Being a business owner comes with a long list of to-dos every day! When you’re first starting out, you’re a team of 1 so you’re managing the sales, production, technology, marketing, advertising, HR and SO MUCH MORE! Even once you have an incredible team to manage some of these aspects, you’re still casting vision, deciphering sales reports, setting goals, creating growth opportunities and SO MUCH MORE!
Add to all of this being a mom of 3 busy girls and some days it can all just seem like 1 too many things that need your attention!
People ask me all the time, “How do you manage it all??” And the first thing I say is “Remember what you see on the outside is not always what’s happening on the inside”. Not saying that I put on a show at all, but of course, I have moments of overwhelm! I have times that I say to my husband, “I’m not sure there are enough hours in today to fit it all in!”. Or I lay awake at night thinking about All. The. Things! Who’s with me on this one?? And really….how productive is just laying there “thinking” about it all? Couldn’t that time be so much better used doing absolutely anything else??
“Remember what you see on the outside is not always what’s happening on the inside”.
As a planner by nature and an efficiency junkie, I am constantly looking for ways to maximize my time and lower my stress! Did you know that “Event Planner” has been in the Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs in the World for the last 8 years??? What the?? I mean…for sure we have a TON of stress in what we do and we’re managing huge budgets for one-time events, but let’s be serious…we’re not dealing with life and death here right?? I digress…I didn’t make the list. But all that to say, my job comes with a level of stress that is unlike most and therefore I try to minimize as much of it as I can in all of the other areas of my life.
Today, I’m sharing with you 3 tips I use to minimize stress and maximize efficiency each day. As I say all the time, we all have 24 hours each day. It’s up to us to make the most of it!
1. Use an Electronic Calendar. I personally am a huge fan of Google Calendar but any online calendar that you like will work. We always have our phones within an arm’s reach of us so using an electronic calendar that syncs to this handy device will save you time and confusion. I use a different color for our family, my personal calendar, each of my staff, and each of my companies. While this sounds overwhelming, I am able to see at a glance where my open pockets of time are or what I need to be focused on today to be ready for tomorrow.
2. Prior Proper Planning. When your schedule gets crazy it’s easy to think that you just have to keep going and you can’t take time to plan out your days because you don’t have an hour to spare. But let me encourage you to destroy this thought. I take time every Saturday to look through my calendar for the next week. How does this help me plan?
- I look for how many dinner meals I need to prep for. If I have an evening event, I try to get something simple for my husband and daughters to whip up. If we all have an evening family event, I plan to eat out that evening.
- I consider my outfits for the week. I don’t necessarily plan exactly what I’m going to wear every day but I do consider what pieces I may want for the week to ensure they’re not a) at the cleaners or b) needing to go to the cleaners! I also steam anything I’ll wear that week so I eliminate the time each morning.
- I see where I have white space. For me, I can go go go if I can see the light.. So I need to know where the next break is. If I have 14 hour days Monday-Wednesday (including work and kids activities) but I know I have nothing until noon on Thursday then I tend to get less anxious during the busy days because I know I can work from my couch in my jammies with a hot cup of coffee to catch up on Thursday morning.
3. Communicate. I cannot say this enough to the mommas out there! This one has helped me so much! I’ll break this down into 3 reasons this is SO important to maintaining your sanity.
- Communicate with your spouse – When I review our calendar with my husband, he is so much more on board with a crazy week or month. I let him know what’s coming up, which one of us needs to be where to ensure all 3 of our girls make it to their practices, etc… I know we all think that our husbands should be able to figure this out on their own but the simple fact is, men and women are gifted at different things and often women organize better than their spouse. Set him up for success by being specific about what your week looks like and what you need from them for it to be stress-free!
- Communicate with your kids – This one has been huge for us! When we go into the busy season, I talk to my kids often about what date busy season ends and we mark it on a calendar. I get to spend almost 100% of the Summer with them at home since it’s slow season for us but when October hits, the weeks are full of long weekdays, lots of Saturdays and tired Sundays. I also communicate weekly which nights I may be home late so our girls know what to expect.. Kids do so much better with structure and communicating what each day/week/month looks like helps them to handle the busy seasons.
- Communicate with your team. My staff has access to my calendar and they can see where I am anytime. I dedicate certain days to be in the studio or at our venue so they’ll know when I’m there and I plan for those days to be free to work with each of them on things they may need to hash out in person. It’s helpful for them to know when I’ll be in next time if they need to schedule a meeting or just chat through an idea.
I hope some of these tips resonate with you today! If you feel overwhelmed by where to start, just pick 1 thing that you can implement this week. If you have any tips or tricks that work for you, drop them in the comments below! I’m always looking for ways to make the most of the 24 hours I get each day!