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.
I'm Reina of Reina + Co and I run a life + biz success coaching practice for ambitious, creative boss ladies who have a million great ideas that they can’t seem to make happen. I help them stop spinning their wheels and take action on what’s most important so they become the go-to expert in their field.
What are your main daily responsibilities?
Coaching. Being a mom. Taking care of back of the house admin work. Cooking. Walking my dog. Being a good wife. Keeping the household and my life organized!
What time does your typical day start?
7am. I LOVE my sleep!
Take us through your typical day.
I wake up (probably last) as my husband brings my kiddo to bed to wake me up. He's really happy and cheerful so it's a delight to be woken up by his giggles. I get up and get him fed and dressed for school (daycare), which I love. We have a routine of looking out of his window to look for buses as I get him dressed. Hearing him say "Bussssss" and giggle is one of my favorite sounds in the entire world! I brew my coffee as the boys (my husband and kiddo) are eating.
Once they leave for school and work, I start my morning routine. I enjoy my coffee and text a few people I'm thinking about to send them words of encouragement. I sit down to do my exercise called "Grateful Heart" which is a 3 minute brain dump exercise of what I'm grateful for. It's a lot of scribbles and chaos on a sheet of paper and some of it is repeated every day but I write it down anyway so I don't take anything for granted. I take a shower and get dressed and put my make up on. This is my "I'm going to work" routine.
By 9:30, I'm at my computer, doing a quick scan of my schedule that I wrote up last night, quickly checking my email and seeing if there is anything urgent. I'll take a quick peek at my social media. From 10-5 is coaching and meeting time on Tuesday-Thursday. I have scheduled a half-hour break for myself to recharge and eat lunch. A coach has to take care of herself or she can't coach well to take care of her clients! I've implemented more "rules" into my schedule. I know I can't serve EVERYBODY and I can't be there all the time so I use Acuity (my scheduling tool) to be the mean guy for me and set some solid boundaries!
If I get a break during my day, I take my pup for a few walks. It's nice to get out and in the fresh air. It helps to clear my head and it reminds me of how grateful I am to not have to be stuck at a desk at work, far away from my home.
At 5pm, I stop all my calls and wrap up any emails or last minute things I need to do before I pick up my babe at 5:30-5:45pm.
Dinner is quick or is in the crock pot. I like to have things prepped and planned earlier so that I can whip up a nutritious meal every night. When that doesn't happen, Trader Joes' frozen section is my hero.
We play with the kiddo and pup in the evening until the bath time and bedtime routine start for him around 7:20. One of my favorite thing to do is to snuggle with him and read a few books right before he goes to sleep. It's everything I wished for when I dreamed about having a baby.
After he goes down, I have free time to either a) work or b) relax. If I choose to work, it's on projects that are exciting and require a bit of creativity. It's a boundary that I put on myself and allow myself to enjoy being in my business. If it wasn't fun, I don't do it in the evening. I don't watch TV (we cut the cord a while ago) and so I typically read. I have a stack of about 10 books I could be reading right now!
Before I brush my teeth, I sit down with my planner to transcribe what my next day looks like (Sunrise iphone app to my She Plans To Do List planner) so I know exactly what my schedule looks like. In the open times (if I have any) I'll write down my priorities and schedule them out. I also schedule out necessary self-care time to go to yoga, just sit down and relax with no guilt, to go to a coffee shop just because. If it's in my schedule, it's an appointment with myself and I'm not allowed to feel guilty for "wasting time" which has helped manage my anxiety!
What do you wish you had more time for?
Reading (fiction and business development books). Yoga. Taking time off to play hookie with girlfriends who have 9-5 jobs. Take a "daytime" date with my hubby. SLEEP (being a business owner who loves her work and a mom to a toddler with some sleep regression makes sleep unpredictable!) It's not a wish really. I just want to get to the point where I make these things a priority. :)
What is one thing you always make time for?
My grateful heart exercise every morning. My shower and "get ready for work" routine.
How do you manage your schedule?
My She Plans To Do List Planner. A paper planner is my compass.
How do you find the balance between work and home?
It's not a balance. It's standing on a big yoga ball, juggling 6 balls all at the same time! I say what each chunk of time should be dedicated to, tell myself what hat I'm wearing. Making sure that the boundaries are really clear! From the time I pick up my kiddo until 8pm is family time. From 8-10pm is ME time. If I am clear about my time and my hours, it's really the best way I've found to be the best mom.
What brings you joy in your day to day life?
My son's giggles and unprompted hugs! All the things that I get to write down every day in my Grateful Heart exercise!!
Tell us one thing that you have learned about managing a busy life.
It's not perfect. Unpredictable things happen and you give yourself the grace of being okay with an imperfect day.
What is one piece of advice you would give readers about managing their own schedule?
Sit down the night before to look at your day. If you're on top of your next day, you know what NEEDS to be done. Don't feel guilt for looking at social media but know how you can get sucked in. Chunk out time for the priorities in your day. If you don't know where they fit into your schedule, they won't actually get done. (sorry that was more than one!)
Follow along with Reina
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!