Finding the time to move forward
Published: 9th of November 2020
Some coaches will tell you that you can have it all….be the dream parent, have the amazing career, run the perfect business, have a blissful relationship…..!
Well good luck with that!
The fact is there are only 24 hours in a day. I’m sorry, that’s it!
If you spend more time at work, then those hours will come off something else….maybe it means spending less time with your kids or passing like ships in the night with your partner. Or perhaps you’re looking after your little ones full-time but you’re lacking those hours needed to set up the business you’ve been thinking about for years.
As a parent you’re likely to be performing the most monumental juggling act and trying to find the time to move forward in your life may feel like wading through cement right now.
Here are a few steps you could consider to help carve out some time in your hectic life:
- Recognise the amazing job you’re already doing juggling
It’s hard to even start thinking about finding the time if you’re too busy beating yourself up about not achieving what you’d like to have achieved already. Break the loop of negative thinking. Take a breath. You’re only human!
- Map out what you’re doing with your time
Take a look at a normal day for you. How much time are you spending doing nursery and school drop-offs, commuting, working, tidying the house, putting the kids to bed? Sometimes some of these tasks (putting the kids to bed!) may feel like they take weeks so it’s helpful to have a clear idea of what you’re working with. If you're creative, get out the felt tips and draw it. If you’re logical, relish creating a new spreadsheet!
- Where is your wiggle room?
Take a look over your usual day and highlight the hours that are fixed and the activities which may have some wiggle room. Perhaps you have contracted hours of work that you have to commit to but you might not need to stay so late or take the work home with you.
- Think about your support circle
Who can help you carve out more time to move forward with your aspirations? Can a family member do the nursery drop-off or can you share school runs with another parent? Or can a friend act as an accountability partner to keep you in check and ensure that you make time for yourself? Are the people around you draining you of time with their own problems rather than having two-way relationships of support? Spending more time with the people who build you up and energise you can help get you on the right track to achieving your goals.
Sorry, this is a bit middle class, but if you’re spending all your time cleaning rather than updating your CV or working on your business plan then maybe considering employing a cleaner would be a helpful step. Equally if you feel uncomfortable about asking for help with school drop offs, considering your childcare options may help give you a little extra time to pursue your goals. It’s not always financially viable but it may be useful to see it as an investment to free you up to develop your career and ultimately make more money for your household.
- Lower your expectations
What?! She’s a coach, isn’t she supposed to tell you that you can do anything if you follow your dreams?! I’m also a mum and I know what it’s like to juggle family and work life and try to find time for me at the end of the day. If you want to go to the gym five times a week but are also dropping kids to clubs, taking your work home with you and cooking all your food from scratch, then you might want to consider how realistic you’re being. Perhaps you could reach a compromise and take baby steps that will move you closer towards your goal?
- Stop watching Love Island!
Ok, so if it’s supporting your mental and emotional wellbeing and is a pillar stone of your nurturing social circles, then carry on! If you’re honest with yourself, just think what you could be doing with an hour a day when you’re watching Love Island, sharing YouTube clips of cats with cucumbers or scrolling through blogs like this without making any steps towards achieving your aspirations!
“So how do I find the time to analyse my time and actually take these steps?”, I hear you cry! Battling procrastination and having the motivation to start can be the hardest first step, especially if you're exhausted from your hectic life or lacking self-confidence. Working with a coach can help you to make yourself accountable in a safe and non-judgemental space. I aim to encourage and gently challenge you to make the difficult steps towards your goal, in a time-frame that works for you and your lifestyle.
Get in touch for a FREE introductory session to see if working with me can help you carve out the time to move you forward.
P.S. Have you joined my FREE Career Clarity for Working Parents Facebook group? It's packed full of top tips to keep you motivated and on track for moving forward in your career.