I recently gave up a great job because it wasn’t a good fit for my family’s needs. I am a single mom to two little ones, and every time they got sick, I couldn’t take them to daycare. I had nowhere to turn and no one to help me out on short notice. Plus, I struggled to make various doctors appointments and other events. Most importantly, I felt like I was missing life! So, I took the plunge to quit my job and be completely self-employed. I had been working from home quite a bit on multiple business ideas, and they were slowly growing, but I decided now was the time! I haven’t had a job in two months, but my business goals are sustaining us and growing quickly now that I’ve made my part-time dream a full-time reality.
There’s Not Enough Time: . . . and other lies we tell ourselves.
I love that I can stay home with my kids when they get sick without worrying about losing my job or losing pay. I love that I can live my life during the day time and work on my own terms at night. I have so much more freedom! But…I also have stress. Starting a business takes devotion and I have three great ideas in the fire right now. Plus, I’m still the only parent and breadwinner. I’m the housekeeper, the pet caretaker, the driver, the cook and more. So, I’m super busy, and it’s important that I get things done without procrastinating. It’s a struggle to balance my time and make the most of it.
Lately, I’ve been trying new ways to work everything in each day and still have time to relax at the end. It’s working well! I usually have a long to-do list, and I check off the things I get done. But, the to-do list is always growing with new things to replace what I get done.
So…I have a new idea to help stay encouraged! At the end of the day, I am taking the time to list what I DID get done. No more stressing about only what didn’t get done, but also taking the time to appreciate what did. As I look at my list, I think “wow,” I really did well today, and it inspires me for the next day. It is a good way to keep a clear view of what I’m accomplishing and how I’m getting ahead. It keeps me from getting down in the dumps thinking about how I “failed” for the day.
This sort of reminds me of one of financial adviser Dave Ramsey’s tools. He recommends that people pay off their smaller bills first, so they can gain a feeling of accomplishment at being able to see their progress. A lot of financial advisers say to pay off your bills in order of highest interest rate, so you save money on interest, but Ramsey claims it’s more important to get the joy of watching your progress as you cut out the bills. I think there’s something to that. It’s easy to lose hope and give up a bit when you aren’t seeing clear rewards.
Much in the same way, you can give yourself a pat on the back by reminding yourself what good things you’ve accomplished each day…which motivates you to keep going the next day. At least it’s working for me! It’s always more positive and inspirational to focus on the pros instead of the cons. Even if you don’t actually write down what you did, just take a moment to think it over in your head. For example, I did some major house cleaning this weekend–not just the regular things, but little details as well. At the end of the day, I looked around, thought about everything I did, and felt really good about my progress. It reminded me that, even though I am super busy, I CAN do this! I can do all of my “work” work and all of my house work and all of my mom work. And, I can end my day with a sense of achievement.