Good Question for Women: Am I spreading myself too thin?

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JanetMTaylor
Written By Janet M. Taylor

Recently, I was talking to a client who is transitioning from one career she has been doing for decades, which is draining her emotionally and physically, to something she is passionate about. During our weekly call, she mentioned she is feeling the pressure from her family (the kids told their father they miss spending time with Mom) as well as feeling like things are slipping through the cracks at home ( the kids missed a few projects) and work ( she feels her supervisor is not satisfied with her work). She said I needed to learn to prioritize, and I told her she was on the right track. She already knows what she wanted at the top of her list: her husband, her children, and her full-time job, and I provided her with a plan to bring balance back into her life.

Decide how much you need to make. I told her that her first assignment was to establish the monthly amount she felt comfortable earning from her growing business. I told her this information would help her plan the time she needed to set aside each month to focus on the sales and clients. So, instead of working seven nights a week and every weekend in addition to her demanding full-time job, her goal was to work at most two nights each week and two weekends each month.

Establish off-limit times. I know from experience that when starting your business, you want to be available for clients. I told her that since her family and primary job are a priority, I want her to establish times when she will block off time for family-only activities. For example, when I schedule meetings, I email a few times when I am available since I am onsite during other times. I told her that her next assignment was to look at her schedule, block out days when she would spend time with her husband and the kids, and then schedule appointments with clients around that. I know businessmen and women who do the opposite, and if your spouse is not involved in the business, doing this can cost you your marriage and impact your relationship with your children.

Get the kids involved. She told me that one evening when she was up late working her business the next day, the kids told her they would have helped her make labels and stuff envelopes. Her next assignment was to list all the things she does that her kids could do. After our discussion, we discovered the kids could do the following:

1) Print mailing labels
2) Update client database
3) Manage inventory
4) Track expenses
5) Organize items needed for exhibiting
6) Packing the car when she travels for presentations
I also suggested that she schedule a meeting with the kids to help them stay on track of things that need to be done.

Take care of yourself. All of my clients heard the speech about taking care of themselves. As caregivers, parents, and providers, people depend on us in one way or another. I asked my client when was the last time she had me-time without the husband and kids. She told me it was when she attended a weeklong business conference in which she commuted daily. I told her that did not count. She said she had fun. I told her that was good, but I wanted her to list things she wanted to do that made her happy that were not work-related. Her goal was to schedule Mom or Me and provide a date and her plans at our next session.

The session ended with her saying that I really look forward to our weekly calls; they give me the direction and clarity I need.

Janet M. Taylor is a life strategist, professional organizer, speaker, and author with over 20 years of experience helping people get organized. If you are ready to get your life totally organized, visit her website at www.janetmtaylor.com

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