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I often read about Mother’s who squeeze in time for their business during their “off” hours. In fact, I just read an article about a Mother of 9 children that spent all day caring for the kids and reserved the handful of hours after the kids went to bed and before she became too tired where she would focus her time on her business, the housework, entertainment, and even interpersonal relationships. Do you see the flaw already in this logic? If not, let me give you a better perspective as to what I mean. She (and many others) spend the day doing hands down the most important job of raising children. Then when it’s a natural time for our body chemistry to unwind, relax, and head into sleep mode, women and mother’s put themselves to work on business tasks (and housework and other things). So when the mind and the body is most refreshed, she is caring for these little people, and when she is exhausted, burnt out, tired, and just wants to relax, she instead puts herself to work striving to provide the level of availability, thinkability, and decision-making as one would in the beginning of the day…which just isn’t possible. Do you see the picture yet? She works herself all day on everyone else and then during her time still continues to give to others for the sake of others (and likely other personal gratification and satisfaction).
This woman is a hustler. She is a business doer. She makes things happens and looks good doing it too. She does it all for the sake of being it all and expected to serve for everyone. But how successful is this way of working really? I mean, in an ideal world, we would have jobs that paid well enough where parents could take the time to spend with their family. But we more often than not, don’t. Many can’t afford to not have work. So more often than not a parent, a mother, a father, both, extended family too is working themselves tirelessly to be there for everyone else.
It’s understandable to want to be there for everyone else, but what I don’t understand is why segment it all from each other? Why can they not intertwine to provide a living and still care for the family. Why does this line of separation exist in our lives? Why do we compartmentalize everything?
I think the answer lies in a false belief that in order to be successful we have to be able to provide exclusive concentric presence to one task at one time. While it is said that people are typically not efficient at multitasking, what about breaking up the work, the day-to-day routine, the house chores, everything into small achievable tasks? Leaving the large needlessly mentally focused, present required activities to be, BUT there are so many tasks that we perform everyday that either a) doesn’t need to be completed all in one setting, or b) can be done in a multitask type of situation.
Let me break it down for you.
A typical routine might consist of waking up and running through the hustle and bustle of the morning, taking care of the kids with activities, playing, etc. during the morning, making lunch, sending them off to nap time, squeezing in lunch and work time for yourself, spend more time with kid activities, prepare and eat dinner, clean up/relax, get the kids to bed, work on your business/housework until you get tired…only knowing that tomorrow you will wake up and do the exact same thing and keep aiming for success.
Look at how simple that looks? Having a routine and structure is great, especially for children but look at how your time is spent. It’s spent performing a large amount of housework and childcare versus time spent on your business to provide you with the type of success that you want. When looking at where your time goes, it shows your priorities. Your family is clearly the number one priority, but don’t you have the business to be able to be with your family and provide for them the way you would like to? If that’s the case and your business is meant to provide a means for the life you want to live with your family, then you need to be spending more time on your business until you can provide that type of lifestyle you want for your family. BUT. You don’t need to neglect your other responsibilities and roles, rather you change the way you go about it. Instead of compartmentalizing your life, you should intertwine and weave a unique story of your life for you and your family. Rather than only working on your business in YOUR OFF HOURS, you should be working on it ALL DAY LONG. In fact, nowadays, it’s easy to do many things straight from your phone. Or better yet, utilizing automation. But I am getting ahead.
Here are some examples:
- It would be easy to turn a mundane house chore into a learning lesson for young kids. Say, when doing laundry, counting out how many items you folded or seeing what shapes you can fold laundry into. So, a chore is getting accomplished and a child is learning at the same time.
- Let’s say you have to take a phone call for work, play a game with them, something like the silence game or if that doesn’t work and produces too many giggles, then consider having your child watch a clock to see if they can tell how long you spent on the phone or even have them try to write down words they hear.
- If you run an ecommerce business and are writing descriptions for products, ask your child for descriptive words. This encourages imagination and allows them to learn more about synonyms.
That’s just a handful of examples, but the list is endless you just need to get creative. I mean sometimes it might get messy and may seem a little chaotic, but you in turn end up devoting time to all facets of your life without neglecting an aspect. Obviously, there will be times where it’s just not practical to incorporate a child (i.e. filing tax paperwork) but more often than not a task that may have taken a few minutes to complete could have also easily become a learning experience. And with the ability to automate a lot of features in a business at varying degrees of costs, it’s nonsensical to think that one simply can’t do it all without sacrificing all the time.
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It's important to remember that sacrifice and hard work DO NOT fairly equate to success. There are numerous stories where a person works their butt off but still never succeeds to the point that they want and they make tough decisions, face reality, and deal with losses. Granted there are also many success stories that talk about how hard work and sacrifice did pay off. But none of it is guaranteed. Life isn't built fairly, so we shouldn't expect everyone to follow the same strategy and have the same results. With that said, why would continue to try to make a life that you want in only your off hours while already giving the life you want to give them in you on hours? Learn to weave in together, get creative, and have fun.
I would love to hear some of your creative ways that you choose to incorporate seemingly different roles into one. Please leave a comment or send a message.