The Working Mum’s Time Machine

Here is a short video (30 mins) talking through 10 ways in which a working Mum can magic up some more of that time we all seem so short of…

The Video Transcript:

Hello, and welcome to my training, The Working Mums’ Time Machine.

I would like to share some strategies that will make you feel like you’ve entered a time machine!

You’re in the right place if you’re a mum and you have big ambitions, but you’re struggling with very little time. You want to have the best of both worlds, but you’re fed up with the constant guilt because you’re either too busy doing one thing or the other, and you’re never really doing either.

Perhaps you often feel that you just need to duplicate yourself because there’s so much to do, and the only rational way you can think to do it is just split yourself in two!

A little bit about me – I’m Victoria Casebourne, I’m celebrating 14 years in business, ten of which were before I had children. I studied computer science because that’s what my dad said I should do because that was the most secure of jobs. I got a really well paid job straightaway after my degree, but I was really, really unhappy. I used to dread going into work and was so miserable, and it wasn’t until the doctor wanted to prescribe me tablets that I realised what was going on.

I come from a long line of people who run their own businesses, so I knew there was another way, but I hadn’t studied business, I had no idea what to do and I didn’t really have a business idea, but I knew something had to change. To cut a long story short, I quit my job without having anything lined up and it was scary and hard to become my own boss, but I now absolutely love it.

It all changed when I had my first child. I was an online retailer, I loved it and I had a high street store at one time. I realised how lucky I was in the fact that I didn’t have to worry about going back to work and leaving my child. When you go back to work for someone else it’s on their terms and you lose that control, and the whole thing is not set up with mums in mind. The core day is nine to five, but the school day is nine to three, so how are mums meant to carry on as if nothing has happened, yet try and raise a happy family at home? It’s a recipe for guilt!

I realised how lucky I was not to have that because I could set my own working hours. I decided to use everything I’d learned over the previous ten years to help other mums escape their nine to five and set up a business on their own terms. As mums we don’t have time for mistakes, we need results and we need them quickly, especially if you’re coming into maternity leave and don’t have time to take risks. It’s only recently that I have had my eyes opened about the amount of support that’s out there for mums in business.

I want to make you aware that I am dyslexic and am very creative. I’m telling you that because there may be mistakes that you spot and I’ve grown to feel okay about this. I could either decide to worry and fret about imperfections or just crack on and try to help as many people as I can. Those people that really want my support and resonate with me aren’t going to mind an odd typo here and there. If I can do it, you can too.

This is my new venture that I’m really proud of and it’s the whole life cycle of mums setting up in business, but not just mums. We do support other people and have members that aren’t mums as well, but mums are where my heart is because I can see what a difference it can make to people’s lives.

We work at the beginning to get you really motivated. You get really clear on what you want and really learn to motivate yourself to make it happen, as if you’re not motivated, nothing’s going to change. We want to really look at how you can do something you absolutely love completely on your terms and flexibly around your children. It might be something you need to create, and I’m all for creating something brand new if there’s nothing out there to suit you.

The cornerstone of absolutely everything is the success of relationships, and there are four key relationships we need to focus on which are outlined on our website, moretobusiness.com.

Today is all about feeling really empowered, so it’s once you’ve got a really successful business, it’s how you can use that to help other people. It’s such an empowered feeling knowing that you’re helping others, and that’s how I feel on a daily basis. I get to help women break up with the nine to five and make a life on their terms, and that makes me feel incredibly empowered. It’s also about taking action, as when you’re taking action you feel great and you start seeing things happen.

These are my top ten tips to generate more time in your life as a mum.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 1: Learn to batch

Try and get organised to do things that are similar at the same time. For instance, instead of cooking a brand new meal every single day, try and put aside a couple of hours on a Sunday and cook to fill up your freezer. Every time you move from a task you’re using energy, so different tasks require different energy, and if you’re multitasking you’ll get really tired and lose yourself a little bit.

