In the last part of my 4-part miniseries of life and well-being advice/guidance seeking open letters from the community with my responses, Busy and Overwhelmed seeks support in managing their time, organization and balancing competing priorities as a working parent:
Dear Coach Melanie,
I am self-employed and run my business from home as well as homeschool my four children. It is busy and overwhelming at times. Can you suggest ways to help me organize my time and how to even start?
Dear Busy and Overwhelmed,
You certainly are juggling many competing responsibilities! Being busy, tired and overwhelmed will definitely come to play here. You have 3 businesses: your home-based business, providing education for your children and YOU! Not to mention your other familial responsibilities.
As a businesswoman you have business/operating hours. You can easily transfer over and use this same approach on your other responsibilities. One such helpful tool are calendars, (you may need to create more than one- e.g. a wall calendar for the family and a computer calendar for the business to set reminders, tasks, appointments and notes). Then start blocking off desired “school” days, Mom’s preferred working days/hours and your “ME” day on the calendar. This is a great way to optimize, organize and reorganize your time. And yes, you need to schedule time for yourself to unwind, relax and recharge. Whether it’s finally getting around to taking that dance class you like, reading a book in the yard, socializing with friends or giving yourself an at home spa day. You are giving out a lot of energy and in a lot of different places. Take the time to rebalance and rejuvenate your supplies.
Whenever possible set your work calendar up around themes and priorities: one work week maybe more administratively driven, another more financially driven and yet another more client relations. Similarly, sit down and include the children in the creation of their school days calendar. This will give them the opportunity to express and incorporate their interests into their education plans making learning and teaching more fun. Here you may also wish to theme the weeks for easier curriculum development. Include household chores like meal preparation and planning, (e.g. life skills, biology, science, diet, nutrition, culinary arts and sustainability studies) as part of their curriculum. Now dinners or snacks are no longer a chore, but a cool part of school. Plus, you get the added benefit of not doing all the heavy lifting by yourself!
Avoid overscheduling and “pad” your timeslots. Change your work, school and ME days around as and when needed. This is your life and it’s not fixed, so allow room for a more flexible and enjoyable schedule.
If you have a question or situation you would like to see addressed in the “Dear Coach Melanie“ miniseries regarding life and stress management, navigating and balancing life, change and transition, well-being, mindfulness, self-awareness or personal growth email Coach Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org, direct message me on Facebook or Twitter @forwardmusesoul.
Please Note: Not all letters will be posted. Thank you for connecting- Coach Melanie Christian 🙂