Are you the type that's making deals while making lunches, scheduling conference calls around play dates and responding to emails in between lunge circuits at the gym? Or are you the type that wants "it all" yet feels like it's "not your time?" We are here to encourage all of those mom-preneurs who are fed up with dreaming in the background, or burned out on their quest for perfection with these 4 daily habits for you to adopt to lead a more successful work/life balance.
1. Move your morning routine.
The morning is often the most hectic (and most productive) part of your day, so be sure to set yourself up for the most efficient use of that time by preparing the night before. If you find yourself always rushing in the morning to get yourself and your kids ready and out the door, figure out ways to simplify your morning routine (i.e. set your coffee maker on a timer, make school lunches and store in the fridge, pack backpacks/purse/laptop bag) before you go to bed.
The most important thing to prepare the night before is your to-do list. Why spend your precious morning time planning what you're going to do that day, when you could already have it accomplished (or mapped out) before your second cup of coffee? Our recommendation is to write down tomorrow's "daily six" and today's "top three" every night before you go to bed in your "Goals" Journal.
"Daily six:" the top six things you want to get done tomorrow; the goals you want to design your day around
"Top three:" the three best things from your day. (Something just as important as preparing and planning ahead, is reflecting and appreciating life for what it is in the moment and learning to create time for moments like this everyday).
2. Discover your down time + learn how to make the most of it.
We can't necessarily determine what this is for you or tell you how to use it, but we can give you examples. If you work in an office and your kids are in school, maybe you discover the best time for you to get stuff done for yourself (working out, reading, shopping, taking a shower) is early in the morning before they wake up. Or if you work from home and you have little ones to take care of, maybe it's when your husband gets home and watches the kids while you unwind with a run or escape to a coffee shop to receive some well-earned reading time. Find what time of day works for you to have an hour or so for self-improvement and use it!
Note: During some seasons of life and of business it's really important to focus on single-tasking these moments and really soaking up that hour of running at the gym with no distractions or just reading at a coffeeshop for the fun of it. In other instances, it's also really important to learn how to creatively multi-task and double up on self-improving activities (listening to podcasts while in the shower or reading a book while on the elliptical). Mix it up between the two, find your rhythm, and find what works for you: find what gives you the most refreshment and inner peace and make it a priority!
3. Set up boundaries.
Establish hours of operation and stick to them. If you work from home and care for little ones, this can be tricky, but it is really important for your sanity and their benefit to have some boundaries in place. When it's business hours, be fully there, answer your phone and emails as often as you want and get your to-do list items accomplished. When it's family time, be fully there and put away your phone and laptop. Depending on your personality, you may need more strict and distinct boundaries than others. Find what times fit your family and business schedules and be gracious with yourself-- this habit can be one of the hardest to commit to and it will require you to learn how to say "no" at times to preserve a boundary you have set up (and ultimately protect your family and/or business).
4. Always be improving.
Fearing failure, struggling to do it all, and getting down on yourself when you forget a deadline or mess up an important parenting moment MUST STOP NOW. Practice giving yourself as much grace and forgiveness you so effortlessly give those around you and commit to the journey of improving, not the ultimate improvement itself. Goals and habit-making are hard enough work as it is and can be daunting to begin, so we encourage you to make "improving in these areas" your resolution-- thinking of it as a journey rather than a destination and commit to making each day an improvement on the last. Document this journey of improving and see how far you come in a few months, re-evaluate and determine new areas to improve upon. This is the ultimate habit of any successful being!