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Time Management

A Mother's Journey to 'Living Authentically'

A Mother's Journey to 'Living Authentically'

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You know that feeling after you bring a child into the world, that your life will never be the same. At the same time everything prior to that point almost becomes meaningless. You actually start to reassess the world.  

In one sense when my first child was born I became brave. In another I had to redefine who I was. I was not the same 30 something me.

 

What am I doing? Does what I do mean anything? Am I even making a difference in this world? Is it worth it?

 

Suddenly there is something bigger than you, that little person that you are responsible for; you want them to be the best they can be, to live in a world full of potential that is safe and sustainable.   I had these big thoughts of how I could impact my daughter’s future world, and at the same time I was learning to be a mother. In addition to this new role, I continued to be: wife, lover, friend, and work colleague. The new role had an impact on all the others. If I did not take a step back I would lose me!

 

That’s when I transformed, having a child changed me, I knew it was an opportunity to take that energy, that power that you have as a mother and know as you want your children to know ‘I can do anything’.

 

I started to define just what that was to each one of my roles. As a mother being home for dinner and doing plays (not macbeth but magic rabbits, princesses, car races and dragons), and reading each night. To challenging my brain in my doctorate, which helped me to develop technology that automates chores saving mothers time, and research that understands what in people’s childhood makes them successful, and happy! The both aligned to giving me, and other mothers more time with our children, with our future and to have more memories than do administration and chores.

 

I transformed into the best version of me I could be at each of the roles, but realised we cannot do everything. So the key was to align the roles to what I truly loved, what I was passionate about. To stop doing things that detracted from that, and to start and continue the things that aligned to what I loved in this world most.

 

It sounds easy, but it was a journey to break down the mind set for example of ‘guilt’ and to accept help. I started to say ‘yes’ to outsourcing chores and ‘no’ to things that served no purpose or were meaningless.

 

This transformation was broken down over 4 steps, a framework which allowed me to redefine my life, and make sure I was Living Life Authentically. I am now true to who ‘I’ am as a mother, wife, lover, friend and work colleague. I learnt that you can have that authenticity as a mother, where you give to each part of you.

 

You have to be brave enough to take the step back. To admit I am not that same person as I was before kids, and take the opportunity to redefine you.

 

I want to share this framework with other mothers so that can live a life that is authentic to them. To talk them through the framework and provide printable tools, that supports them. There is very little for mothers. This now changes Sign Up for your Living Authentically Webinar and Kit.

 

I am building a community, tools and technology that is there for Mums.

'Effective Time Generation' - How to get an extra 13 hrs. at least back in your day!

So I'm penning my next blog on a flight to Belgium. It's apt as this blog is sharing my secrets to getting it done:

- automate the what you can. I spent the weekend setting up new direct debits as we have new costs coming in, but I will not have the time to manually deal with these. Automating them saves 30-60 mins of my weekend.

- food shop online. Food shopping online is the greatest saving in time with the kids it can easily eat up 2hrs, and we have to time the shopping trip with the feeds. Ordering online has such a wide potential. For example, in Switzerland there are only really 2 major online brands but the local farms deliver a wide variety of vegetables, meat and products. I switched to the local farm for my order, which is organic and cheaper!

- catch the train or public transport. I catch the train into work which gives me time to complete assignments, blog and business tasks. Theoretically the car is 35 minutes in no traffic but my route is notorious for traffic. So even though it's 69 minutes by train it's 69 minutes I use. Gives approx. 1 hour on your day depending on your journey.

