Many different labels can describe one person — a mom, a founder, a wife, a friend.
But at any given time, one of those titles takes priority over the others.
It can be wild raising a family and running a business at the same time.
Friends from business school and undergrad say, “I don’t know how you do it.” I don’t really know how I do it either — I just do.
It’s tough staying motivated with a jam-packed schedule, but it’s not impossible.
The key is to remember this: Too much thinking leads to an inability to do anything.
It’s analysis paralysis. If you spend insane amounts of time trying to make everything 100% perfect, you never execute anything.
Make a decision and move on.
That mentality is a major part of how I find time (and energy) to be both a mother and a CEO. If you’re in the same boat and juggling too many things, try these four tips to stay motivated inside and outside the office.
1. Do Everything Fully
The best way to stay energized is by being fully present in the moment.
We’re most effective when we’re 100% focused on what we’re doing. So, if you’re on the phone, you’re not checking email or looking at photos of your kids. Zero in on one thing.
And you can use that same mentality at home.
Busy moms usually only have a couple of hours with their kids before they go to bed during the week, so really try to engage with them. Spend time playing and laughing with them, giving baths and talking.
Try not to look at your phone for a few hours after getting home — those emails will still be there after the kids go to bed.
Sometimes, when I’ve been with my kids all day, I think, “Man, when are they going to bed?” Anyone with small children knows that feeling. But I do my best to treasure every moment and the time I have with them.
So, whatever you’re doing, put in as much effort as possible. Give yourself wholly to the task at hand.
2. Focus On Efficiency
If I could have more of one thing, it wouldn’t be money.
It would be time.
When you have an extremely full schedule, every minute matters. That’s why busy moms are so efficient.
Every night, look at you calendar for the next day and ask: “Is everything scheduled absolutely necessary?” If the answer is no, take back your time.
The less time you have to waste, the more you have to prioritize. This makes you more efficient, which is essential to staying motivated throughout the day.
3. Get Comfortable Saying No
In both my family life and as a CEO, I have to say “no” to some things.
Otherwise, I’ll end up overwhelmed.
Say my family gets invited to a birthday party on a Sunday afternoon, but it’s far from our house. I have to decide: “Is driving 45 minutes each way to go to this birthday party really the best way to use our weekend time?
Sometimes, it’s better to take the kids to the park.
There are also events or dinners I get invited to. If I didn’t have kids, I’d probably go. But if I’m going to a dinner or speaking at an event — instead of going home to put my kids to bed — it needs to be really worthwhile. Not all of them are.
Learn to say no on both ends, because otherwise, your life just isn’t yours anymore.
4. Remember Yourself
With different demands in all directions, it’s important to keep yourself healthy and centered.
For me, a lot of that comes down to working out regularly.
Workouts help keep me sane, but they also keep me efficient. Working up a sweat helps me feel my best and be extra productive. I try to get up before the kids and do a morning workout at home. Realistically, I can’t spend the time driving to and from the gym. So, I focus on doing quick and effective workouts at home.
There’s always going to be something you can prioritize over yourself.
In the long run, it’s important to consciously make an effort to take care of your own needs at some point in the day.
Raising children and running a business is crazy at times. Some days, you won’t know how you do it. But if you focus on each thing as it comes up — and remember yourself — you can stay motivated at home and at work.
Originally published at medium.com