International Woman’s Day last Sunday was definitely a time for reflection. It made me think about what it means to be a woman in this modern age. The blending of gender roles over the past half century has led to woman entering the workforce, with all the inherent responsibility and in contrast, modern men becoming more present in the home sphere.
On any given day we may be called upon to be a mother, business owner, worker-bee, employer, house-keeper, wife, lover, chef, mediator, chauffeur, teacher, student, event manager or party planner. These are the joys, the challenges and the roles we play in our everyday lives in order to fulfil what it means to be ‘woman.’
Opportunity beckons, and as our choices become broader our lives become much more complicated. We start to take on too much, become overwhelmed and bogged down and stop focussing on what’s important. The pressure to keep the wheels spinning can be crushing at times. But you know what – it’s okay not to be Superwoman.
No one has the energy, time or know-how to do everything themselves. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact NOT getting assistance can be detrimental to your home life AND your business.
I recently attended a workshop run by naturopath Angela Counsel which was all about minimising stress and practice self care (something I was in desperate need of!)
It opened my eyes to the fact that I need to be giving myself recovery time during the day. To give you some perspective, here is my typical weekday schedule:
Wake up at 6am – organise breakfast, get myself and the kids ready for the day, tidy house, then take the kids to school
9am – Work, which means taking phone calls, travelling to meetings, project managing and any other task that arises during business hours
3pm – School Pick up, then homework/after school activities, dinner, showers, read to the kids and put them to bed
830pm till midnight – Work (and the only peace and quiet I get to do so!)
Up again at 6am
It sounds hectic and it is – but this is a familiar experience for any working mum or dad who owns their own business and fits the hours in to suit their family.
Remember – it’s okay not to have balance in your life. But if you’re working long days you must make time for yourself, and allow others to support you where possible.
Here are a few tips to help deal with the overwhelm:
- Allow yourself short breaks
- Try to give yourself balance
- Schedule recovery time during the day
- Shift some of your work out to allow yourself the space to relax and recharge
The last point is important! Not seeking help can actually hinder business. You’re not doing yourself any favours by being Superwoman and doing everything yourself. So move away from that ‘start-up mentality’ and consider ways you can alleviate some of your stresses. Whether it is affordable outsourcing, or perhaps hiring a cleaner to sort the chaos of the family home – being kind to yourself is the greatest mind shift you can make.
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Do you want to grow your business but you’re in such a state of overwhelm you have no idea where to start?
Check out my March 2015 ‘1Focus Workshop’ and open yourself to the possibilities of ‘going virtual’ for a growing, scalable, even more successful business.