Guest Blog Post – Ellen Huxtable

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Does it ever seem to you that life, both at home and with your business, is running faster than ever? Weeks, months, school semesters and years fly by, and before you know it, the kids are a foot taller and your “to do” list has items left over from last year.  We all want to squeeze as much as possible into a day, while keeping sane and actually finding time to enjoy life.  So how do we accomplish the impossible?  Here are five ideas:

1. Budget time like you budget money. You have a fixed amount of time every day. Find how to use it most wisely. Evaluate the things on your plate, and recognize that to add something new, something already on the plate must go. What personal activities aren’t satisfying? What business activities really aren’t returning a profit on the bottom line? It’s easy to do the business activities we think are fun, but the bottom line is the bottom line.

2. Multitask in new ways. Virtually everyone today multitasks; for better or worse, it is the norm for life today. But as a business owner and family member, you have the opportunity to use family time for business as well.  If your kids are involved in extracurricular activities, use the opportunity to meet other parents and find out what they do.  You might be very surprised at the outstanding business contacts you can make easily when you have T-ball players on the same team.

3. While waiting in the car to pickup your kids, use the time productively.  Two alternatives – take thank you cards and stamps and do handwritten thank you notes, or be decadent and close your eyes for a few minutes and do nothing.

4. Blend your work trips and family errands. Pick up the  cleaning on the way to a client appointment or buy groceries on the way back from a networking meeting. Just don’t buy ice cream in the summer if you’re headed for a half day seminar.

5. Be good to yourself. Sometimes, indulge in a springtime walk in the park or curl up with a great book that has nothing to do with work.

One challenge of business today is that for many of us, there is no such thing as downtime. The age of the nine to five job, family dinners together every night followed by an hour or two with everyone watching television together until bedtime is ancient history. We’re running in dozens of directions, almost constantly, and juggling soccer and dance and charity and softball and baseball and networking events from before dawn until well after dark.  We need to schedule downtime into our lives, to truly appreciate the hundred and one wonderful things we’re doing every day. Take the time to stop, breathe, and appreciate life. It is truly wonderful, when we pause to enjoy it!

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