Back to School: 5 Tips for Self-Employed Moms
Summer is a time of schedule adjustment for any working parent. For self-employed Mom's, the impact is even greater as the workplace becomes inhabited by kids that are home during the day. Now that it's back to school time, the time is ripe to refocus your efforts in your business and recalibrate the rhythms of your day to accommodate the transition.
I can always tell when it is summer. My usually quiet and focused conversations with coaching clients can become fraught with interruptions and ambient noise from the on-location efforts (think: playgrounds, amusement parks, etc.) of the self-employed Mom trying to bridge two worlds at once. Even with the best of boundaries, the irregular schedules of summer can leave the home office business owner out of sorts with irregular business productivity.
Of course like anything else, after a few months of doing this summer dance, you get very good at it. As a result, the transition to back to school can be just as rocky as the slide into summer. Yet with almost 3 quarters of the year behind us, now is the time to get back in the saddle, be productive, and make progress toward 2012 goals.
Here are some tried and true tips to help you do just that in a more mindful and effective way than just frantically diving into action.
Mark the Transition
We get so used to running from one thing to the next that we rarely mark transitions in our culture. With the exception of the big ones (birth, death, graduations, and getting married), we tend to skip over everything else. Now would be the time to pause and take a deep breath. Mark the moment for yourself - as a Mom and as a business owner.
- What is special about this moment?
- What do you most want to remember about your kid's return to school?
- What do you want most for yourself and your business for the remainder of this year?
Revist Your Plan
Take an hour and revisit your business plan. You do have one, right?
What are those goals you set forth for yourself in January?
What progress have you made? What is on your action plan now?
What needs to be added, removed, or changed in order for you to reach your goals?
Giving attention to the big picture will allow you to start strong and focused rather than just frantically start doing stuff. Much like your kid's first day at school will include talking about the upcoming semester, so should yours.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Anytime you have to get into a new routine there are inevitable glitches along the way. For the first week or two, cut yourself some slack! Give yourself extra time to handle the school day routines. In no time you and your family will be running like a well-oiled machine (unless this is your first-ever back to school, you've done it before and know how it works). Trust the process.
You've revisited your plan so now is the time to be focused with your efforts. Put into place whatever systems and support need to be in place so that you can be wildly productive in your business and still have energy when the kids come home from school. Do you need administrative support? A mentor or coach to keep you focused on the right things and accountable for what you say you'll accomplish? A partner, team member, or other professional service providers to help ligthen the load? Delegation and support is a wonderful thing so there's still some of YOU left at the end of the day. You want to be able to revel in your own progress while also being fully present for your kids as they navigate new experiences.
Connect with Others
Now is the perfect time to re-energize yourself and your business by connecting with prospects, customers, colleagues, and friends. Lively adult-focused conversation goes a long way towards inspiring and informing your business. Think outside the playgroup and reconnect with your network on at least a weekly basis.
What is your experience navigating the back to school transition? Share your tips and even your trials and tribulations in the comments.
Paula Gregorowicz plucks women off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses.
Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.
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