As a twin momma, wife, & entrepreneur, I understand being busy. I understand overwhelm. I understand pajama days & nap-time hustling. I understand late nights & early mornings. I understand the constant battle of finding undistracted time to play with your kiddos, time to give to your husband, & the devotion your business needs to grow & thrive. You feel like you are being pulled in a million & one directions.
Balance is something that has to be sought after almost every day. It is all about putting your priorities straight, focusing your mind on only the task you are doing at that moment, & not looking back. Some days I feel like I am on top of the world. Some days I have my makeup & hair done; finished laundry; made a healthy lunch; cleaned up after lunch; spent quality time playing on the floor with my kiddos; got leaps & bounds done in my business; AND still get to bed at a decent time. Even after watching a little Netflix.
However, needless to say, not all days look like that. Some days, I stay in my sweatpants with no make-up on & I am so tired that I have to take a snooze while the kids do. Some days the laundry does not get done, the dishes are piled up in the sink, I’m tripping here & there over my kid’s toys, & my hubby picks up fast food on his way home from town so that I do not have to worry about lunch. My mind seems to be everywhere else but what I am doing. When I finally get to sit down after the kids go to bed & I work on my business, I am so darn tired that all I want to do is relax. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I put away my to-do list after the completely and absolute essential items are done. I will just watch TV show after TV show. When I really should just go to bed. And when I really should re-evaluate my day & why this happened. When I really should not put too many things on my to-do list in the first place. I finally go to bed thinking how much time I just wasted only half enjoying/paying attention to my favorite shows & feeling guilt about not really doing anything productive.
BUT it does not have to be this way!! This used to happen to me a lot more before I started implementing these ten things I am going to tell you. Don’t get me wrong. These off days are still going to happen. It’s life. Being a mompreneur is HARD. Balancing all the things on your plate is a lot of work. Constant work. You have to take it a day at a time. You have to WANT the balance. I DO promise you though that if you start implementing these few tips & tricks, you will see major improvement.
Before I get any further, let me tell you a little bit about myself & family. My husband & I live in a small town in Ohio with our 1-year-old twins. They are the joys of our lives but also a hand full. My husband is on night shift & works 60+ hours a week. Needless to say, I am home with the twins A LOT. I am also the solopreneur behind my design business, Triple M Studios. I am a branding specialist & strategist. I help other women business owners & entrepreneurs by making unique & beautiful brands that tell their story & get the attention of their ideal target audience.
I once told myself that I would NEVER own a business & work for myself. I just knew it was not for me. All those plans changed when my husband & I got pregnant unexpectedly with twins shortly after marriage. The right decision for us was to have me stay home with the twins. While I was pregnant, I launched my business. Surprisingly, I loved it. I grew a passion for it. I never realized how much of my heart was longing to be an entrepreneur. I have never looked back since.
Let me tell you something. This past year was the absolute hardest year of my life. Many things helped us through it: the grace of God, friends & family, & yes, BALANCE. It took me this whole year to really figure out balancing everything on my plate & it is definitely always going to be a work in progress, but I am looking forward to a more balanced, purposeful & intentional year.
Now let’s get into the good stuff. These Easy Tips are what have helped me find balance between being a momma to 2 little ones, a wife to a hubby on night shift, & an owner to a thriving business.
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
Remember how I said “Balance is something that has to be sought after almost every day?” You need to intentionally create a routine where your priorities are set straight. Put the things you need to get done every day on this routine.
2. STAY ORGANIZED
A messy house & desk leads to a messy mind. When some of your tasks are on a napkin, some on the back of a receipt, & some on your phone, you are going to feel so overwhelmed. Getting organized is the first step to creating a balanced life & less stress.