- take a packed lunch. I am not too sure if a packed lunch suddenly became uncool after breaking up from school, but the nutritional food I make at home beats any Canteen. If you take a packed lunch you save time in getting food that you could spend on activities that increase your energy. Saves you 50 minutes a day (minus the 10 minutes to make it)

- Meditate or activate your cells at lunchtime. If you have taken food in it does not take long to eat. If you can do the activity you love 3 times a week it keeps your energy levels up which means that you have more hours in the day, because you are not just wanting to fall into your bed when you get home. It is of course important to spend time with colleagues as well socially; the networking and lunch conversations are very valuable. Poses like half tortoise for example stimulate high relaxation re-oxygenating the brain. It allows me to be up at 5.00 and go through until 21.00/22.00 on average boosting my energy about 1 hr a day.

- get up early if you can negotiate to get in early and leave early you have more productive hours in the day. I get in early so my day can finish at 15.00. This gives me at least 6 hours a day before I go to bed.

- what you eat can determine your energy levels. Sugar, processed food and white carbohydrates can suck energy. I work on a largely Paleo diet of organic meats, vegetables and fruit. This can give you extra energy and focus of between 1-3 hrs a day.

Indeed if you are catching a flight like I am now you could be either sleeping or working.

1. Sleeping could mean you are taking down time, but more likely you are so knackered zapped of energy and you are constantly trying to catch up with things that as soon as you go to sit down you fell a sleep.

2. You could be working because you are so busy and there are not enough hours in the day for you to get work done because you are constantly trying to catch up with tasks.

3. You could be reading, writing a blog, doing something for your or work and feel you are on top of your work.

4. You could be sleeping and you're on top of everything.

Answers 1 and 2 may have remedies in this article.

5 Tips for a Better You

If you do not invest in yourself who else will?

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1. Get up early.  This theme is repeated time and time again in our blogs, because successful and happy people get up early to make time in their day.

2. Find an activity that you love.  If you are going to make a permanent change then the activity has to be something you love, so that you can regularly practice.

3. Make and ring fence you time.  You need to have time in the day that is just yours and no one else's.  This allows you to focus and collect your thoughts.

4. Collaborate if you are part of a family, or partnership work as a unit.  Start to think of your time and resource as shared (remember your me time is ring fenced).  If you share your calendar, and give visibility of what needs to be done and when, then the organisation and execution becomes a lot easier. 2 + 2 = 5

5. Outsource or turn to technology with no guilt.  If it makes sense to outsource work getting a helping hand with the cleaning, gardening and children then do it.

5 Top Tips Time Management it's in Your Hands

5 Top Tips Time Management it's in Your Hands

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1.Decide

Decide on your goals.   What do you want to achieve and what is not important.  If you find this hard ask the question "So What?" What difference does it make if you achieve the goal, if it doesn't matter to you don't do it.

2. No

Know when to say "No."  You can only do so much.  You may often know that you need to say "No", but not how to say "No".  If it is tricky say "No" without saying it.  For example, yes I can do project X.   Which project would you like to assign more resource to so that we can also deliver project Y.

3. Prioritise

In the process of deciding what to stop, or delegate we define a priority.  No one can do everything it is a tradeoff on resources, budget, time and tasks.

4. Focus

There can be so many distractions, and different people have different ways of working.  There are differences between Generation X. Y and now Z.  However, by focus it does not mean turning of social media for everyone, music or TV.  For some people they work more effectively in these environments.  What is important is to have key points where you focus, or you bring a team together to focus, so that the project doesn't just roll along.  Smooth is not necessarily good, it needs to be reviewed and challenged with new energy and input given at different intervals.

5. Organisation

The more organisation the more time you have.  This is from organising your folders, inbox, bookmarks...you name it, the better you do it the easier your life is.

4. Technology

Utilise technology we have so much at our finger tips.  Save time on travelling and question do I really need to go? Or can this be done over Skype or Telepresence?  There are times when face to face is worth the investment of time and money, so just think about the situation.  Find tools that make your life easier there are so many apps and tools out there that will save you time.

5. Outsource

Outsource things in your personal life so you can have energy at work, and have the time for the important things in your life family and friends.  I feel no guilt in paying for a gardener.  In fact I am doing my plants a service as most plants that touch my finger tips do not last long.

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