Why many business advices are a joke to me right now?
It is because I am a mom now (for the second time) and I have a baby with me apart from a toddler.
The toddler goes to school and hence is away for most time during the day, but the baby is with me all the time and I solely take care of her.
Plus the household. Plus my business.
I must admit that my business has taken a bit of backseat after the arrival of my second child. And I am sure that’s the case with any mom doing business alongside.
If you are a mom doing business (especially a stay at home mom) you can totally relate to what I am saying.
I had the worst times to go through in my business – not because of the baby (the baby is one of the most beautiful things that happened in my life), because I didn’t have enough time and energy to manage it all.
As a mom I expected and anticipated this.
Nevertheless, I was so stressed out because I was not able to give any time to my business while at the same time, staying in peace.
I had to attend to the baby and her needs all the time – I was even left without any time for myself, let alone for my business.
And I also have a toddler who needs to be taken care of – cooking, cleaning, all the household, teaching the toddler, attending to the baby and amidst all this, I am running a business.
I just couldn’t believe I am doing this. And yes the stress levels peaked a few times in the first few months after the baby was born.
I even thought about putting my business on HOLD once, and thought about quitting altogether twice (yeah, crazy post pregnancy hormones, I know!).
But I sticked to my business and kept going.
I am going to share how I had to let go all the business advice I have ever heard, practiced and preached – and I must say only by doing so, I am able to stick to my business.
Let’s dive right in!
Business advice #1: Don’t multi-task
This is one of the most crucial and most common business advices you will hear. And it is so true.
I have been so sincerely practising and preaching this throughout my business journey until baby #2 came into picture.
I HAD to multi-task in order to take care of everything.
It is because most of the time during the day is taken up by baby related activities. So if I am to strictly stick to this advice, I wouldn’t get a chance to work on my business any day.
I therefore just accepted the fact and decided to make use of whatever time I get to keep my business running.
Business advice #2: Batch process
This is a HUGE time saver – yes I have talked about it in one of my lessons in the Blogging Success Foundation Course.
Batch process is when you carve out a chunk of time and take care of one particular repetitive task.
Example: Brainstorm for blog post ideas, outline 10 blog posts in one sitting – like that.
But you have to take note that batch processing needs you to “carve out a chunk of time” – with a baby who needs you all the time, you simply cannot do it and that’s OK.
Which is why I totally accepted the fact that I have to learn to live without batch processing for a while.
I had to take care of my business tasks in bits and pieces whenever I could get a few minutes.
Although, I rarely do get a chance to batch process during the weekends when I can let my hubby take care of the baby for a while.
Business advice #3: Take breaks
No I cannot because the whole time that I get to work is just about the break time of the others.
In fact, I am only working during my break hours – the break I get from taking care of the baby and doing the relevant household.
So I completely ditched this advice.
You know what? It was a terrible feeling in the beginning and I was in fact stressed out a LOT.
When I deserve a break and when I very much look forward to that break, all I do is start working on my business. This means I literally get no break whatsoever.
And this is not a healthy trend.
So I traded a few of my break times for my business and tried to get help from the others so I can get REAL breaks when I can finally sip that coffee or spend 5 minutes in the shower in peace.
Business advice #4: The Pomodoro
I was a passionate user of the Pomodoro technique before baby #2. With Pomodoro I would get SO much done in a day.
And I used each one of those 5 minute breaks with pride.
Now, after baby #2, a Pomodoro – if attempted – is one of the biggest jokes, because all I will be doing is start/pause in toggle mode.
I press Start button, start working and in a couple of minutes the baby cries. I press the pause go attend to the baby and other 100 things that follow, and when I get back it would be lunch time.
And many times I would just forget (or I would rush to attend to the baby) to press the Start or Pause.
Bye bye Pomodoro (for now!).
Business advice #5: Have a schedule/system and stick to it!
Hahaha, that was a joke right? I think so!
I am a mad follower of schedules and systems. I love to have them in place and have pride in getting things done the systematic way.
But now, no schedule and no systems and I am OK with it. Initially it was too hard to believe that I am out of schedule ALL. THE. TIME.
And then somehow I started managing to get things done even without a system and a schedule.
I trained myself to accept the fact that I cannot go by a systematic schedule at this time and the only one who decides my schedule as of now is my cute little daughter.
Once I accepted that fact, things got a lot easier.
Having said that, I won’t continue working like this without a schedule or a system – but I am OK with it for now 🙂
Business advice #6: Plan your day ahead
NO WAY! I learned that planning the day ahead only adds to my stress! It is because, I plan to do certain things in certain order at specific times.
With the baby NOTHING works as you expect.
I could not plan any day’s activity in advance because I have a baby in the equation. Although I had established a schedule with her, still nothing goes as “planned”.
So I just took the day as it occurred to me. I do have long term plans and goals. And a to-do list for the day which I gave myself freedom to make it as flexible as I can.
I realised that with a baby in the mix, planning only adds to more stress and hence I just went with the flow.
Result? I could accomplish a lot and am actually surprised by that!
When you would think that she would take a nap after breakfast she would be running around the house screaming!
When you think she would be playing after the evening snack, she would fall asleep and then wake up at 10 PM!
Having said that, I DO put her in a schedule that almost works on 80% of the days.
So I don’t plan anything apart from having a list of things to (hopefully) do on that day. I don’t make this list long and pointless.
I carefully choose the items that go on the list – I make this list the previous night and I have a big picture goal for every week.
So when I am unable to keep up on one day, I somehow catch up on another day in the week so things get done for the week.
On weekends I can let my hubby take care of the baby and catch up with what’s left out.
That’s how I run my business as of now….
There I shared it. It is really tough. But nothing can wait in my life and it seems I want it all hahaha…
I cannot put my business on hold for the baby, and I cannot put my baby on hold for the sake of business as well.
So yes, I found a way to make it both happen at the same time.
I share how I got a way around and what works for me because I really hope these tips will help you if you happen to be in a similar situation.
Now its your turn to share anything similar you go through in your life and how to manage with that!
Before signing off… I want you to watch this video!