How I run 2 successful businesses while also having me time!
My first day back “at the office” after a lovely Christmas break didn’t quite go according to the plan. I was crippled with anxiety about how I’m going to manage the next 3 months. I am the owner of 2 successful businesses, I’m planning a very DIY wedding (including making my own wedding dress). Plus it’s summer here in Victoria and I would really love to spend some days at the beach and not feel like I should be tied to my desk 24/7.
After my 10 minute meltdown I turned on an “out of office” email and set to work on getting organised. I wanted to share with you what I did, to go from feeling so overwhelmed and not knowing how I was going to manage to feeling super empowered and ready to start the new work year.
Struggling to keep on-top of your business while also having time for yourself?
Here are my top 5 tips on managing your
work while maintaining your health.
Allow yourself time to prepare.
Start with a good night’s sleep, I’m usually in bed by 9pm and asleep by 10pm. I start my day early, my lovely partner Al wakes me up with two kisses on my eyelids and a cup of coffee in bed between 6am - 6.30am. We sit in bed together and wake up slowly.
Once I get out of bed I try to go outside, I’m lucky enough to live on a beautiful farm property with epic sunrises and lots of wildlife to watch. On super nice mornings I’ll head down to the coast for a big walk - my form of meditation. On my walks I breathe deeply and sometimes listen to short motivational podcasts - my current go-to is The Melissa Ambrosini Show.
I’ll then come home and make myself a healthy breakfast, lately I’ve been having muesli with seasonal fruit, nuts, shaved coconut and a drizzle of honey. Preparing delicious food that tastes amazing and looks incredible is an indulgence in itself - treat yourself!
By the time I’m ready to start work i’ve already treated myself with slowly waking up with my best friend, walking around in nature and a super tasty, healthy breakfast. My morning routine without a doubt sets me up for a positive day ahead.
Are you one of those people who say “I don’t have time for the gym”….?
Well so was I, until about 6 months ago when I really made it a priority. Since then I have been exercising regularly, I feel more positive about myself which means I work harder and produce better work. Your YOU TIME should never be compromised.
Your health and happiness should be your first priority always.
I promise if you dedicate time to be active, eat well and breathe deeply your business will flourish.
2. Clean your space.
Whether you are cooking in the kitchen, working at your desk or going to bed at night - make sure your space is clean.
I’ve made a habit from as little as I can remember to always make my bed in the morning. When Al and I first started dating he was working as a carpenter and would leave before I woke up. He was shocked to come home to a made bed. I remember the next day he called me and said how nice it was to get into a made bed. If this isn’t something you currently do, give it a try - it makes for a better sleep. And better sleep equals a more rejuvenated and productive you.
I started my new year with cleaning out my wardrobe and putting everything I haven’t worn in over a year into a bag to be donated. I washed all of my dirty clothes and finally got around to ironing all of the clothes that needed it - so now when I go to my closet my clothes are ready-to-wear.
Even though I work for myself, from home it’s important to dress for the workday however tempted you are to stay in your comfy, warm pyjamas... if you look good, you feel good. Take yourself seriously and show up to work everyday, even if you’re like me and your office is in your lounge-room.
If you have a clean space to start with you can get on with the task ahead without any distractions.
3. Have a clear vision for the year ahead.
Sometimes you’re so busy ‘working’ that you don’t have time to step back and check in on how you’re going. It’s important to allow yourself time to set up for the day, week, month or year ahead.
I like to start big and work backwards.
Firstly I write my BIG LIFE GOALS, these are the ultimate dreams that I hope for my life.
Secondly I write my year goals, this list is usually super long, it’s full of big dreams and at points deeply personal - this is to ensure that I have year that is about MY growth and MY happiness.
There is nothing selfish about self-love.
I break my goals down into categories
BIG YEAR GOALS - Milestones I want to hit.
LIFESTYLE - Health, (physical and mental), travel
BUSINESS GOALS - For both Al + Imo and Imo Creative
CREATE / MAKE / LEARN - Building, making, learning new skills, challenges
This year I have set my goals list up in a Google sheets doc, it has the ability to tick off and date once completed.
4. Map out your week.
I map out in my calendar big events and commitments - like getting married, holidays, work deadlines. I then create a weekly timetable, much like the ones we used to have in high school this maps out a rough guide of how I want my week to look. Obviously it changes with meetings, events and other life things but it allows me to allocate ME TIME.
Ever feel like you’re controlled by your email inbox?
You know the feeling when you clear your inbox, refresh it and another 6 appear...? Well I decided no- more. I have two 30 minute blocks a day dedicated to responding. 9am and 3pm. They are specifically not the first or last part of my day because I want to start and finish my day with the thing I love most - creativity.
I used to find myself feeling GUILTY for taking me time! Whether that be having a coffee with a friend, taking a walk or going to gym, I was never present and always thinking about all the things I needed to get done.
Well here’s a truth for you; you cannot two things at once.
Now that I have allocated time to all of things that I need to get done and the things that make me happy I feel like I can focus on one task at a time without feeling guilty or being distracted.
Wednesday’s are for business development - a whole day dedicated to new ideas and marketing. It’s important to allow time outside of the business to work on the business.
The first Monday morning of every month is a money meeting scheduled in with Al. We go over our personal expenses, how we’re tracking with our savings and at the moment wedding planning. We then check in with each other about our business Al & Imo Handmade (for those who don’t know, Al builds custom timber furniture from our farm and I do all of the “behind the scenes” for the business). We go over orders, customer emails, accounts and business development together before he heads off to the workshop and I turn to my work.
For the time being, Friday’s are blocked out for me to work on my wedding dress. Most of you wouldn’t know that I studied fashion at uni many moons ago and have worked within in the bridal industry for many many years. Making my own dress is a project I wanted to take on to challenge myself - I rarely pattern make and sew anymore and realised I probably won’t ever have a better reason to put my skills to the test.
5. Daily to-do lists.
My daily to-do lists are written the day before, this ensures when I get to my desk in the morning I don’t waste time thinking about what needs to get done that day, it’s already mapped out in front of me and all I have to do is start.
I make sure to be very realistic about what I can achieve in a day, this gives me ‘success momentum’. There is nothing worse than reaching the end of the day and you haven’t even made a dent in your to-do list.
Keep it simple, 3 - 5 major tasks that you know you know you can get completed.
I have a lot of people come to me with business ideas and a dream to be able to work when they want and where they want. I also had that dream, it didn’t happen overnight - in fact it took many years to figure out how I can monetise my passions and become motivated enough to work for myself from home.
I hope that whether you’re a small business owner or not you may find something to take away from this post and if you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.