In January I presented ‘Priorities and Balancing’ to kick off the Women on Wednesday networking lunch programme.  I am constantly faced with the battling priorities of running my business, client work and balancing family life.  Add to this the school run, managing the home and everything else in between and at times it can feel like I am chasing my tail.

Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining but I do get asked all the time how I manage everything with two children aged 4 and 6.  Well this is how:

1. I have built an amazing support network for my business and home life
2. Learnt how to say NO (very empowering this by the way)
3. Plan, plan and plan – I leave nothing to chance
4. I am not afraid to ask for help and outsource if and when I need to
5. Become extremely realistic in my goal setting

 

 

So what does that five point plan look like in reality?  Firstly, back up strategies are essential, from having a second laptop to an alternative place to work when the internet goes down.  Not forgetting knowing how your business will run if you are unwell, before you get sick.

 

Surround yourself with amazing people
Working for yourself or running a small business can at times feel extremely lonely, and over the years’ I am fortunate enough to have connected with amazing and trusted business friends.  These are people who I can bounce ideas off, seek out advice from and are just there for me.

 

Just say NO
Knowing your worth and never discounting is key to working with your ideal client, and this is where learning to say NO is essential.  At the beginning of your business journey this can be really hard and it is very easy to grab at every job that comes along; BUT keep in mind that by turning away a job you are leaving space for something better.  There is a step behind just saying no and that is getting your pricing right, never undervalue yourself and remember you are worth it!!

 

Plan and prioritise
Deciding on your working days and hours can really help, clearly setting out what needs to be achieved by month, week, day or even hour.  I am a huge fan of a list but don’t let this become a procrastination tool, break down larger tasks to make them manageable and reprioritise as needed.  There is a plethora of tools, apps and software out there to help you here, but I will let you into a little secret I have an A4 one page per day diary and a good old fashioned pen that keeps me on track!

 

Outsourcing creates space in your business
Now obviously I am going to tell you that outsourcing is a great way to free up your time but it really is.  Look back at that to do list, what could be outsourced, what tasks are you doing that you hate or are not your area of expertise (often these two go hand in hand) and how many hours a week are you losing?  What could you be doing with those hours to develop and drive forward your business, how would it make you feel if these jobs were taken care of for you?

 

Set realistic goals to avoid disappointment
My business plans change, grow and develop on a daily basis and at times I have been frustrated by the slow progress or complete lack of achievement in some areas.  Until realising something really important, I had a successful business!  I just had to set my timelines differently and focus, on the things I can achieve NOW.  This time I have given myself has also prevent the ‘rush in’ syndrome and provided real clarity of direction I wish to take LBB Business Solutions when the time is right.  This also taken away some of the stress and pressure I was putting myself under.

 

My top tips for improved ‘juggling’
• Plan your week Sunday night – you will sleep better
• Use the 25-minute rule or 5-minute rule for writing copy, you will be surprised how well this works and time saved
• Establish when you work most effectively and do the jobs you hate or have been putting off at this time
• Use tools that work for you, ditch those that don’t
• Establish days you don’t work and stick to it
• Plan family or me time – take a break!

 

Remember, surround yourself with fab people, take time out of or away from your business and don’t give up as you have no idea what is just around the corner!  Please do tweet me your time saving ideas, and top tips for prioritising and balancing.