Monday, 31 October 2016

Is it possible to find balance?

This article was originally published on Funsize Enterprise.

Yes. Yes, it is. And here is the secret. You need to define what balance means to you and your family. We spend our days thinking that we are out of balance. Do you ever stop to think what balance means to you? Picture what a balanced life would look like? Do you ever question society expectations of you? When was the last time you paused and considered what balance means to you and your family?
Could you let go of all of the ideas that you have around what is expected of you. This could be from your neighbour, parents, partner, your internal chatter, the community you live in or even what you see on social media? The expectations of you as a woman, man, mother, father, daughter, son, business owner, employee – all the roles of your life. What if you could write your own job description? Determine your own objectives. Performance indicators. Outcomes. What would this look like? What would it feel like?
When you think about this, are the excuses creeping in? Saying you can’t change things because there are some things you ‘need’ to do, or what would ‘society’ think if you did things a little differently. Here is the thing – we live in a big world that at this time like no other – we have the opportunity to rethink the rules of our life. We can learn from other cultures and adapt what we think might work for us. The way that we raise children, earn money – the rules are evolving. For those who are willing to write their own ‘job description’ and set their own rules, they are finding balance. More importantly they are defining their own balance.
I understand that there are the day-to-day tasks that need to be completed. You need to feed your child, change them, educate them. You need to support your partner. You may even need to look after elderly parents. You may have a boss you need to answer to, or clients, or staff. If you are not finding fulfillment in these areas, then you need to address that. You do have the power to change your situation.
Here are some tips from When Business Meets Baby that may help you to define and achieve balance in your life:
  • Rethink the expectation of being a parent
  • Let go of trying to be a perfect parent
  • Understand what or who your priorities are to be able achieve balance
  • Ensure that you put yourself in a position where you have flexibility and choice. This gives you better control on the outcomes
  • Learn to go with the flow be relaxed and present
  • Give yourself permission to live in the moment
  • Measure, track and review how you use your time
  • Change your perspective on life – walk a new path often
  • Find or create your support community (village) and give help to others without being asked
  • Stay inspired everyday
You can choose, today, to make a change. To walk a new path. To create the rules in your life that will lead you to feeling balanced. Balance isn’t something that will just happen, nor is it something that you will feel always. There will be times where you will not have balance, and that is normal. What is not normal is to be living everyday struggling to tick of the to-do list, not seeing an end in sight. To be neglecting ourselves, our partners and our children in the pursuit of getting ‘stuff done’.
Take a breath and make the changes you need to find your own version of balance in your life.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Getting back into business after a baby

This article originally published on The Business Women Media:

You have a beautiful baby who you love above anything else. You have taken time for your body to heal and you have fully stepped into your new identity as mother. Now your business is calling you back. Needing you, wanting you to invest. You want the intellectual stimulation that your business gives you, your head says it still wants to be with your baby. How do you get back into business after a baby.
You need to find balance between providing for your business and your baby. More importantly you need to be able to disconnect from your ‘mother’ role and focus on your business. You also then need to be able to disconnect from business owner and step back into being mother. Constantly switching roles and being present in both.
Many women have and continue to switch between both roles successfully. Here is one big tip to help you: To be effective in your business you need dedicated space and time.

Dedicated space

This is not your lounge room or dining room table or a corner of the spare room. You need a space that is for your business, that you can set-up your computer and organise your ‘work’. A place that you can invite people into to talk business. A space that you can make uniquely yours. Where you feel motivated to work.
This space could be a ‘study’ inside the house, or a converted shed or garage. You may choose to rent an office or space in a business centre or co-working space. Sometimes having space away from home means your business is taken a little more seriously. Although having a space at home can be useful if your baby is still little.
Importantly you need to make sure that this space is respected by your family. That when you are working, you are not interrupted. That your work is respected, and the space doesn’t become an extension to a playroom.

Dedicated time

Here is the choice – you can spend hours juggling between your laptop and your baby – trying to meet the needs of both at the same time. Not able to get your head into work and starting to get angry at your child for taking you away from your work. Or you can invest in some childcare and get productive time in your business. The options are endless – childcare centres, family day care, in house babysitters or nannies, relatives or even swapping with friends. Some co-working spaces also offer childcare.
If you know that every week you will have so many hours that you can dedicate totally to your business, then you can schedule time to do the work. You can work through daily task lists more efficiently. People start to learn when they can, or can’t contact you. You become efficient with how you use your time and your business grows