work from home mums

Time Tracking For Success.

08 07 2016

So, you might remember, I learned a little lesson a few weeks back.  I had a lightbulb moment and set new intentions.  (You can read the post here)

Yep, well, old habits die hard it would seem.

know my priorities.  Being the avid goal-setter I am, I know what tasks I should be doing to ‘move the needle’ and get me closer to them.  But knowing them and doing them are totally different.  I know to achieve the toned tummy I’m going to need to build the muscle, almost daily.  Do I do it?  Nope.

I’d like to say my new intentions slipped because of some worthy cause but, the truth is, I know it was a few bad habits to blame.  The biggest of all is procrastination. 

John C Maxwell, known as one of the greatest thought leaders in management, said “the secret of success comes down to your daily agenda.”  He believed if he were to spend 24 hours with someone, following them through their typical day, he’d be able to predict where their life was headed.    He says:

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.”

(Abs, we’re on.)

So, with that in mind, it’s time for a bit of a reality check.  If, like me, you get to the end of a day and wonder exactly what you did with your time, then this is for you.  If you’re making little (or no) progress in achieving something that’s been on your goal list forever, this is for you.  Or, if you know things are just out of balance and you’re ready to make a change, this is for you.

It’s so simple to do, but so powerful.

Record and Review.

To see where your time is going, you’re going to have to get it down on paper (or digitally, if that’s your thing).  Don’t rely on your memory.  Track it.

I’ve created a tracking tool you can download here.  The magic is in ‘coding’ your tasks into priorities.  It will give you a great picture over 24 hours (just like Sir Maxwell suggested).  My suggestion is to do it for a week to get a great record of ‘normal life’.

But… that’s ‘normal life’.  In your normal life are you achieving what your heart desires?  Are you living the life you want to?  What kind of future are your daily habits creating?

I find this is a powerful first step in making a change.  You need to know where you are, what your starting point is.  Then you’re so much clearer on what needs to change to start shifting you towards a new direction.

Download the Time Tracker For Success cheat sheet here.  And I’d love to see your results – what did you learn after day one?

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The Time Management Lesson I Learned From My Sick Bed

07 24 2016

Stuff happens, eh!  I had exciting plans for the week, and the English summer finally arrived… and then I came down with a chest infection and felt rotten.  Those sunny-day plans went out of the window.

With two little ones there are no ‘sick days’ as a buffer.  I powered on (albeit in low-gear!) taking care of the essentials – all fed, watered and entertained.  Same hours in the day but the priority was very different…

And here came my lightbulb moment.

Outside of caring for the boys, my priority was rest and repair.  I culled my planned-out week.  Tasks, chores, outings HAD to be cancelled or postponed.  Getting back on my feet was the aim of the game so (when I could) I slept, I watched movies, I ate better, I had bubble baths.  I was generally a lot kinder to myself than usual.

A typical week would have these ‘indulgent’ things way down the pecking order.  The tasks, chores, errands would come first.

But could I get the best of both?

With a bit of time management, hey?!  Or, how about this, how about a bit of purpose management. 

See, we can’t actually do anything about time.  It’s a definitive – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Always has been, always will.  (I’ve heard this so many times but it’s never quite hit home.)  So if I’m managing my purpose with the time I’ve got rather than robbing hours here and there (yet often feel I’m running half an hour late for my life!), maybe I’ll start making time for the things that count.

And yes, my own health and wellbeing count.  Yours too.  But I’d bet my bottom dollar it’s not reflected in how you currently manage your time. 

So, how about if you manage your purpose rather than your time?  What is it you’re wanting?  How do you want to live?  And love?  And feel?

If you were to take obligations out of the picture for a moment, just imagine what you would purposely choose to do with your time.

So, Sunday night is the night of my ‘weekly review’.  As I go through my usual routine (planner, calendar and a glass of wine all essential!), I’ll be looking at my week with fresh eyes.  And I encourage you to too.

Let me hear what you think.  What would this week look like if you started with purpose first?

