I thought I would do a blog for the #MomPrenuers out there, being that it’s almost Mother’s Day. People are always asking about how I balance, err juggle being a mom of two boys and running two businesses (www.lashx.pro, www.lashx.shop and www.MakeupMandy.com ). Truthfully, some days I feel like I can conquer the world and others I feel like i'm failing at everything. Its really really hard.
Here are my tips and tricks, I hope they are helpful!
1. Build your support network
If we look back even one generation or two, families typically lived closer to one another and our parents had the support of siblings or their parents or neighbors for help. Our generation has become more independent, and ventured farther from home, so we need to build our support networks with nannies, babysitters, friends, and daycare if family isn't close by. Don't feel like your are alone. The saying is "It takes a village" and it really does. Lean on your support network when you need to.
2. Don't put too much pressure on yourself Mamma
I try to set my priorities and decide in advance what I am okay with slipping. Basically, plan to fail at something. We CANNOT be perfect at everything, so decide in advance what you will fail at. For me, it’s often letting the house look like it was robbed, so that I can enjoy a little extra time with my hubby when the kids go down for bed. There is only so much time in the day and I would much rather get some quality time with someone I love then have the cleanest house on the block while we sleep.
Think about all that you do. In order to prioritize and decide what you can have someone or something else do, try and categorize each task or item into one of these four categories:
Love doing it and are good at it - This is what you should be spending most of your time on
Dislike doing it but are good at it - You should be spending less time on this and use outsourcing where you can.
Enjoy doing it and are bad at it - If you enjoy doing it but are bad, you may be really slow and wasting time, see if its a skill set you can get better at or consider outsourcing where you can.
Hate doing it and am terrible at it - Try to outsource most of these things. It will allow you to be more efficient and send time on things you enjoy doing.
I know what you are all thinking, Mandy, how could we afford to hire all of these people do do all of these things. Luckily there are so many apps now that allow you to get more done in less time.
Outsourcing may just mean using an app. For example, if you need photos edited Pixc is an app that will edit your photos for a dollar or two online, There are apps for social media, marketing etc. Virtual assistants are great too. Many times you can have a virtual assistant do things that can be done online or over the phone and you are not paying for an actual employee. At the bottom of my blog I will link to a few of my favorite apps and outsourcing tricks.
Outsourcing may cost less than you think. You may have to pay a little more money to have your groceries delivered or your dry cleaning picked up, but if you can save 2 hours of your week, than that time can be used doing a higher priority item. For example, if you make more than $2.5 per hour and it costs you $5 more to save 2 hours of your life than you are going to be profiting by utilizing the service. You would be able to work for two more hours and be more efficient.
At one point in time I had up to 6 calendars going; one for each of the kids’ schedule, one for marketing events, one for my social life, one for client appointments, one for the nanny. Then I came to the realization that I am only one person. I need to have one schedule and calendar. To help me prioritize and schedule my time I do what is called Time Color Blocking. What this means essentially is that I use colors on my calendar (I use google cal because it syncs live with all of my devices) to predetermine how much time I will spend on each area of my life. Instead of having an entire calendar for each area of your life, home, kids, social, work - you would have a color.
Before you start making your planner or calendar all sorts of colors you will want to do a little planning and research. Where do you currently spend most of your time, how much is wasted, and are you really working on the things that matter to you most?
To answer these questions you will want to write down on your calendar every task you do over two weeks and how long it takes. I know, I know, I am giving you more to do, but I promise this information will help you save so much time in the future.
After your two weeks look at all of those items. What you want to figure out is what you can Batch. Batch means doing several similar things at the same time or back to back in order to be more efficient. For example. Paying all of your bills once a week rather than one bill a day. It will save you time because you will already be in that mode, have your stamps ready and bank statements opened. You can also see what types of activities can be done in sync. I like to run all my calls that don’t need note taking in the car on the way to the lash studio for example. Commuting is also a great time for audio books. Finally, get to all those books you have been meaning to! Once you see what you spend your time on you can then decide if you want to keep doing it, batch it, out source it or do it while doing something else.
On my calendar I have Sundays blocked as family time. So if there is something we want to do as a family, it will already fit into that predesignated time. Mondays for me is a lash studio day, so my calendar is blocked for getting everyone out the door, then running calls or book on tape in the car, (make sure you don’t over book and leave time for travel between events). Then I only do Makeup Mandy activities (Blue) or take clients during those blocks. This helps me keep focused on that part of my life. Tuesdays are a LAshX Day so I only do activities during the work day that pertain to that part of my business, I don’t try and squeeze in a lash client.
Most importantly if you choose to try color blocking don’t forget to block time for you. Your workouts, your fun, whatever it is you need to feel great because if you don’t have time to take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of everyone else.