How the Heck Do I Do It? (The Balance Thing)

BY Noelle Goggin        December 24, 2015

I know there are many more in the same boat as me. Single mom, corporate job, entrepreneur on the side and writing a book that’s just demanding to be written. Is this you too?

If you told me 4 years ago that I would be doing what I am doing today, I would have looked at you incredulously. If you gave me my current schedule for work and family plus all my projects even a year ago, I would have asked you to clone me and perhaps gone for a lie down just from thinking about it.

Yet today, I do it, most days with a smile, grace and ease and most importantly of all – 0% stress.

It hasn’t happened by accident, I had to learn how to do it. And in this article I share with you my best tips for fitting everything into the 168 hours/week without going grey and frazzled in the process… here’s how I keep balance.

Some facts to begin with:

  • I’m a single mom in my 40s and have 2 daughters, ages 11 and 12.
  • My kids go to their dad for 5 nights out of every 14.
  • I have a wonderful child minder, who 3 afternoons per week collects my girls from school and brings them to our house, she also cooks dinner for us all.
  • I work in a full-time corporate job, but I do have the flexibility to come in late and leave early. This allows me to take meetings at home which helps with the mom taxi collections for some of the kids activities during the week.
  • We have a Samoyed dog who needs walking every day and probably more brushing than walking.
  • I’m currently single and I don’t have family living near me.

Time chunks average per week:

  • Regular full-time job.
  • 10 hours between dropping kids to school and commuting per week.
  • 10 hours taking kids to and from activities, most of these are pure taxi runs.

I started my business at the beginning of 2015. I’ve had to go through every step; website, copy, my message, list building {mainly free webinars}, run my Facebook group, social media platforms, and client sessions. I’m also writing my book which is about everything I learned in my spiritual journey over the past 4 years that I know others need to hear.

So how the heck does all this fit into 168 hours? And not just fit in, but fit in with balance rather than burnout? {I’m done with the latter by the way, wore that t-shirt enough times}.

1. Self-Care

This isn’t something you do, it must become your way of being.

You are a body, mind and soul and you have to nourish yourself on all three levels. I’ve had Body, Mind and Soul Goals for the last two years.

Right now it looks like this:

Body: Yoga + walks = minimum 3 hours per week. Eat healthy. Buckets of water. Early to bed, early to rise.

Mind: If I’m not writing, I’m reading. I gobble through books on my kindle and am constantly learning.

Soul: My work and creativity feed my soul, I’m a lover of meditating, naps and great conversations with friends. TV is not on my list.

Time out for fun is a must and I have perfected the art of leaving dusting and instead spending time with my girls or doing something nice for me from the above list.

2. Being present

Whatever I am doing, I am present. If it’s doing the laundry, that’s where I am as I sort and fold piles of clothes. I might have a thousand things I’d prefer to be doing and places I'd prefer to be, but I’m there, me and the piles of socks. Being present is a habit that has to be learned. It is a habit that I had to develop over time. This is one of the key things I attribute to having low stress levels.

It’s even more essential when you are with your loved ones. Be present with them. Even on the busiest of days, just 10 minutes of being fully present with my girls is actually enough for them. Most days we get more than that together. I tend to ‘chunk’ my time so that I can say to myself “for the next hour I’m doing X” and I just stick with doing X and not thinking about Y or Z. Kids thrive when they get undivided attention and conversations open up in the most amazing and fun ways.

3. Getting organized

Do not underestimate the importance of lists, schedules, and ‘Mom request sheets’! We have a color coded schedule stuck to our fridge that shows which kid is where and when, for each of their activities. (They have 5-6 separate activity slots and 1 common one.)

Planning and getting organized in advanced (night before preferably) is a must. This takes discipline. I know I’m also teaching discipline to my girls, but it has to start with me.

Any time I feel like messing with our systems (just another round with the snooze button... ah, I’ll leave that for tomorrow morning…), I just think of the fall-out. It's simply not worth it. Back to adult mode and leading the way.

And, of course, there are days when I’m a big softie and get everything ready for the kids sports bags…. but that’s returned in cups of tea made for me!!

4. Big goals and small steps that take 20 minutes

I’ve recently fallen in love with Google Keep and I have mine arranged somewhat like a pretty vision board for to-do lists. This has replaced a ton of notebooks that have been hanging out in my handbag. Stuff is getting done so much faster.

I can have my big, long term project ideas and just add steps or break them down into weekly to-do steps. Intentions and themes for the week can be added too.

For busy week days I’ll try do at least one task that should take 20 minutes. In reality, there is little that takes 20 minutes, at least for me. But the concept of just working 20 minutes a day takes the pressure off. There is no need to think that I have to spend hours each day that I don’t really have.

IF you are thinking you don’t even have 20 minutes, just watch how many 20 minute chunks can actually be spent cruising through Facebook which adds zero value.

5. Mindset

There are two things you MUST do for you.

The first is to give yourself permission to follow your dream, passions, or whatever makes your soul sing.

Get over the guilt. You’re not a bad mother for feeling that there is more to you than your children and family life. You are in fact teaching your children so much by following your own calling in life. The more you give to yourself, the more you have to give to them.

The second is to continue to work on yourself. The only thing between you and your goals is you. Specifically your fears, resistance and doubts. We all have them.

Do whatever it takes to get yourself the right support and help in your journey. It doesn’t have to be hard. Just remember that if you have found your passion or purpose in life, you’re one of the lucky ones. Enjoy the journey! Your 80 year old self will be proud of everything you create today.

 

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Noelle Goggin

Noelle Goggin is a Spiritual Coach and Mentor for women who don’t feel that they are enough. She teaches them to believe in themselves and trust in life so that they can be big and bold in the businesses and create lives that they really love. You can find out more about Noelle and her work at www.noellegoggin.com and at facebook and twitter.

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