To a week that sparkles (with purpose!), Emma x

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category: Design a business that sparkles, Design a life that sparkles, Uncategorized

Get your FREE 2015 goal planner

01 09 2015








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Designing healthy beginnings: Interview with Nichi Keuchle

04 03 2014

Nichi Keuchle is the entrepreneurial mum behind MyHealthyBeginning.com – where Nichi’s work gives children the best start in life by nurturing, empowering and supporting their mums through coaching, doula services, childbirth education and nutrition response testing.  She’s on a mission to create wellness one family at a time.  Nichi is the creator of the amazing Cheap Easy Healthy Eating System, a simple at-home programme that shows mums how to feed their families on whole food, organic meals while saving time and grocery money.  It’s safe to say it’s a labour of love for Nichi whose experience spans back to her nannying days in high school…  As well as running her business from Minneapolis, she is busy wife and mum to two daughters.

I’d love for you to tell us a bit about your story.  Why did you choose to start your own business?  What was your motivation?  

If I cut to the chase, what really got me started in the health and wellness field is from developing an ulcer at the age of 16 within 6 months of my mom’s cancer diagnosis.  It was one of the most stressful experiences of my life, working 30 hours a week in the afternoon, evenings and weekends while supporting my dad in caring for my younger siblings at the time.  

My mom was caring for her health, my dad keeping everything afloat and I had to really step it up.  I took myself to the doctor, filled the prescription, felt worse being on Zantac and so I focused on the foods that made my stomach hurt and removed them knowing if I wasn’t down with a bellyache, I could still function.  Very shortly after I had to step down from the high school gymnastics team I was on because of the pain that was left over.  Then I removed more foods.  You have to understand that at the time I wasn’t removing food groups, I just stopped drinking soda, then eating pizza, then eating spaghetti, then eating ground beef, then eating candy, and it just stuck with me.  The more I managed my food intake the more I was able to manage my health, and I knew it seemed like some secret.  

How did you go from the initial business idea to “open for business” – what steps did you take to get started?

I’ve been in business for 16 years, though much of it was quite hobby-like.  It really wasn’t until three years ago that I really got my act together.  Initially I was a nationally certified massage therapist, then, because I’m a lifelong learner, I began to add certifications and courses to keep up with my changing interests.  Not only did that keep me from feeling or getting bored, I was in a constant state of expansion, mostly doing what I loved until I came up with what I wanted to do next!  

Back then I didn’t have a coach, I didn’t have the tools and technology I have now.  It was all word of mouth and was going “fine”.  Three years ago I realised that “fine” wasn’t paying the bills and no longer cut it.

How does this work alongside your role as a mum of two?  With so much on your plate, it would be great to know how you manage “the juggle”.

I really batch my time and believe me, we have our moments.  Just the other day our 6 year old mailed me a letter from school, an assignment every child was given to write a letter expressing where they wanted help, telling me it makes her feel badly when I don’t listen to her.  It broke my heart.  We are together all the time outside of her school time, she’s like my sidekick and it made me so aware of the fact that I’m not present!  

The world of possibility in my little babe’s eyes, though, gave us such access to how we can support her needs, how we can feel more listened to as parents and what we created was this concrete agreement to really LOOK at each other when we are being spoken to.  It’s the little things.

My husband is awesome.  He’s super supportive and willing to help with our girls when I need it.  I do a lot of leadership development work so I’m gone an extra night per week and he pulls the weight beautifully.  We’ve gotten to this cool place of my success is his and his is mine – that can be everything from being with our girls to feeding them good food to taking the time we need to put into our businesses.  He’s self employed as well so sometimes this means more flex time as a family and sometimes we go days without seeing him except at bedtime.

For me, self care is my number one priority.  I am a train wreck if I don’t take good care of myself.  It’s an everyday thing for me.  I read, exercise, and focus on nutrition every single day.  Using practices such as Higher Brain Living, acupuncture, homeopathy, and bodywork are really helpful in getting the downtime I need.  Sleep has never been as big for me as in the past couple of years, so that’s become more of a focus as well.

…and don’t get me wrong.  I have my days where success simply means everyone is fed and alive!

What is your vision or goal for the future??

