can be okay with letting some of the areas of your life fall behind. Yes outsourcing is an added expense, but time is money and if you free up hours of your time every day, you can focus on making more money to cover the extra expense and more.
3 MAJOR TASKS EACH DAY
Each morning when you first wake up, write down the 3 major things you want to get done that day. Focus solely on those 3 things until they are done. When you have too many things on your list, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted. At the end of your day you will feel content and accomplished for being able to cross 3 major things off of your list. Make sure that your tasks for the day are realistic. You can’t write a book in a day but you can write a chapter. Examples of three daily tasks of mine are: updating my blog, sending out my monthly email, and painting an accent wall in my daughter’s room. If I get those done, I can do more but I will have more direction and focus if I zero in on those three things first.
I really hope that you reading this will inspire you to make a few changes in your life so that you don’t end up having panic attacks – trust me it’s not a fun time. Even if you have all your shit together and you are managing to balance all aspects of your life, these are still good practices for you to be more productive and successful. If you have any other tips on how to create more time in your life as a Mompreneur please share them with me!