As Spring blooms here in Australia, I’m taking the steps required to intentionally create more space in my day to build The Woman Rising Network.
Previously I’ve only ever sat down at my desk to work when my baby boy is asleep and my big boy is at school. Anything more than that and I was tearing my hair out wondering why Hugh (10 months) wasn’t happy playing at my feet and Elliot (5 years) wasn’t content watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so Mummy could get more completed on her to-do list. Eeek!
I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself and my boys to ‘balance’ work and home life in order to do more, when in reality I wasn’t balancing at all, but rather throwing everything in the air and seeing what I could catch before it fell in a spectacular heap – myself included!
So, as TWRN expands and we prepare to launch several new #WRNWorkshops, I need to get back to basics and understand where I am spending my time in order to reduce overwhelm, remove distractions and implement a few small tweaks to my routine, to achieve big results.
These 3 subtle yet important steps have worked for me in the past and I trust they will work for you too.
1. Record Your Time
The first important step we can all take when we’re preparing to get back to basics at home and at work is to evaluate where we are spending our time and whether or not that time is of value.
While it’s easy to disregard this step and think ‘I never get time for myself so why bother’ I’d argue if you wrote down everything you do in one week, from the moment you wake to the moment you go to sleep, you might be surprised by how you actually spend your time. The only real difference is whether or not how you spend that time is of value to you.
So, let’s get a clear picture and write down what you do for a week. Include EVERYTHING. All phone calls, emails, time on social media, talking to your kids, your partner, washing, cleaning, working, emails (personal and professional), shopping, watching TV/iPad/Phone gardening, reading, showering, etc…
Note: Please don’t judge yourself when looking over your notes. We all have to start somewhere. Instead, congratulate yourself for taking the first step to understanding how you can simplify life a little more from where you are now.
2. Remove Distractions
The next step is to look over your week and consider, did some activities take longer than expected? Did you do more of what people asked you to do than you intended? Did you delegate more time on things that weren’t important to you but you felt like you ‘had’ to do it?
For example one of the big things I noticed was taking up time in my day was reading emails from people/companies/brands I had subscribed too.
I was spending 35 minutes a day reading group emails that really had no great value to me overall. By seeing this time spent in black and white, I was able to more objectively evaluate whether this was important to me or not and I unsubscribed from almost all the emails I received. Not only did my ‘load’ feel lighter but also I had reduced the number distractions I had put in front of my family, my work and me.
The point with this step is when you can objectively evaluate how you spent your week you’ll become aware of obstacles that arise and be able to manage a way around them to get back on track.
3. Set Intentions & Follow Your Heart
You may have noticed above I said, “have worked for me before”. Yes, I’m guilty of going gung-ho with the ultimate work/life balance schedule only to have things fall in to disarray when the universe has other plans and my best intentions come up against bigger challenges. Trust me, I get it!
We can’t get caught up believing things will always go according to plan, so this step is arguably the most important because it’s giving you (and me) permission to let go, re-evaluate and follow your heart to do what’s right for you at any given moment.
When we become so focused on what ‘should’ happen, we don’t allow room for errors, issues or perhaps greater things to take place in their place, and we end up with a huge serving of shoulda-woulda-coulda! AKA: Guilt and Worry. Not fun or helpful.
Therefore give yourself the freedom of flexibility. Start your day with a heart-driven loving intention to be open to the new, and support your heart as it ventures forward in to unknown territory, i.e. putting yourself first and saying no to things that no longer hold value in your heart and mind.
Are you inclined to be hard on yourself, in your search for balance? Would you love to discover new ways to tackle an old issue? Our #WRNWorkshop Self Care & Self Worth For Busy Mamas, presented by Mindful Mama Coach Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, provides essential information and practical tools to help anyone seeking to move from strung-out parent to self-loving Mum. Learn more here.