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Achieve Better Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur

We all wish there was a magic button we could push to give us an extra twelve (or more) hours each day, but until that button appears, we're on our own when it comes to balancing life as mom entrepreneurs.


While there's no magic button, there are a few things you can start doing right now that will give you instant balancing powers and help you better manage your time.


1. Hook some healthy habits.


Think of one thing you need to do daily to ensure a successful, productive day. It could be clearing your e-mail inbox, reading a book to your child, starting a load of laundry or exercising. Now choose something you already do daily, like having a cup of coffee or brushing your teeth, and "hook" the new habit to the existing habit. As soon as you're finished brushing your teeth, clear your inbox. While you're having your coffee, sit down and read a book with your child.


This strategy is a great way to incorporate new habits into your life and ensure you're ending each day feeling good about what you've accomplished.


2. Plan and prepare.


While you're thinking of healthy habits to "hook," you might want to consider some quiet planning time. In a world where it's go-go-go, it can feel like a waste of time to sit and think, but it's essential. In fact, most successful people spend at least ten hours a week just thinking!


Every evening, take 5-10 minutes (or more, if you have it) and make a game plan for the next day. Decide on the top three things you want to accomplish; it'll be hard to narrow them down, but this will allow you to hone your focus and not feel like you have a million different to-do's swirling through your brain at any given moment. You can always come back and pick another three later on once you've completed the first trio.


3. Review and reflect.


You know that ten-hours-a-week number? Well, it's not just for planning: Successful people also take time to review and reflect. In his book Thinking for a Change, leadership guru John C. Maxwell said, "Reflective thinking turns experience into insight." If you feel like you're spinning your wheels every day, it's time to stop and think: What's going on? What isn't working and why isn't it working?


Think of your life as an experiment: Your hypothesis is that you can be a mom and an entrepreneur. But you have a lot of variables -- some you can control, and some you can't. Your goal is to adjust the variables you can control until you achieve the desired result. Like any good scientist, that means taking notes and doing research. At the end of each day, ask yourself what went well and why, as well as what didn't go well and why. Then, you can use what you've learned from what did go well to fix the things that didn't.

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