I get to declare it here!  Right now I’m working on a fun project to bring about a kids cooking show.  My nutrition practice is a three days per week so I currently use my other two days as a launch pad for my Cheap Easy Healthy Eating System.  

What 3 tips can you give to mums who want to establish the right diet and eating habits with their young family?

  • If you can find out early on if your kids have food intolerances, you save a lot of time dealing with the immune challenges and issues that come up later.  
  • Find that out first – I don’t mean just allergy testing.  Find someone who tests specifically for sensitivities and intolerances and then plan your eating around the person with the most items needing to be eliminated and build back up from there.  
  • Figure out what you spend most of your grocery budget on and find resources that support you in cutting that down, not what you’re eating so much as what you’re spending.  In my Cheap Easy Healthy Eating System we go over all of this in depth, especially when most families are coming from the SAD (Standard American Diet) which consists of breads, bagels, pasta and little to no variety or colour.  It’s all about baby steps and getting mums to feel confident and empowered about the choices they are making.  A mum’s choices are never bad when they are coming from a place where she’s working with all she knows.  I meet her where she’s at and go from there.  There’s a way to save money and time in nearly every scenario.

What have been (or still are) your biggest challenges/fears re: being a working mum, and how did you overcome them?

My biggest hurdle to date was working with a mentor three years ago who ended up being a fraud.  I ended up with a total loss of $30,000 along with really seeing that our marriage wasn’t working, I had my head buried in the sand, my ego all blown up and was in denial about so much of my life.  It was the scariest time of my life.  My thoughts were everywhere from “how are we going to feed our kids” to “how can I work if we can’t afford childcare?” to figuring out how to answer the kids without lying to them when they asked to go for ice cream or to the bookstore or something that required even a few bucks to make happen.  

Awful, awful, awful.  I already felt guilty for being a working mum when all I wanted was to stay home and raise these babies of mine.  That’s when I started personal/leadership development work.  I got to work on this like it was my job.  Learning about my level of self worth, how I listened to myself and what I made things from my past mean about where I was/wasn’t taking my life-talk about a transforming experience.  It’s ongoing.  I can’t put it down.  

When I look at the number of blocks, mostly around money, that I’ve moved out of the way and relationships I’ve healed, I have no idea where the energy came from to Just. Keep. Going.  There were about nine months in there that I hardly remember, the hurt was just so deep.

What’s really worked is to create our family as a team – to create an intense and intimate partnership with my husband, which didn’t just happen automatically, folks, that was a toughie.  Everywhere I can in my work I bring our girls into my “team”.  When they see “our” work as a purpose and something that brings about change and meaning to people’s lives, they feel proud of what we’re up to and are more willing to give me the time I need to finish a project or be with a client.  I can now be more present with them because there are set ways of being.

What makes your life sparkle?

These days, my marriage.  Those moments when my husband and I are laying on the couch with the girls in their “nests” with the dog on the floor and I’m reading aloud while he dozes and they play with beeswax.  That’s where it’s at these days.  Just so simple.

I also love a good, solid 24-hour work retreat.  People think I’m crazy, but it ranks up there as a total favorite of mine.  I drive about 45 minutes from my house to this little retreat farm, pay my $60 for the stay and a couple of homemade meals, another $60 for a massage.  I settle into my hermitage, open my laptop and tackle whatever project is looming.  I step aside to read for fun or go for a walk or snowshoe, depending upon the season, and go to bed early or lay down for a quick nap if I feel the urge. And, most importantly, I return feeling recharged and renewed with stress off my shoulders because I was able to really be focused and undisturbed.

 

What is the one big challenge you face when it comes to designing healthy-eating plans for your family?  What one thing can you try to change this week?  Check out Nichi’s website for ideas…

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Featured on: Mumpreneur UK

03 27 2014

I’m excited to feature on Mumpreneur UK where I’m sharing my thoughts on ditching the masculine business plan.

