The business of running a life when you also run a business can get confusing. The rest of what follows will be entirely hypocritical as our real lives don't always match this list. That said, we have found a few ways to keep your business and your life from becoming constantly difficult to manage. You might even find a little white space in your day if you make these guidelines work for your life and business.
Step One: Eliminate.
I am a big fan of the "you can't organize chaos" mind set. Literally, digitally, responsibility-y, you cannot possibly "tread water" forever. Some seasons are busier than others, to be sure, but the usual seasons of your life have an ebb and flow. Step one to dealing with a real life when you run a real business is to eliminate the "excess". For me, that actually looked like eliminating an entire second business. Usually it looks like simply saying "no" to more time commitments, obligations, or events. A great exercise is to review your calendar and your bank account after a month, and see what brought joy and/or true benefit and what did not. Try to eliminate those things that brought neither, and say "no" to similar events or situations in the future.
Step Two: Create Rules.
After we realize the needlessness of so many things in our life and begin to eliminate, a great next step is creating rules. Yes- it seems paradoxical that more rules can give you more freedom in your life, but many studies show that too many choices actually make us less happy. Creating "rules" for yourself is a great way to limit the choices that aren't that important, and free your mind and time up for things you actually like. One of my rules regarding work is about which types of clients to take (ie- small business owner? yes! larger corporation? no!). For our small firm, we've learned our niche, and we stay within those boundaries to better serve our business and clients. A rule I'm personally fond of is the "Rule of 3" when it comes to what I wear. As a busy entrepreneur and stay at home mom, fashion is usually the last thing on my mind. Even so, I don't want to look like an old-timey-hobo when I have to run an errand or schedule a meeting. The "Rule of 3" is simple- top + bottom + something else. The something else can be a vest, a scarf, a cardigan or button up shirt. Yes, it's simple, but the best rules usually are.
Step Three: Develop Routines.
Routines are similar to rules in that they help keep your brain free from deciding "what to do", but routines are something you do more often, like daily or weekly. A routine everyone talks about is the "morning routine", and it's cliche because it's important. Getting into the groove first thing in the morning is great because it helps your brain live with less stress. If you have the same breakfast (or similar) every day, then your brain isn't wasting precious energy deciding what to eat. If you set up your whole morning this way, suddenly your brain is free from figuring out "do I take a shower next, or brush my teeth now?". Again, simple, but not always easy. When you have a business and/or children in the picture, "emergencies" of one form or another often present themselves. Finding ways to get things on autopilot as much as possible can help!
How do you run your life while running your business? Do you find simplifying helps? Leave your comments below, and if you’d like help eliminating the design of your website, or management of your social media, get in touch!