As I sit here in my bed at 11PM on a Tuesday knowing my kids will be up at 6AM; I can’t help but feel compelled to share some of the tools I use cope with work-from-home entrepreneur anxiety.
Working from home is TOUGH, my oldest daughter was home from school Monday and today which means my productivity was shot. My to-do list continues to grow but finding the time to attack it the way I normally would is next to impossible.
I made the decision to become an entrepreneur BECAUSE I wanted to be home with my girls but as time has passed I am learning that balancing my passion to be with them while running multiple businesses is difficult. Resentment toward both of my roles creeps in and creates all kinds of heart palpitating anxiety when my house is finally quite at night.
I struggle. You’d be hard-pressed to find an entrepreneur with young children that doesn’t but I have learned some ways to cope and find balance.
- Keep a notepad next to the bed. Tossing and turning solves nothing. We lose sleep when we feel anxious or unaccomplished. Jotting down the things I did achieve on any given day or ideas I have to improve my businesses or our families well-being helps me regain a sense of control that is lost when anxiety sets in.
- Rest is Best. Durning my twin pregnancy it became inevitable for me to need at least one daily nap to maintain energy levels to accommodate my lifestyle as a mom, wife, entrepreneur and leader. I was no longer capable of burning the midnight oil and then waking up to play mommy bright and early. Those catnaps taught me the benefits rest really has on a taxed mind. When I know my day is going to be long and filled with constant disruption, I make an effort to lay down in silence at some point in my day. Sometimes I fall asleep others I just allow my brain to absorb the peacefulness of the quite. I never knew how agitating constant sound can be on the brain until I had two tiny humans that need around the clock attention enter our lives on the same day. Twins have the ability to take the most mentally tough humans and break them down. There is absolutely no way I would be able to do what I am doing professionally if it weren’t for my newfound understanding of the power of rest. Rest does not make you lazy, it helps clear the way for creative thinking and productive action.
- Do the hard things first. My time to be productive is limited and sparse during these toddler years with my twins. Despite them being in school part-time, when they are home they require a lot of my energy to keep them entertained. When I can find the time to sit down at my computer, I try to tackle something important and difficult to help increase that sense of accomplishment I need to be able to rest my head at night. I remember a few months back my oldest daughter coming home from school seeing me overwhelmed. “Mom, just do the hard things first; then you’ll be excited to finish the easy things.” Excellent advice from my first grader. #PROUDMOM
- Delegate. This used to be hard for me as I am a natural born control freak and perfectionist. I remember when I started my first business as a digital marketing consultant, I wanted to write all of the posts and create the content. Eventually I let that go and wouldn’t you know my clients never noticed a change. When I started my second business, I struggled with trusting others to help do events or train other consultants. About two years in I realized I was burning out so I started to ask for help. I was elated to see others step into their leadership lane and watch as my business grew exponentially. I have also leaned hardcore on my hardworking husband at home. There is ZERO percent chance I would have succeeded in any of my businesses without asking him to help me in an even bigger way than he already did.
- Success Leaves Clues. I stole that line from the most bad ass human being on this earth, Tony Robbins! Listen Now. He is my unofficial life-coach to whom without I probably would have given up on believing I could actually be a present mother and a successful entrepreneur simultaneously. Tony has taught me to work smarter not harder. To dial into my niche and focus my energy there. To look to the past for clues on how to succeed instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. To show myself grace. That failure is part of success; in fact it isn’t failure at all if you are trying. Listening to him has helped me develop a love and passion to learn from those that inspire me. I commit a lot of my “free time” to self development. One thing I have been doing recently is building muscle and mindset at the same time by listening to podcasts during my workout. I love feeling my endorphins elevate even more when I am listening to topics of interest while increasing my heart rate. Work smarter not harder.
The greatest advice I can offer is to follow your gut when it comes to your passions. If you feel yourself being pulled toward investing more time with family, then do that until you feel satisfied. If you are feeling anxious and unaccomplished in your business, take some time to do the hard things that are going to help move things in the direction of achieving your vision.
We are fortunate to live in a time where it is becoming more and more normal for parents to wear both hats from their home. Having to chose between family and career is no longer necessary thanks to the endless number of home-based business opportunities available.
If you are feeling like you are struggling to find balance, take time to jot down some things you could do differently that would help you get back on track. I hope my list can help. Save this image as a reminder of some things you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed. Share it with someone you know is struggling too.