Finding the perfect balance between home, business, and personal life is a constant process. Today we talk about a few things to help you keep things balanced.
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This is a topic that has been near and dear to my heart lately. If you are a long time listener, you will know that I have 7 kids. They are 14 years old to 14 months old. They are active in sports, clubs and with friends. I am active in our church group as well. And then on top of that, supporting my growing team and leaders.
I love everything that I do and have evaluated all my activities regularly to make sure that I’m not spending unnecessary time on activities that don’t bring me joy.
Now, I’m constantly trying to find a good balance between home, family, cleaning, business, and personal time and while I’m definitely not an expert on time management, I have found a few tricks along the way to help me get more things done.
#1 – Touch things once. Let me explain. If you clean the dishes from the table, don’t just put them in the sink and then come back later to scrub and put them into the dishwasher. Rinsing them the first time you touch them means that you won’t have to spend time scrubbing them later on. It means that you will be able to just run water over them and set time in the dishwasher.
I can’t say that I’m the BEST at this particular tip, but when I DO do it, life is MUCH simpler.
Another great example is making my bed. If I were to get up and immediately make my bed, not only is my room much tidier, but then I don’t have to come back to it later on in the day and make it.
2- Multi-task. This is probably my BIGGEST secret. There are things that I have to do everyday and can’t really get around. One of those things is picking up my kids from school. But it’s not as simple as just picking them up. The pick-up lane at the school starts to fill up about 10 minutes before classes let out and if you aren’t parked and waiting before then, it takes you 3 times as long to get you kids loaded up and then maneuver out of the pick up area and away from all the kids, cars and crazed parents.
While I was sitting, waiting for pickup, I used to play on my phone. Check in on Facebook, call my mom, etc. Now, I bring something to do while I sit. Sometimes I brainstorm for ideas for upcoming newsletters, trainings and podcasts. Other times, I will bring Thank You notes that I need to write or a list of people I need to call. That way I have something productive to do while I sit.
Soccer games are another prime example of this down time. We have to be 45 minutes early to the game so they can warm up and then my son usually sits out at least 1 (sometimes 2) quarters. It’s sometimes fun to just sit and watch the other team, but I feel much more accomplished if I have something I can accomplish while I sit.
3- Find time for you – This is a MUST!! After 14 years of being a mom where I am constantly giving of my time, energy and sanity, I have finally learned the importance of ME time. I try to fill these times with some sort of activity that is either extremely relaxing (like a massage or a pedicure) or something that will feed my soul. Exercising on my elliptical while listening to an audio book is one of my favorites. Reading a self-improvement type book or listening to a podcast are a few other things I enjoy doing. Sometimes I can do these while I do something else (driving to visit family is a prime time for me to listen into something for me since the kids are on electronics or watching a DVD) but other times, it is just 5 minutes that you give yourself.
When you give and give and give to others, its easy to feel like you run out of things to give. You get worn down, drained and tired. (and this is me speaking from personal experience). So, go on a date with yourself. Take 5 minutes to paint your nails or to read a paragraph out of a book. It might seem like little things but these will TOTALLY help in the long run.
4- be PRESENT with people. One of my BIGGEST pet-peeves is watching people checking out at the grocery store and hardly even acknowledge the person who is checking them out. They are talking on their phones or texting. In my option it is SO rude. People are more important than electronics and I think that as a society we sometimes forget that! When you are spending time with your family in the evening or after school while the kids are eating snack, put away your phone or computer and talk with them. Listen to their day. It only takes 5 minutes or so, but they will feel heard and loved. Your relationships will be better because of it.
In your other relationships, find ways to honor the people you are with as well. Constantly checking text messages when someone is trying to talk to you is rude and makes them feel less important and valued. Put your phone down, enjoy your conversations and strengthen your relationships. In the end, this will make a HUGE difference in finding balance in your life.
5 – Delegate. This is something I still struggle with sometimes. It is SO much faster for me to put away the dishes or to make dinner than to try to instruct someone else on how to do it. It is so much easier to just handle all the snacks for the Valentines party at the school instead of delegating it because you don’t have to worry that it won’t get done.
The thing to remember is that it might be faster the FIRST time for you to do it, but think about the second time or the third time, or the 50th time. If you delegate, you might have to spend a little more time upfront training someone to do a specific task, but in the long run, you will save a TON of time!
A good example of this is when my kids load the dishwasher. They put things in all kinds of weird places and in ways that it will never get clean. The FIRST thing I do is to THANK them for trying. Tell them they did a good job and then offer a suggestion or 2 on how they could do it next time to help the dishwasher clean better. Then the next time repeat the process. After 4 or 5 times they will be loading it like a pro! On the other hand, if you yell and tell them what a horrible job they did, they won’t want to try again, so be positive and encouraging and limit your “tips” to 2.
A few of the tasks I’ve been delegating, matching socks, sweeping the kitchen floor, vacuuming, unloading and loading the dishwasher, making dinner (just a few times a week), and even getting the mail. They might seem like a little task, but they add up.
As a bonus, delegating tasks will help your kids or husband be more aware of everything you do around the house and they may even be a little more considerate when making messes.
6- Business time. I know we’ve talked a lot about being respectful of others and their time, but I just had to mention one more thing. Schedule time for your business. For me, we know that Wednesdays are online party nights and Thursdays are team meeting nights. On those nights, its expected that I will do business. Also, during nap time is when I get a lot of my business things done that I need to do. Around those times, I’m able to schedule things in and work with my team as they need me.
But, there has to be a time where you also put business away and spend time with your friends. With your family. With your kids. Don’t make them feel that Paparazzi is more important than they are! Paparazzi is all about family and making your business work around your life, not the other way around. If someone messages you about joining your team at 3 am…don’t drag yourself out of bed to respond! They will be excited to hear from you when you wake up!
Don’t skip out of your little girl’s dance recital to answer a question about a necklace or pair of earrings. It will WAIT but your little girl dancing will not. There is time every day where I put my phone down and have family time. And when that time is over (whether it’s 30 minutes or 2 hours…) then I can respond to my texts and messages. Sometimes “problems” solve themselves!
You might be thinking this tip sounds a little crazy, but if you set up your business so that they second someone messages you or texts you, you respond, that might be great for the first 10 or 15 team members, but as your team continues to grow, as your customer base gets bigger, that will just multiply. I’m sure there are leaders who are bombarded with messages constantly! Set those boundaries (spoken or unspoken) early so you can avoid problems later on.
Finding balance doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not something that once you find it, you will always stay in balance. The trick is to constantly be tweaking and changing what you are doing until you find the best fit for you. Until you find the ways that you can simplify your life and magnify your efforts for maximum success.
Focus on one area that you feel out of balance. Is it your finances? Spirituality? Relationships? Maybe its your housework or your team training. Find one of the areas you would like to work on this week and commit to 2 ways help bring that area back into balance in your life.
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