Updated: Nov 19, 2021
I run a full-time business over 3-4 days and I'm the mother of two little people. I’m also the primary caregiver of our children, and the person who runs the household and does the kid-related life errands. My husband works full time and has a little bit of flexibility but I'm the one that's ON between 7 & 5 every day. And when the kids are sick I'm the one who gets the phone calls and stays home when they can't attend care. And when we have appointments and errands and parties and the list goes on - I'm the one who manages it all. So while I do outsource as much as possible and I have help, there's a lot of juggling, and balls get dropped sometimes. So the biggest struggle in my business isn't actually work-life balance but the mental load of carrying all these responsibilities. Having to be available - all the time. There can be a lot going on in my head and it can take away from my mindfulness and my focus on being present and enjoying where I am, who I'm with and what I am doing. Double tap if you can relate?!
In saying that I'm getting better at managing the mental load. Here are four strategies I've implemented that are helping.
Outsourcing admin & editing - I have an assistant that takes care of my emails and admin, website tasks and some of my marketing. My editor takes care of my weddings, so I have less time-sensitive tasks to worry about.
Putting boundaries around how much I work. Managing my workload by simply not booking more than 3 shoots a week which means that I have time in my life for personal and family emergencies, and life errands as well as time to run my business and keep on top of the work itself.
Being less of a perfectionist - done is better than perfect and it's okay to drop the balls sometimes especially the plastic ones.
Yoga - practicing mindfulness and being present where I am - being more body aware.
Managing my phone - It takes a lot of discipline but I choose not to check work emails during non-work hours. I also encourage my clients to email rather than send inquiries via social media as I know I will worry that I'll miss the inquiry. I'm much more reliable when communicating over email!
I hope this helps anyone feeling overwhelmed. You're not alone. But by putting structures and habits in place we can manage the juggle and not drop to many balls!