Last year, I wrote a post about how I schedule my work week and how I get it all done as a stay at home mom of a toddler and business owner of a growing, thriving business. The response was overwhelming, and I quickly realized how many of you needed guidance for creating your own schedule and finding balance between work and life. I realized that we all want a glimpse of how others are making it work so we can better structure our own lives.
Because of this, I was inspired to start this series featuring other busy women and business owners sharing how they manage their schedules and work towards work/life balance. My hope in everything I do is that we can make our lives less busy and more intentional so that we find more room for joy. I hope that this series will inspire you in your own life and help you find just the right combination of work and play so you can make it happen too.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business or work.
My name is Gina Zeidler and I am a photographer, a momma and wife, a mentor, a encourager and connector that lives in Minneapolis, MN. I cherish all of these roles above being I love serving others through the gifts and avenues I have been given.
I also have a huge heart for other creatives through speaking and mentoring sessions. Encouraging others through sharing real life is where it's at for me. Because through our messy, HOPE LIFE and Jesus shines through and through. I also have a a nerdy obsession with Chia seed pudding, group fitness workout classes and laughing till you ALMOST pee your pants ;)
Take us through your typical day and your main daily responsibilities.
Being a photographer and mentor every day looks different. I photograph a range of events from weddings to newborns so some of my work is very scheduled, yet newborn sessions for example can never be set in stone as we never know when babies decide to arrive! I love this part of my job but it also drives me a little crazy as nothing can truly be routine!
I have my son at home and I run my business full time. While having fun chasing a toddler, I also really work hard to care and love my clients and people I serve in my business. Every day I am emailing, editing, prepping for mentor or client calls or at least checking in at nap times and after bedtime. I have a couple hours of childcare two days a week, and that is typically when I fit in my sessions Otherwise when my husband arrives if I have some projects pending he will take our son or I will head to Starbucks for hard uninterrupted time.
What do you wish you had more time for?
I wish we had more time for date nights! This is something we are trying to get better at but we are currently going through some pretty intense separation anxiety, so it's hard to find someone to put our son to sleep or naps.
What is one thing you always make time for?
Friends in need. I will always help or chat with a friend who need prayer or advice almost to a fault. (Darn Facebook groups, I love and hate you :)) One thing I always SHOULD make time for is time in the WORD. This will never come back empty and it will definitely prepare my heart for the day above.
How do you manage your schedule?
Since every week looks different it's KEY that I have a Calendar review or touchdown before the next week. I write out my calendar in the weekly Emily Ley Simplified Planner and then identify the things that I need to figure out or touch base on to make the week go smoothly. Whether that is meals or what not. This planner sits out on our kitchen counter for the week!
I use iCal for most everything else.
How do you find the balance between work and home?
To be honest, I may or may not have outlawed the word balanced in my vocabulary. I believe being a mother and business is all about slowly but surely, learning to ride the rhythms of your current season in work and at home. Finding your feet each day, often each step at a time. Some days it's graceful and you literally dance through your tasks & other days you resemble the game of twister, feeling entangled, turned around and upside down.
Some days I have one foot in mothering, one in being a wife. Other days days I have two feet in my business & encouraging others. Some days it's two feet into grocery shopping and toddler wrangling. It's all about having your heart in the right place to take on what is ahead, because we are managing people both in work and at home!
Tell us one thing that you have learned about managing a busy life.
That being "busy" isn't a worthy excuse. We only have one life. We often act like we will live forever, but our days our numbered. Our children will be grown before we know it and I need to remind myself that more often than not when I am so worried about getting in front of that computer.
What is one piece of advice you would give readers about managing their own schedule?
I would encourage you to have intentional work time and then intentional "play or rest" time. Meaning not just scrolling your phone or email, but work hard for 30 minutes and then STEP AWAY from the computer or phone in every down moment. When I do this I feel most satisfied with my time spent, instead of not really focusing fully on either. Setting timers here REALLY helps me get motivated!
Follow along with Gina
If you are interested in contributing to this series, or know of someone you would like to see featured, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!