3. BATCH TASKS
Batching similar tasks helps focus your mind on one item & helps you jump around your to-do list less. For example, I like to schedule & create all my social media posts on Sunday nights for the upcoming week. I create them, write them, & schedule them. This cuts out a ton of wasted time. We all know that you can’t post something on Instagram without first scrolling through that never-ending feed. It is a major distractor.4. Keep Up with the House Work as You See it
I used to designate certain household tasks to each day of the week. I would do laundry on Fridays, clean the bathrooms on Mondays, & vacuum on Wednesdays. This all seemed like a great idea to me until I realized how much time I spent doing a week’s load of laundry on Fridays & how deep cleaning the bathrooms once a week took forever. AND none of this stuff was ever done at the same time. When I got all the laundry done, the bathrooms were messy again & the stairs needed vacuuming. I now find it much easier to do one smaller load of laundry a day to keep up with it. It takes much less time & the hampers are never overflowing. I never designate days for anything anymore. As I see the carpets need vacuuming, I just do it. Real quick, real simple. If I get toothpaste on the bathroom counter, I take out a disinfecting wipe & wipe the counter & toilet down in 2 minutes.
5. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Having a Family & being a business owner will for sure make you BUSY. As a mom, wife, & my own boss, I am constantly taking care of other people. I have to make sure I feed my toddlers, pack my husband’s lunch, spend time with all of them, keep on top of client work, etc. I schedule time every week for myself. Even if it is just painting my nails while I watch TV. It is time to myself. And it is glorious.
6. SPEND INTENTIONAL TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY
I have found that unless you put things in your schedule & list to do, they do not happen. We need to be intentional where we are spending our time. A lot of days we just spend down time with our family when it is convenient or there is nothing else to do. At the end of the day you realize how little time you actually spent on the floor, undistracted, with your kiddos. Scheduling time in every day ensures that they get the time they need with your undivided attention.
7. GET A BABYSITTER
When you have kids & a business, it can become extremely hard to find time to go out & enjoy yourself or even have dates with your husband. My husband & I try to go out on one date a month. Don’t be afraid to hire a babysitter to watch your kids so the two of you can get away.
8. PAMPER YOURSELF & GET YOUR SLEEP
As a work from home mom, I don’t leave the house very often, except for getting groceries. It can be so easy to fall into the pattern of not doing your hair or wearing sweats all day because no one really sees you but your family. Every morning (well most mornings) I make a point to shower, get dressed in jeans & a nice shirt, put makeup on, (even a 5 minute routine) & dry my hair. This sets my mind on having a productive day & allows me to be ready to leave the house whenever I want. It makes you feel better about yourself. Do the things that are important to you. If painting your nails is one of those things, schedule time to do it every week. Pamper yourself. You deserve it. You are doing amazing things.
Make sure to pamper yourself by getting enough rest too. As much as you feel like you need to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to get the things you set out to do done, strive for a decent bedtime each night. You will get more accomplished when you have a good night’s sleep under you. Late nights are sometimes unavoidable but strive to only have them happen every so often. I have actually set my alarm to go to bed before!
9. DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FIRST
When you don’t want to get something done that is on your to-do list, it can be easy to do everything but that item. You may even find yourself doing the things you hate that are not even on your list (like vacuuming the stairs) rather than doing that item. Do the most important things on your list first, & THEN do the other things. Don’t move onto another item until you complete the first task. This will keep you less overwhelmed. Make sure you do not put too many things on your to do list. Be realistic with the things you can get done in one day. Having a to-do list that is realistic will ease your mind. Download this To-do list printable to help you stay organized!
10. LEARN TO SAY NO
I once heard on the radio that successful people are good at ONE thing. They say no to all the others. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus your energy on the clients you WANT to work with & say no to the clients who do not fit into your business model. Working with people that excite you allows for you to succeed in what you are doing.
These 10 tips have really helped me in running a more balanced life & I am confident they will help you too. Click here for your FREE to-do list printable if you have not already done so!
Melissa McKenzie is the solopreneur behind her design shop, Triple M Studios. From a small town outside Columbus, Ohio, she works hard to balance her client work, run her business, & spend time with her husband & one year old twins. Melissa enjoys outdoor activities & binge watching HGTV design shows in her free time.