I consider myself ridiculously successful for my age and experience level. I don't mean my experience as a massage therapist; I mean my experience in the business part of my industry. Running a business is amazing and terrifying and rewarding and frustrating and liberating and overwhelming... Being a parent on top of that, and a college student, I frequently get asked how I manage to everything done. The truth is, I don't. But I get enough done that I keep moving forward.
Everyone's experience is different but I'd like to share a few thoughts on how I manage to juggle my many responsibilities. These are the same steps I use to direct my business's growth and to help my kids with big school projects.
- Put it in writing! "If you don't have a plan, plan to fail." The old adage still has a lot of truth to it. I may not have a fully written business plan but I have written down my goals for my business, for my finances, for my personal life... By putting it in writing, I make a commitment to aim at that target.
- Figure out where you are right now. You need to know where you are now to figure out the steps to get you to your target. If you want to more family time, figure out where you are spending your time. If you want financial stability, figure out what you're actually bringing in and where you're spending it.
- Create a plan. Put your current status and your target side by side. Brainstorm on how to get from point A to point B. Follow every "what if" path you can think of before deciding what steps are the best for your objective. Once you've come up with a few ideas, write everything down. Breaking it down into small, manageable steps will make big plans less overwhelming. Consider writing things in a calendar; commit to when you'll get each thing done.
- Revisit, refocus and revise. No plan is perfect and, the bigger the plan, the more effort required. Some pieces will fall into place, others need multiple attempts to get it right. Revisit your plan to see how you're doing. Where are you now? Do you still have the same target? Refocus on what your target is and revise your plan as needed. If plan A falls through, you have already brainstormed a plan B and a plan C and a plan D... It's harder to get derailed if you have back-up plans at the ready.
- Reward yourself! Give yourself credit for what you accomplish along the way. Whether that means a day off after a big accomplishment or an extra glass of wine with dinner. Staying motivated is easier when you acknowledge your successes.
What tricks help you get things done? Share your thoughts and stories below!