“Working on the business means putting myself first.” This was an insight during coaching organizing with a working mom. She, like many of us, was asking herself the question of how to make sure she’d spend “enough” time on the business, “enough” time with family and “enough” on managing her household. How do we know when we’ve hit the “enough” line?
Certainly a question we all have to answer comfortably for ourselves. There are no right answers, where I could give you a percentage of time on this or that.
What you can do, though, is figure out two important answers for yourself:
1. What’s blocking you from spending more time on one or the other?
2. How much time are you currently spending in each of these worlds?
Only then can you begin to come up with your equation for what’s “enough.” And even then, as your life changes, you’ll want to revisit whether your equation has changed. For example, if your child was diagnosed with ADHD, or mom moved in, or your partner’s job status changed, wouldn’t you want to examine what’s enough? Yes. Because if you don’t reorganize based on life events and changes, your stress and frustration will become intolerable. The gap between where you want to be and where you are widens. And that gap is what causes the stress.
So question #1 — what’s blocking you?
Explore what your priorities are. If you could only wear one of these hats, which would it be?
What do you value most? Quick exercise – what are your top three values?
Do you feel like you’re spending most of your time on your priorities and areas where you are living to your values?
How do you see each of your roles in terms of their fit with priorities and values?
If there’s one area you’re not spending much time on — like her home based business for this woman – what are the possible reasons for that?
As you list the reasons out loud or in writing, keep at it until you get to what I’ll call “level two” thinking — deeper reflection. It can help to time yourself, e.g., keep writing or talking until 15 minutes is up.
Level one thinking is “not enough time.” Or “can’t fit it into my day.” “No good time for it.””Can’t get motivated.” But what’s causing that?
Level two will be as this woman discovered. Her insight was that when she worked on her business, this was time away from family and away from managing the household.
And then I asked her to reflect on this question –Let’s turn the question around: How does your work benefit your family?
Answers — Putting them first because of how that steady income has benefited each child and the household. Because of how I feel about myself when I do excellent work. Because of the role model I become to them.
And the second question for discussion next time: How do you feel about yourself, when you know you’re doing these things for your family … because of the time you’re spending on your business?
So is working on the business always putting yourself first — maybe not after all.
So look deeply at what’ s blocking you. Acknowledge what the block is. Explore other perspectives and possibilities through coaching with an Organizer Coach(R). It’ll be worth it.