In this post, I share:

– How my desire for freedom influences business basics

– Why a business plan gathers dust

– My tips for writing a business plan with heart/

You can read the full post on Mumpreneur UK HERE

IMAGE SOURCE: {1}

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Secrets of my Success: Magazine editor and blogger Alison Perry

03 06 2014

It’s a first today as the Secrets of my Success interview with Alison Perry is my first video interview…

Alison is a magazine editor and writes the award-winning NotAnotherMummyBlog.com.  As well as being the driving force behind a magazine, she’s also featured in magazines herself such as Grazia and Mother & Baby, she has appeared on Lorraine’s sofa and she’s been a guest speaker at Mumsnet bloggers conference.  AND, last but by no means least, she is mummy to a gorgeous 3-year old daugher.

Alison shares:

  • What inspired her to start her own blog
  • How she manages the juggle of having a professional career, a blog and a 3-year old daughter
  • How she is motivated by ‘moments of gratification’ rather than big goals
  • An introduction to “phubbing”
  • What she believes is the secret to her success

Now it’s over to you.  What opportunities can you say YES to today?  Share with us in the Comments below…

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Nesting for business and a baby... with a success mindset

03 02 2014

Our house has been upside down this past week.  We’ve been emptying and decorating our spare room to make room for our new little arrival in April. The teeny baby clothes are out of storage, washed and ready for their new home. All the kit and caboodle a newborn needs has been ordered.  Nesting season has officially started.  There are 7 weeks to go and I’m getting prepared.

Among the chaos, I realised something. We’re making room in our home and our lives for something we want to happen – welcoming the new addition to our family.  We’ve got total belief that, this springtime, we’ll be a family of four.  That belief has created action in the form of a big, pre-baby to-do list for me (and mostly for my husband).

Where in your life could you do with a bit more belief?  Where should you be ‘nesting’?

Think of a goal or vision you have for your career or business.  Do you believe 100% that you WILL make it happen, that you will bring that goal into the world?  And are you ‘nesting’ for it?  Imagine when you want to have achieved this goal.  If you knew it would absolutely be a reality on that date, would you be ready for it?  If it arrived into the world a little early – like today or tomorrow – would you be ready for it?

I realised I’d been ‘putting off’ a few things in my own business as I was waiting until I’d got ‘there’, achieved my big goal.  What my little nesting frenzy taught me is that, by waiting, I was keeping that goal just out of reach.  If, instead, I had total and utter belief that it will happen I’d be doing a few things differently.  When I asked myself “if I’d achieved this goal today, would I be ready?” I couldn’t honestly answer yes.  I needed to get my house in order.  I needed to ‘nest’ for my business.

So, over to you.  Think about your goal.  Imagine it’s here now, wrapped up in a big, red bow, ready for you to start living it – are you ready?  What actions can you take now to demonstrate your total belief that it will happen?  Share with us what 1-3 actions you will take to ‘nest’ for your goal in the Comments below.

p.s. Isn’t this little set of Matroyshka dolls cute?  I found it here

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My one big learning from running a business… so far

02 16 2014

I worked in the corporate world for eleven years.  It was all I’d known of my professional life, except for a short spell of freelancing.  I was part of a team, I was managed, I was a manager.  My working life was shared with people.

Fast-forward to this evening.  I’m sat at my desk in my home office, just me and my laptop and a cup of tea.  Were it not for the company of Jake Bugg playing in the background, you could hear a pin drop.

I like to work this way.  Actually, I LOVE it.  I can spend hours happily ‘in the zone’, as my hubby calls it.  I do my best work this way.  But, it has its pitfalls and there was one biggie holding me back.

This past week I ran my first live webinar, The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.  I’d had this on my plan since last October – four months ago!! – but I kept putting it off.  It was new and daunting and well out of my comfort zone so it got shunted down the priority list, week after week.  As I mentioned recently, I’ve been working with a business coach and, during my coaching session on the 14th January, I committed to hosting the webinar less than a month later.  And guess what?  I made it happen.  And guess what else?  It wasn’t close to being as nerve-wracking as I thought.  I actually enjoyed it. 

