Back in 2016, I wrote a blog post called ‘Secrets of a Super Organised Woman’. Roll on three years and I’m still pretty organised but my life has definitely changed – add a kid and a second business, along with a husband who works away for weeks at a time. So after a friend asked me what was still the same and what was different, I thought it was time to revisit the theme – looking at how I get stuff done both in business and in life (and how the two blend).
First up, I want to add a disclaimer that while I’m pretty organised and things happen fairly smoothly around here, there are definitely days where I’m not winning and I’m some kind of hot mess. You should ‘do you’ and not beat yourself up when things are messy. But staying calm and focusing on the big picture helps me avoid any major meltdowns.
Probably the most important part of staying on top of things for me is having a flexible routine. That applies to my business life and ‘real’ life. Each week I map out what commitments I have with clients, days to ‘work on the business’, and to spend with our family. This allows me to create something of a ‘flexible routine’ – we know the non-negotiables for work and family and then can fill around them. We also know what will be happening (roughly) over the course of the day and week.
Starting the day right
I no longer get up as early as I used to but I get up somewhere between 6 – 6:45 am to give me time to get ready for the day before a baby is keen for some attention. I still adhere to the ‘bounce out of bed’ theory – wake up, stretch and get going. Lolling around and getting up slowly does nothing to get me firing on all cylinders. Breakfast is still a major feature of the morning with cooked breakfasts featuring pretty much daily (although I often delegate to my husband to cook on the bbq to save me a job – and cut down on washing up).
Plan, plan, plan
I live and die by my planner and my Google calendar. In the past I used an Erin Condren Planner which I loved, but for the last two years I opted for a cheaper ‘week to a page’ planner from one of the calendar pops-up that appear in shopping malls around the end of the year – it has been okay but I definitely miss a more detailed and structured planner. For 2020 I think I’m leaning towards a ‘day to a page’ planner from Plum Paper.
How do I use my planner and Google calendar? Sunday evenings see me sit down with a glass of wine and map out my commitments for the week – work and family, along with meal planner and making a grocery list. I also then block out commitments on my Google calendar, including the time I’ll need to work on client projects, so if someone books a meeting with me (like you could here) it will only show my availability for blocks of time when I’m not already committed. I also leave my planner open in the kitchen to make it easier for my husband to know what’s happening and look for tasks he can make happen.
Ask for help
I am definitely still in the ‘developing this skill’ stage, but asking for help and delegating things where you aren’t ‘needed’ is vital. Systematising where you can in your business is important to allow you to step away, whether you’re wrangling kids or would just like to go on holidays occasionally. Having processes in place has helped empower those who work for me to confidently complete tasks I previously was holding on to unnecessarily.
Break projects into elements
Asana is crucial to breaking down projects and delegating across our team. Erin wrote this blog post explaining how we use it. The same principle applies to getting stuff done around our home – taking time to map out all the elements (either mentally or on paper) of a project makes it much more achievable as I can complete ‘chunks’ and feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed by a huge project.
Email, lists and celebrating success are still much the same (refer to the previous post).
Juggling a family and a business (or two) is not always easy. What are your strategies for keeping things flowing?