When I first started Mockingbird Studio of Voice, I knew I needed to create an efficient schedule for myself. The flexibility of creating my own schedule is great, and as a parent it is invaluable. However, for those of you who know me well- a crazy organizer in love with highlighters and calendars to a fault (That’s good for business, might I add!), I knew I needed to create a set schedule very quickly. Many new teachers will bend their schedules to accommodate prospective students, but I am unable to do that. For me, that requires more (money for babysitters!) time away from home. I set myself three very long days of teaching and one day as a “work day”. This work day is used for scheduling meetings, fitting in that doctor’s appointment that I can’t seem to get to any other time, and lesson planning and prepping.
So, my schedule was set, and it was great. Except that, as you can imagine, running a business requires a ton of time. A ton of time that did not fit into my Monday work day when I had meetings and appointments already scheduled. With a business comes… emails. SO many emails. To grow your business you really must respond in a timely manner and provide quality service. I found myself spending too much family time responding to work. In an age where smart phones are accessible and almost necessary, emails pop up right in your pocket! An email pops up, and responding immediately, I would miss the cool trick my four year old daughter was showing me at the park. Or worse yet, we miss going to the park all together because something comes up, I got distracted and lost track of time.
I knew right away that something had to change. So what change could I make? Where could I come up with this extra time? I tried to stay up to work at night, after Emerlyn went to bed at 8:30pm, but as many parents can commiserate, I was just too tired to be productive that late. So the other option…wake up early. I started getting up at 6am to get an hour or so or work done before Emers woke up. At first this was hard; It was dark and quiet and I just wanted to keep sleeping. However, very quickly I realized how awesome having this time of day to myself is!
Not only did I become ok with having to get up early, but I started to WANT to get up early. Even on my days “off”, I get up to have this time to wake up slowly. I have a little routine that I sincerely look forward to (I am a creature of habit for sure). I do this thing with the coffee that I call my “secret cup of coffee”. I turn on the coffee pot and when it’s about 1/4 full, I pour all that in to my favorite coffee mug before the rest of the pot finishes brewing. It makes this one truly amazing, super bold cup of coffee (I know that I am a little crazy when it comes to coffee), and I get to enjoy this cup of coffee all by myself, in my sweats, sitting in the dark, (and most importantly) quiet house.
This is truly my ME time. I love it. I need it. It makes me a happier, healthier person, and because of this, I can be a better mother and wife. Even while working, because I truly enjoy what I am doing, I can still wake up slowly, sipping my not-so-secret-anymore-cup-of-coffee, enjoying the time alone, uninterrupted and productive. Since I am already awake and content, I get excited to see Emers wake up, immediately ready to talk… so much. When my wife is home, I get to take her a cup of coffee in bed and we can enjoy a minute of calm before we get going for the day. I feel productive so early in the morning which allows me to take a breath and enjoy a little more of the day. This hour in the morning has changed my life!
So, what changes can you make in your life to benefit your health, your happiness, or others around you?
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