Blog > Business Mum Sarah Shares Her Tips For a Balanced Life
Posted By Create
We had an amazing response and so far we've shared interviews with business mums as well as a graphic of succinctly put and inspiring quotes. Today we're handing over to life coach and Create Community Member Sarah Sienkiewicz who is here to share her top tips on achieving the ultimate balance.
I'm a stay-at-home mum to Sophie, aged 3, and Leon, aged 2. Sophie goes to pre-school between 8.45 and 11.45am and my husband works different days of the week according to his shift pattern (e.g. two days, then two nights, then four days off).
I set up a life-coaching business, Clearwater Coach Ltd., to work around my family life. I provide one-to-one coaching, oracle card readings (coming soon in November) and facilitate body confidence workshops for postnatal mums. My mission is to help people move from chaos to clarity in their lives in order to become happier, more confident and more peaceful.
It was my great pleasure to attend the Mumpreneur Conference and Awards. I was lucky enough to win a ticket, with huge thanks to Create. At first I was super excited, but then I realised I was booked on a Mindfulness course the same day which included walking with Alpacas. However, I'm glad I chose to walk with successful, sassy, business mums instead that day!
Being in the presence of Anna Kennedy was an inspiring and humbling experience. I learned so much from the way Anna spoke, her passion and her commitment to her cause. I learned a lot from chatting to the Create team, too, who were very generous with their advice. I came away buzzing with enthusiasm, excitement and with my eyes on a prize at next year's awards!
My top tips for achieving a successful work/life balance:
- Be focused. When you have limited time to dedicate to your business you need to focus each day on how to maximise that time. Have a running to-do list which includes deadlines. Remove distractions by only working when you have uninterrupted time to dedicate to your business and if necessary turn off your phone, Facebook, emails etc. to enable you to focus on the activity you are working on. Focus as much time as you can on the activities that will bring you profits. You are running a business, not an expensive hobby.
- Have clear goals. By having a clear idea of your goals you can create an action plan for steps to achieving it. For example, one of my goals could be to a run a workshop and have twenty people attend. I therefore need to advertise to my target market before date X by completing actions A, B and C.Keep actions small, specific and achievable.
- Drive your business forward by doing at least one thing a day. Even if I only tick off one action per day, I know that I am doing something positive to make every day count. Each step I take leads me closer to my goal.
- Build in some daydream time. When I'm putting my son to sleep I have about 20 minutes of peace while we have a cuddle and he settles down. Other times I do this are while washing up, while walking from school....any time that I can during my busy day. I relax, let my mind wander and daydream. I often come up with my best creative ideas at this time. Studies show that when you daydream you access your creative and problem-solving parts of your brain, which can lead to more innovative ideas and solutions.
- Carve out family time. I am committed to being strict with my boundaries and keeping family time for family. I work when Sophie is at school and when Leon is asleep. I have an hour during the day and between one and three hours per evening, depending on my husband's shifts, to dedicate to my business. All other time is for family, socialising and chores (in that order!). I find that when we are out of the house, either at a children's centre or the park, we have much more quality time together than when we're at home with all the distractions of the laptop or housework.
- Time-savers. I have used online delivery services for my shopping, I pick one area of housework to do per day and let go of the rest, use the slow-cooker if I have a busy afternoon to take the pressure off at tea time, walk to school rather than drive to build in some exercise time and one-on-one time with my son.
- Be true to your values. Remember it is your business - you are the boss - so you decide where your business takes you. Create a personal mission statement which reflects your values. This will be your compass when making important decisions, e.g. how much time you spend with or away from your family, what lifestyle you are working towards and what really matters to you, your family and your business.
- Look after yourself. With a family, house and business to juggle it is very easy to put yourself at the bottom of the pile. To avoid burnout or feelings of resentment building up, make sure you make time to care for yourself, whether that's eating well, sleeping well, getting some exercise, finding time for relaxation or socialising. You can't feed others from an empty plate. It is also important to keep connecting with your partner. By keeping lines of communication open you are both better able to deal with the stresses, pressures, joys and successes that you achieve in your business.