As a blogger and jewelry-maker [and as of November 2013, a stay-at-home mom], I have really struggled to keep up with everything for my business and find a balance between the two. There are times when I am super-focused on blogging. Maybe I am taking a course pertaining to it or I am in a writing groove. During these periods I find I end up neglecting making jewelry. Then there are periods when all I want to do is make jewelry, and my blogging starts to become lackluster.
Likewise, there are times when I end up focusing a good deal of energy on my business, and my home feels neglected and I don’t feel like I’m 100% present with my daughter.
When I focus my energy on one aspect, I find it very challenging to keep up with other areas.
I start to feel frustrated that I can’t seem to do everything I want. The frustration builds until I feel so overwhelmed that I become a deer in the headlights, unable to move and focused on everything that is coming at me which I can’t seem to control. I’ve slowly come to realize as the sole employee, as well as a stay-at-home mom attempting to balance my creative business with my parenting, I can’t do it all at the same time. There needs to be a sense of balance. That balance is difficult to achieve, and even harder to maintain, but I found these three simple things help me regroup when I am feeling out of sorts.
1. Focus your energy on one thing
When you are a small business owner, there is so much that needs to get done on any given day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, focus on one area. Perhaps it is improving your product or spending time marketing it. Maybe it’s writing copy for a sales page. Pick one thing you want to work on and take all the steps necessary to get you to where you need to be. Understand that other areas might fall behind, but that is part of the process.
It is better to make improvements in one area and fall behind in another than to not make progress with anything.
I find that I may have weeks at a time when I’m super focused on blogging. Most of my creative energy goes into that and I end up neglecting my jewelry-making. Then after awhile it shifts or I get to a busy time of the year for my craft and I spend less time and energy on blogging and more on making jewelry. I know that I can’t realistically do both really well at any given time, but it has taken me time to come to terms with this understanding.
A few months ago I was trying really hard to do it all and do it all well, and it was stressing me out. I felt like I was working all the time and always struggling to keep up. I worked all day and most of the weekends. I was feeling dejected that no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t seem to do everything I had intended.
I have slowly learned to focus my energy, and rule out things that I haven’t deemed to be of the utmost importance for where I’m at right now. I also make sure to put spending time with my daughter high on the list, so that may mean not getting done as much work as I had hoped.
3. Find time for yourself
Of course you want your business to succeed, but you also need to enjoy life. Taking breaks, whether it be in the evenings and weekends, or even for a week or two throughout the year, will actually make you more productive in the end. Every time I have taken an extended break, I have found myself incredibly energized and excited to return to work. Do things that make you happy, whether it be taking an exercise class, meditating, traveling, reading a book, or going out to dinner with a friend.
Looking for more tips on making time for yourself and the things you love? Check out my ebook, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity.
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