As I treated myself to a bubble bath later that evening, I reflected on how the webinar had gone and asked myself what had stopped me doing it sooner.  The simple answer was fear.  I was worried about what people would think.  I knew my content inside and out.  I was confident that I was sharing great value with people BUT I had no-one to reassure me.  I realised that I missed the input that I would have had if I’d been part of a team.  A senior manager to make suggestions and revisions.  Peers to encourage and motivate.  And the simple truth is I was putting off facing into these fears because I could.

It’s not the first time in my career I’ve done something that pushed my limits.  In fact, it doesn’t compare to some of the fear-inducing situations I’ve faced BUT I couldn’t shy away before.  It was my job, my responsibility and I was accountable.  Bingo!  The light went off: I hadn’t been holding myself accountable.

I looked at the other non-movers on my to-do list and recognised the same pattern.  If something was new territory or a little bit scary, I was avoiding it.  With no senior bod to report to, I was letting myself avoid things.  

Decision time.  I realised I had a choice.  I could scratch the ‘scary’ things from my plans completely OR I could face them head on and see where they lead me, personally and professionally.  If you know me at all, there was no decision to be made… I’m all about overcoming the mental blocks and hurdles to design a life and business that sparkles.  So, watch this space.  In the words of the song, from now on every day I’m hustlin’

Now it’s your turn.  What are you putting off?  I’d love for you to share in the comments below what one thing you’ve been avoiding and why… AND what action you can take to make it happen. 

P.S. Don’t you just LOVE this mug by Ashley Brooke Designs in the picture?  I think I need to treat myself to this little beaut as a daily reminder…

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New mum anxiety: one year on

02 09 2014

Let me give it to you straight.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a beautiful family. I’m doing work that I LOVE. My life is full of special people who support and encourage me. I know I’m blessed.

BUT…

Even with so much to be thankful for, this time last year was a low-point.

I’d quietly been struggling with new mum anxiety since Louis’ birth, unable to share with the happy mums I was meeting, and I’d isolated myself. I was negotiating a part-time return to my pre-maternity corporate role while my confidence was at rock-bottom. I felt removed from the true me. I motored through the routine of my day-to-day and had little interest in doing anything more.

My passion is encouraging women to discover and LIVE their sparkle… yet, my own sparkle was waning.

It turns out I wasn’t alone.

I needed role models. I needed mentors to look up to. I was looking for examples of women who’d made the adjustment into motherhood yet still had an identity that was authentic to them… Their sparkle.

I decided to extend an invitation to women I admired – I asked them to share their secrets, their tips and their honest accounts of the challenges they face.  I was inspired.

I began to share some of these inspiring accounts in my Secrets of my Success series.  And I have other gems lined up for this year.  The more I shared my story with women and, in return, they shared with me, the more I realised that there were common threads. Common challenges. Common worries. Common traits of success.

So I decided to put together a free “class” where I’ll be sharing The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.

If you’d like to learn the 4 “success sappers” to avoid, as well as the success traits of these women, click HERE to register for your spot.

The details:

Tuesday 11th February @ 7.30pm GMT

RESERVE MY SPOT NOW

 

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Join me for free webinar: The 4 secrets of successful working mummies

02 04 2014

Do you feel like you’re constantly ‘spinning your wheels’?  Are you striving to be the best mummy, employee/entrepreneur, wife/partner, friend and feel like you’re failing at every turn?  Are you struggling to make peace with being a working mummy?

When you’re living with the unpredictable demands of mummy-hood, there’s no such thing as “work/life balance”.  But then feeling frazzled, out of control and guilty isn’t much fun either.

There is another option…

Join me for the live webinar The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies where I’ll be sharing:

  • The 4 sappers of your success and energy!
  • The one big reminder that you’re not on your own
  • The 4 “secrets” that successful women swear by to design a style that fits their work and family

Reserve your place —> HERE

I know how it feels when you’re spending all your time and energy striving for your ideal yet missing the mark.  I know that it can get you down!  I also know that it IS possible to create the working lifestyle you desire so you can work on your terms and nurture your family too.  I’ve been learning the secrets of some really inspirational role models and can’t wait to share their insights with you!

Join me February 11th, 2014 @ 7.30pm GMT —> CLICK HERE

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