how to ‘shut down’ when it is imperative to stay open longer

In business for yourself, and especially a new one, it can be all consuming to say the least.   Being a mum and working from home the lines between working and living can sometimes become a little (ok a lot) blurred.  Even when your attention is on something else your thoughts can be preoccupied.  Then introduce the age of social media (social media – the new corner store) – the ultimate excuse to be “open all hours” and I am sure most of us would be happy to create, type, like, click, tweet, shout-out until the cows (children and hubby) come home (ask for their dinner).

I am the first to admit that sometimes it is the momentum – that physical action of doing – that drives things forward but even I am questioning can being on permanent hyper-drive be both constructive and positive 100% of the time?  Here am I grappling with the exhileration of creating, running and building a business whilst maintaining a happy, calm and organised household – and have come to appreciate that things must stop…..in order for them to progress.

So in writing my new mantra for creating a healthy and happy balance I have decided to list the things that are non-negotiables and those things that, temporarily, could make way for ensuring the best possible outcome to succeed ………for everyone.

Can’t compromise – even a little

Quality family time (an obvious one)
Healthy eating
Exercise (at least 1 hour 3 times a week)
7-8 hours sleep
Routine for the kids
A night out – once in a while
Staying in touch with my beautiful friends

Willing to part with (at least for a little while)

TV (well that went quite some time ago)
Perusing the shops (ditto)
The cinema (oh I will miss you cinema)
surfing the net for fun

Now in order to fit all of the must do’s in and focus enough time and energy on creating a structured work life I have come to realise some harsh truths.

1. I need to get up earlier (ughhh)

2. I need to get more done in the time allocated – focus!(ie less distractions, switch off the computer, wear headphones – my sister swears by listening to podcasts when doing her housework)

3. I need to work out what is consuming most of my time – and is it used effectively?  (yes talking to you mac & FB – my shiny new timer will be watching…and ticking..loudly! )

4.  I need to set clear boundaries/routines and stick to them.

4. I need at least 3  days completely switched off-unplugged-zoned out from the business.

5.  and somethings can be outsourced for sanity’s sake.  (my gorgeous mum is writing 3 menu plans each week to stop that time wasting question “what’s for dinner”.

It is amusing to think that working for ourselves may be giving us less freedom than working in a “job” we hated for the very same reason.

…..roll on tomorrow…

two of my favourite books at the moment

How to get things done. David Allen

Cut the clutter.  Cynthia Townley

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