As a former MD of an advertising agency, Suzanne Acteson lived on planes. Even when her boys were tiny, Suzanne travelled for work, spending a day every week flying domestically to visit clients, and often had her blinders on. She has spent the last four years finding ways to simplify her and her family’s busy life, so she can focus on what is most important to her.
We can all achieve great things in business and with our careers, and it doesn’t have to be at the sacrifice of spending enough quality time with our kids. We need to simplify life.
Most recently, my busy life as an entrepreneur has meant I’ve had to reprioritise what’s important and simplify many aspects of my life. I’m teaching others to do the same: to help them find more space in their homes, schedules and minds to do the things they love and that matter most.
Easy ways you can start to simplify life:
- Learning to say ‘no’—Looking at your weekly schedule is a key place to start simplifying. Being super selective about what you commit to can help you feel less stretched and give you more time to spend time with your kids, husband or yourself. Learning to say ‘no’ to too many work activities will help you enormously. Gain a little more control of what you take on.
- Car-pooling—Are there any car-pooling opportunities with other parents whose children also go to soccer, dance or footy in the evening? If you can share the pick-ups and drop offs, this can potentially free up one to two hours in a night!
- Seize opportunities to squeeze in ‘me’ time—While the kids do their activity, you can go for a walk, listen to a cup-filling podcast or read a book. Don’t just sit in the car and scroll!
- While waiting, stop—When you’re waiting for something in the kitchen, for something to load on your computer, for the kids at the door in the morning: stop, close your eyes and breath. This really helps. During the day, try this ten times for one to two minutes and you’ll notice you reset each time. Instead of scrolling on your phone while you wait (energy zapping!), you’re actually fuelling your brain and body instead. It takes practice but it will become a habit before long.
- Schedule—It’s so important to schedule in time with yourself to do the things you love. What really makes you feel good? What makes you happy and joyful? These are the things we need to schedule in and make sure we are doing each week. I actually schedule in my walks, baking (yes this relaxes me!) and writing. In my diary I schedule in 30 or 60 minutes for these things at least three times a week so that I make sure they happen. If it’s a super crazy week, then they come in five or ten minute increments, but they are in the diary otherwise they don’t happen!
So, the tips above all have to do with your time and your schedule, and are ways of simplifying and focusing on what’s important to you. Simplifying is also super impactful when done in the home and the mind. Many working and non-working mums tell me they are overwhelmed and stressed with the juggle of it all, that they want to declutter their homes and schedules, but often don’t know where to start. Start by implementing some or all of the tips above.
Written by Suzanne Acteson, Director of Habitots. Suzanne loves working with busy mums to help them find their ‘calm’, feel lighter and less stressed. You can check her out on Instagram @habitots. Clearing away the physical and mental clutter is an effective way to do this and has changed her life in so many ways. Suzanne’s ‘Simply Living’ online course – learn to live with less but DREAM BIG…is changing lives.