Fifty years ago, representation of mothers in media was far different than it is today. TV ads and magazine spreads showed mothers fussing over laundry, doting on their babies, tending to the garden…..and not much else. Anything other than domestic concerns were often viewed as out of bounds for those with children, not to mention their lack of showing working dads helping out with household chores. It was a time when it was easy to be boxed in by society’s expectations, and moms with careers fell by the wayside.
Fast forward to 2018. Times have changed, but now, a whole new set of expectations have been imposed on working mothers. If modern culture is to be believed, you can now raise a family and kill it in the boardroom, but you somehow have to find time to do both of those things (and more) flawlessly. When it comes to female business owners, everyone wants you to always be “on”, especially your kids. It goes without saying that the pressure you feel is unique, and can sometimes be totally exhausting.
Lucky for us, society is slowly shifting focus from telling professionals how hard they should hustle to reminding us how valuable self-care is. Workers around the globe are popularizing the term “work-life balance”, and perks like more paid time off and remote work dominate lists of what they look for in employers. There’s a new dawn on the business horizon, and it’s one where it’s okay to rest and recharge in order to continue crushing it.
That said, your downtime isn’t your own, as being your own boss and the head of your household are both well over the standard full-time job. How can you reclaim your peace, your business focus, and your sanity? What can you do to ensure you’re a top performer at home and at work? First step: relax. We’ve got 5 great tips to help you work self-care into your jam-packed agenda.
- Develop a Solid Outline – One key element to success is an actionable plan, and this is just as important at home as it is at work. Try committing some time to breaking down everything you need to accomplish into realistic daily goals, and make sure you’re setting aside the time to get them done. Maybe one day you meal prep for the week and reach out to new business leads, and the next you pay invoices and tackle the mopping. Whatever you do, allow some freedom for plans that are bound to change, and make sure you pencil in some work-free quality time with the family.
- Delegate Where Possible – Let’s get two things straight: the first is that you are awesome, and more than capable of rocking it in business and motherhood. The second? No human being can do everything all the time. Entrepreneurs are notorious for putting too much weight on their own shoulders, and coupling that with raising your tots just amplifies the pressure. Don’t be afraid to ask your business partner, life partner, and staff to do their fair share. Anything you can knock off your to-do list means more time to focus elsewhere, so prioritize where you need to be, and delegate tasks in areas where your presence is non-essential.
- Dare to Double Up – A popular piece of advice for those pulling double duty as moms and lady bosses is a concept called “hooking.” In essence, it describes combining two necessary tasks together until they both become routine. If this isn’t done well, it can result in scattered focus, with one woman still being spread too thin. That said, if there are simple things that you can modify into the same timeslot, it can be a worthwhile method for organizing your schedule. Think calling to check on your project manager’s progress while cruising the grocery store aisle.
- Look Out for #1 – There’s no doubt that being the heart of a home and a business is demanding, which means making extra time to decompress is even more important for you. As hard as it may be to take a step away from the daily grind, taking a break can actually serve to replenish your resources, leaving you sharper and more powerful. Get exercise, fill yourself with good food, and power down to get some much-needed Z’s at night.
- Find Ways to Reduce Stress – The pressure of modern business is a guarantee regardless of your status or industry, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bound to live in a constantly stressful environment forever. Take the big elements that tax your inner peace and search for a workable solution. If you’re struggling to motivate your sales staff, why not reach out to a consultant for inspiration? Similarly, many people find managing their money (personally and professionally) a particularly stressful task, which could make consulting with a financial professional a great option. Adopt the same spirit of necessary delegation, and let the pros do what they do best. After all, their job is to improve both your life and your business, and that’s a powerful partner to have.