Hello again, I am delighted to be back to business now the children have returned to school after the longest summer holidays.
We had a wonderful time during July, August and September. I take the summer period to spend time with my family and pull back on my time on the business, focusing on working with my existing clients, using the time to reflect, plan and learn.
My suitcase was packed with loads of great books – some new ones such as Light Is The New Black by Rebecca Campbell and old ones such as Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and I have returned to our working and school routine feeling refreshed and ready to go.
However I wasn’t ready for the following lesson – just before the school holidays began, I started to reflect on how the first year of working more hours in my business had worked.
My Big Discovery
I was surprised to discover that rather than spending 20 hours a week running my business as planned my actual hours were more like 40-50 hours PLUS I was also picking up all of the childcare.
Often my days started at 7am and finished at 10pm, only breaking for the school run, making dinner and Emmerdale (ok my guilty pleasure).
This might work for some people, however I knew I couldn’t keep this up – if I continued to work like this I knew I couldn’t be the best version of myself for my family, my clients or for me.
I realised my plans to create some me time had disappeared and I was cancelling and discouraging friends to connect with me during the week, as I was too busy.
I asked myself the following questions.
The 5 Questions To Ask Your BUSY Self
Was this how I had envisioned working for myself?
How does it feel to work all those hours?
Was it essential to spend ALL this time working?
Did I feel there was a balance between work and play?
What would it like if I didn’t work these hours?
Here is what I discovered about how I was spending my time:
I discovered, because I run my own business, I hadn’t set any time boundaries. I just worked all the time I could, mainly because I love it and I love having the freedom to do something I am passionate about.
TOP TIP: Work out a weekly schedule that balances out work and non work time. Try to stick to these hours as you would, if you were employed. Ensure you are available when your clients need you and always create time for your marketing and money activities.
Much of my marketing is done via Social Media and I love supporting my clients via my Facebook Groups, therefore I spent a proportion of my time on social media. However that was A LOT of time on social media and I was reactiving immediately.
TOP TIP: Schedule in your social media posts for the weekly in advance. Decide how many times a day you will open up your social media channels. Be aware when you find yourself slipping back into your old habits.
As a creative person I love creating more and more ways to support people to grow their business, however I wasn’t keeping my creative spirit in check. I was creating too many ways to support people.
TOP TIP: Keep it simple. A confused mind never buys, when you create lots and lots of different options, clients can become confused. Decide on your key products and services and promote these.
I was not valuing myself. I had become a SLAVE to looking after my business and managing the childcare. Everything else including fun activities had all but disappeared.
TOP TIP: In your weekly schedule, create space and time for YOU. Even if this a quick nap because you are working later in the day, schedule this in and give yourself permission to do it.
I am so relieved I have learnt from this lesson – my schedule now reflects work and non work time and I feel so much happier about the boundaries I have created for myself.
What are you going to commit to doing differently in your business?