In work, sit down and clear your inbox rather than going in for little bits at a time, and the same goes for social media. Find out all the things you need to do and batch them together so you’re just doing that one thing in a big chunk. You’ll find you’ll get lots more done and you’ll feel a lot better and will have more energy.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 2: Prepare and organise

If you can take a bit of time out it makes it easier long term. For instance clearing clutter is a big one for me. All the stuff we don’t need takes a bit of energy away from us, and clearing a little bit of clutter can make you feel freer and lighter. Another great tip I’ve seen is that every morning when you’re getting the kids’ clothes out you realise you have to think about this every morning. If you had a stack of five plastic drawers and each drawer had the day’s clothes in, then in one go you can plan out what your children are going to wear for the whole week.

This isn’t just about physical energy, but about mental energy as well. The more you’re thinking about the little stuff, the more exhausted you’re going to be when you’re trying to think about the big stuff. The easier you can make it on yourself, the more power you’re going to have when you’re thinking about your business vision.

Organise your shopping list and spend time doing your shopping online so you only need to do it once a week. You can apply this idea to lots of other areas in your life, such as laying the breakfast table the night before, for example. I think as mums in business we need to get away from thinking, right, that’s my business and this is my home time and try to separate it. It’s very much about you and your life and how you juggle the two in harmony. Whilst you need work time and home time, it’s not always as clear cut as that, and I think that’s okay.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 3: Get out of your head

If you don’t write lists, you need to get everything out of your head. You’re carrying around everything you think you need to do and you’re exhausting yourself because you’re trying to remember stuff. For instance I’m planning my little boy’s party and I’ve got lists about the food I need to get, the guest list, what gifts I need to buy and what I need to do to prepare the house. Once it’s on a list, you don’t need to worry about it, you just look at it and get it done.

The more you get stuff out of your head, the more organised you’ll feel, and you’ll feel less fretful that you’re going to forget something. If you’re operating just in your head you’ll keep it going round and round and you won’t be able to relax and let go. You’ll find you’ll have a lot more time because you’re spending less time doing the over thinking that you don’t need to do.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 4:Outsource

This is a biggie. If you’re struggling and you don’t feel able to outsource, it almost feels like a guilty pleasure and something that you shouldn’t do. We should be able to do it all ourselves, shouldn’t we? It was only through meeting friends that had cleaners that I even entertained the idea that I could have one too. I always thought it was for other people, but actually just ordinary little old mums like me can have a cleaner too. The ladies that have come to help me with my cleaning absolutely love what they do. I hate cleaning and I avoid it all costs, but not only that, it takes me time. That time that I’m paying someone to help me out with my cleaning, I’ve got that back to work on my business or do something fun instead. Yes, it costs a bit of money, but the time you get back is so much more worthwhile to you and it’s one less thing to worry about. Sometimes we like to keep control, but your energy’s better spent elsewhere.

Alongside that you can ask for help, and I don’t think as mums we feel able to. Sometimes we feel that we should be able to do it all ourselves, but it’s okay to ask for help from your partner or your friends. I think most people like to feel they’re able to help, so don’t worry!

Look at things you can outsource in your business as well so you’re spending the time doing what you love.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 5: Be realistic

This is being realistic about what you can do. Don’t try and do it all, because nobody can, so pick the things you really, really want to do that are in line with your vision, things that make you feel great like spending time with your family, or things that are going to take you towards your vision. You can’t do everything, so be realistic about what you can, and let go of the rest. It’s about prioritising the things on your ‘to do’ list and then getting rid of the stuff that actually is just for the sake of doing and is not that important.

