Last week, Rachel Cook shared what her Mama CEO day is like. This week, I’m honored to be a part of Racheal’s Biz that Loves You Back Blog Tour, which gives 30 real looks at what goes into building a business while living a life you love. If you love my Day in the Life of a Mama CEO, you’ll want to check out all the posts on this tour.
I love Racheal’s message with having a business that loves you back. Its something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I LOVE being a mom, and I am a mom first and foremost. But I also really love being a business owner. And most of all, I love that I don’t have to choose to be one or the other. I can be both, unapologetically, and that to me is a business that loves me back.
Yesterday Francesca Cervero shared her experience. Today, I’m pulling the curtain back on my own Mama CEO life and on building a business and a life I love.
A Day In My Mama CEO Life
My local coffee shop opens at 5:30 am, and two days a week, I’m there. My husband does the morning routine and drop offs those days, so I have a solid chunk of time until school pick up at 2 pm.
If I’m not at the coffee shop, I still squeeze in an hour of work before my kids wake up. On those days husband goes on a run or takes the dog on a walk and comes home with coffee.
That man knows the way to my heart!
I start my day by reviewing my master to do list for the week and my calendar for the day. Then I write out my daily to do list so I know exactly what I am working on based on the time I have.
Once the kids are up, we snuggle in bed or on the couch with cartoons (and I check social media from my phone) before getting ready to get out the door.
9 am – 12 noon
My prime ‘grade A’ time—when my brain is best and I have the least distractions—is from 9 am to noon. I do my most important tasks during this time and save the things that require less brain power for the afternoon.
Once a week, I go to a local co-working space. I LOVE the change of scenery. I’ve shifted my schedule so I don’t have any calls during that day, which gives me a large chunk of time to really dive into a project, like writing, course creation, or business planning.
I am HORRIBLE about stopping for lunch. My work day ends at 2pm and I don’t want to waste time eating. I started buying prepared salads so I can grab one from the fridge and get back to work. Otherwise, I end up with a second (or third) cup of coffee and a Kind bar. I know—not good.
I love getting to pick my kids up from school and hear about their day. They forget a lot of details by the time my husband comes home, and I get a more complete scoop on the day’s activities, who played with who on the playground, and what amazing thing happened.
When we get home from school, my kids usually want a snack and a cartoon. That’s when I straighten up the house and do the breakfast dishes (love that my husband has taken over the laundry). I am fiercely protective of my work time, that means no house work during my work day.
After a little down time, my kids either have baseball or dance class, or we go on a bike ride, play in the back yard, or run errands together. (I don’t use work time for errands either, which means my kids come along for groceries and other must do things.)
Because my husband does school drop off a couple of mornings a week, he often works a little later. On those nights, I feed the kids earlier and get homework started. We go out to eat almost every Friday night as a family. I love having that to look forward too all week (ahem..and have a mojito or a margarita!)
Since I get up so early, I am pretty much useless in the evening. I made a conscious choice not to work in the evening unless I am in the middle of a launch or the kids have had extra days off from school. I aim to be in bed between 9:30 and 10:30, and one night a week I make sure to go to bed at 9 pm to get a little bonus sleep. I love sleep. I. love. it.
Making it work: Big brain dump + super scheduling
Every Sunday I do a big braindump of EVERYTHING that needs to get done—things in my brain, on last week’s list, in a note on my phone, or in an email. The list can be overwhelming, but once I know what needs to get done, I can delegate, eliminate, and plan the rest for a specific day to make sure it all gets done.
When things break down
My husband teased me recently because I often say “this week is crazy, but then things will calm down.” But the truth is, every week is crazy. Once I admitted this, the systems actually seem to break down less.
Every week there is a random day off from school or someone is sick or a client needs extra help. Its always something, right? That is why I love having a detailed, realistic plan of what I need to do each day. If something happens, I know exactly what needs to get done in a different spot of time.
One Take-Away Tip
You can be a business owner, a mother, a wife, a friend and all the other hats you wear, but you can’t be everything to everyone all at the same time—and that is OK. I love the analogy of the plate spinner at the circus—give each area of your life some attention and then leave it to spin on its own while you give your other “plates” attention.
I spin my family plate by being available to my kids, attending their school performances, and volunteering in their classrooms. Then I turn to my business “plate.” Right now, that plate needs a little more attention, and I know more childcare is on my horizon—maybe somebody who does some assistant work for a few hours in my business and then picks up the kids—so that I can keep my “business plate” spinning.
Finding the rhythm that works for your business and family takes time. I’m still figuring some things out (like how to get 30 hours in with only 15 set hours of childcare), and I love hearing what works for other people. Can’t wait to see what Maggie Patterson has to share tomorrow!
What about you? Share in comments the tricks you use to squeeze a little more work out of the day (no guilt, extra cartoons here)—or why you choose not to. How do you keep all your plates spinning?