Early in my business I REALLY struggled with work life balance. I was working full time in the corporate world, trying to build a new photography business, trying hard to be an attentive wife and a present mom, oh, and also studying part time at UVA for a humanities degree. I really struggled back then with juggling it all! Heck, years into my business, I still struggle with these things. But NOT like I did. Just to give you a little back story, I’m a married mom of 4, I own my own photography business (now full time), and I may be the busiest person I know. My children range in age from 17 down to 4, three girls and a boy respectively. In fact, next year I’ll have one in high school, middle school, elementary school, and preschool. If that’s not enough to give you anxiety, I don’t know what is! We have EXTREMELY busy schedules with all of them in multiple activities. WE’RE BUSY!!! As I’m sure you are! Are you so crazy busy at times you think your head may spin right off of your body? Yep, that was me, too! Until I discovered these three things that put the control back into my life that I so desperately needed. I’m going to share these useful tips with you so you can start to regain that control, too!!
1.) Learn how to delegate (or outsource) – I found that as a business owner that I needed to focus on the things that would allow me to grow my business. That meant handing over the tasks that were not going to make me money or took valuable time away from my family. Now I outsource as much as I can. Those things include:
Laundry (yes, I hire someone to do my laundry and put it away)
Any and all administrative tasks in my business
And the list goes on and on and on….
If it isn’t going to help me grow my business, I don’t want to do it. So, how do you know if it’s worth it to outsource certain tasks? Well, let’s put it into numbers. If your time is worth $100/ hour, is it worth it to spend 3 hours at $100/hour ($300 total of your time) to clean your house or would you rather spend that time growing your business and pay someone else $150 to do the same job? It’s a no brainer! So, delegate as much as you can. Spend that time with your family or inside of your business and watch your business grow, grow, GROW!!!
2.) Block schedule your life! – When I say block schedule your life, I mean ALL OF IT! All the way from waking up to going to bed. While that may seem incredibly overwhelming, it actually will give you so much control. It allows you to break large amounts of work into manageable pieces and will keep you so organized. Here is an example of my block schedule for one day. I have my entire day planned out. Now, there will definitely be days where I have nothing scheduled or I need to be flexible because, well, life happens, but this gives me a great picture of my day and gives me attainable goals for being productive. It helps to eliminate all of the “time sucks” that try to creep their way in. By getting rid of all of those distractions and keeping on task, I find that I have a lot more time than I think which equates to more time for myself and my family!
3.) Set boundaries! – This was a really hard one for me for a LONG time. I didn’t run my business, my business ran me! I said “yes” to EVERYTHING! If a client wanted to meet on a weekend after I had worked 10 weekends in a row and I just wanted some time with my family, I would still say “yes”. As much as I wanted a break and NEEDED a break, I would still struggle to say, “no”. Do yourself, your family, and your business a favor and set boundaries and stick to them. If that means never working Sundays, then don’t work Sundays. It’s not going to make or break your business. Look at Chick-fil-a! They’re not open on Sundays and they’re doing just fine. Whatever those boundaries look like for you, set them, stick to them, and the right clients for you will respect them. After all, those are the people you want to be working with, right?!
Start applying these principles into your life now and I promise, you’ll see a HUGE difference in your work/life balance. Just keep at it!!! Big changes are coming your way and I bet they look like more family time, happier clients, and a happier YOU!!!
If you want to keep you to date with more tips for having it all and doing it all, click HERE!