If you’re trying to be everything to everybody, you’re just going to burn yourself out, so the sooner you start saying no, the sooner you’ll free up some time.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 6: Work smart

There are so many tools and hacks you can employ at work, especially when working online, for instance social media and blog scheduling tools. The little time you spend at the beginning setting up will save you hours on an ongoing basis, so learn to work smarter, not harder. The same is true at home, so for instance, instead of standing there heating your beans on the hob, pop them in the microwave. Look at little things in your life that you can do a little bit smarter.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 7: Appreciate

I think we need to spend more time appreciating what we have. If you spend all your time thinking about everything you’ve got to do and feeling guilty, that’s not a great place to come from. Spend your time really appreciating everything you have and the fact that you’re able to work and have a family. When you wake up and when you go to bed, write three things you’re really grateful for, and it starts the mind looking for things in your life. When you’re happy, the time doesn’t seem so important because you’re happy, and essentially that’s what we want, we want to spend our lives in a place of happiness.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 8: Timetables

I’m married to a teacher and schools live and die by their timetables. When we leave we almost want to abandon them because it’s too restricting, and I think when you’re a creative entrepreneur you want that freedom. At the same time I’m becoming very aware that I need those boundaries to work within, because otherwise the world’s wide open and it’s hard to know where to start. It’s much better to create a little timetable!

For your washing, for instance, maybe on a Monday you put the wash on and hang it out on the Tuesday and fold it away on the Wednesday, so you have a little task for each day. For work it might be that you schedule all your social media on a Monday and make your phone calls on a Tuesday. You then know that you’re sticking to your timetable and getting everything on your ‘to do’ list done within those times, so when it’s home time and school pick up time you can let go of the work because you know you’ve done everything you need to do, and you’re starting to get into this place where everything’s written down.

When you’ve got days where you focus on various things, you can start letting go a lot more emotionally and remove the guilt. When you’re spending time with your kids, your business is in fine hands because you’ve got your systems and timetables in place that are working for you.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 9: Being conscious.

I think a lot of the time we’re so in it that we’re not very conscious about what we’re doing, so we’re just wasting time, particularly with relation to things like money. I did an experiment where I used cash for a month rather than the card, and we saved so much money. We had little pots for each thing, so each time we bought anything we were very conscious what pot it was coming out of and we sometimes questioned our purchase! This showed me how unconsciously I can spend money, because you go into a supermarket, you’re picking stuff up because the kids are talking to you, and then you get a massive shock at the till.

The same thing applies for our time, especially with regards to things like Facebook. We can get drawn into Facebook, and you’re looking around, you’re surfing and you’re seeing what everyone’s up to, and before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour doing nothing. If you’re dealing with it consciously and responding to people and dealing with it as quickly as you can, you can see how much time you will save because you’re not losing yourself in that dreamy unconscious type of way.

If you’re not sure to begin with, write down the times you’re spending on things like Facebook and then have a look after a week to see where all your time goes. Sometimes we think we don’t have time, but if you think about all the time you spend watching soaps or surfing on Facebook, when you start eliminating those you have a lot more time available.

WORKING MUM TIME TIP 10:Set some boundaries

You need to communicate and set boundaries if you’re working from home, so make sure people know that you’re at home working, rather than being available for social calls. Set yourself boundaries with regards to email too, otherwise people will expect you to be available to answer emails during the night. The more available you are, the more people will want you and need you to be available, and that can be very draining and you aren’t left with very much time at the end of it. When you set boundaries, you’re operating from your own timetable instead.

I hope that’s all been helpful to you. There are things in there that have made a massive difference in my life and they’re very simple tweaks, so I hope you’ve taken some things out that will help you be your own little time machine.

So what now?

If you’re thinking that there should be more to your life, maybe you’re already in a career and you’re feeling you’d like to start your own business, or maybe you’re thinking about making your work more fulfilling, come and join me for a completely free two week challenge, The MORE Challenge, to find out what you really want. We go through the four elements of ‘MORE’ and help you create a little bit of a plan, and the details are below the video.

If I can do it, so you can. There’s nothing special about me and I probably have everything stacked against me, but you work with what you’ve got, and if I can do it, you absolutely can too. Whatever you’re thinking about and if it’s important to you, do something to make it happen, because we only get life and it’s for living, not for standing in the wings.

Thank you so much for watching. I hope you got something out of it, and I really look forward to seeing you in the two week challenge to get more in your life.

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