In May this year I became a mommy! What an honour and privilege it is to take care of this precious little one. And what an amazing journey it has been thus far. I went on maternity leave for 4 weeks and started easing myself back into work in the 5th week. This of course got me thinking, of how your time and priorities change, and what it’s truly like to be a working mom.
It’s quite a challenge for any mom to juggle work and family. Bringing a new born home and taking care of her has made me aware of some great business lessons.
As much as I want to control the tasks in my day, there are times that those well laid plans fly out the window. You may be needed to tackle other baby related tasks and your carefully put together plans are placed on the back burner. This could happen daily, so the sooner you show patience for the process the better. When in business it’s just as important to show patience for certain processes, like on boarding new clients, training staff and closing deals.
Leading on from the above, you very quickly learn to prioritise your life. You find yourself asking whether this task really does need to happen now, or is it something I can outsource to the nanny or a grandparent? The same applies to business - as a business owner are you prioritising the right tasks during the day? Ask yourself this question - this task that I’m busy with now, will it make the boat go faster? If the answer is no, then get comfortable outsourcing!
Like with anything in life, you absolutely need the help and support of your partner, family, colleagues and friends. I’m very blessed to have an exceptionally supportive partner, both in business and in life. Without his amazing support and hands on manner, there’s no way I would have coped with being on maternity leave and running our businesses.
When you only have so much time to get stuff done, you need to have absolute laser focus. Even if you have a 15 minute window, take those few minutes and make sure that you accomplish a task that you’ve been putting off. You’ll be amazed how many smaller tasks you can complete in that time. Ask any mom with a little one!
If you’re running your own business you may from time to time find yourself suffering from procrastination. It happens, however, don’t allow that to become a habit. To help you get laser focus, why not download an app like Tomato that has a set 25 minutes to accomplish as much as you can. Again, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in such limited time.
Be present in the moment
There’s been so much written about a woman’s ability to multi-task. I must admit I’m terrible at multi-tasking, but I’m probably one of very few women when it comes to this. And yet, we tend to lean towards multi-tasking, especially with a little pinkfoot around. As much as you want to send emails with one hand while taking care of your baby with the other, allow yourself to be present in the moment. When you’re having business meetings or dealing with staff, do the same, be there, present in the moment and make the most of it.
After all, it is the most you can do.
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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