Gemma’s the boss. But no ordinary boss, she’s our boss here at MyFamilyClub. She’s very ambitious and often bites off a little more than she can chew. That’s why we nominated her for a Time Makeover from our super coach and time management expert Michael Heppell.
I talked to Gemma a month after the launch of MyFamilyClub, two days after buying a new house and few weeks before Christmas. She really knows how to take a lot on!
Like many professional mums, she struggles with getting the balance between looking after her family financially and giving them enough precious mum and partner time. Throw into the mix a two hour commute and an obsession for things to be perfect and you can see why she gets a little anxious about her time.
I’ve worked with dozens of people like Gemma over the years and I know there’s one thing they really appreciate – direct advice. So, with that in mind, I cut straight to the chase and gave Gemma a five point plan.
1. Park Perfect
Things don’t have to be perfect and actually they never will. Fretting about making sure the kids bedrooms are decorated before you move into your new home is only a priority for you. And certainly not one for the kids. Make the move the adventure not having the perfect bedroom.
2. Create a “Read” file
Any articles, papers, proposals etc. should be placed into a strong brightly coloured folder with the words Read File in big letters on the front. This is far more convenient than a brief case full of bumf, and perfect to catch up on during that commute. Remember you don’t have to take the whole magazine – just rip out the pages that you want to read.
3. Ask for more help
Strong professional mums want to show how well they are coping and don’t like to ask for too much help. However, a four year old can set the table and make his bed. A husband can make an extra trip to the shops. Just ask! A great way to do this is to use the magic words, “I need your help”.
4. Learn how to say no
This is a challenging one. Gemma’s team ask if she has minute and immediately she’ll say, “Yes, how can I help?” The challenge with this is that it saps Gemma’s time. It’s never really a minute, that’s just the line which disguises, “I’m about to sap 30 minutes of your valuable time!” However, few people like to say “no”. I suggested Gemma learns some new phrases such as “Thanks for asking, could it wait an hour or so?” and “Hi, yes I would love to help. Can we make it [checks diary] around three?” By doing this you’ll be amazed at how many people didn’t really need that “minute”.
5. Use Time Speak
Because Gemma finds herself chasing time, minutes and hours tend to merge and lose value. So saying to the kids you have ten minutes to tidy up means nothing. I suggested she values every minute and replaces general statements with things like, “OK, you have seven minutes to tidy up” and “I’ll meet you at 12.26 in the conference room.”
Finally, as a bonus, I suggested Gemma needed to refocus on herself. Launching a major new website, being a brilliant mum and moving house as individual projects are huge; combining all three is massive. Bosses need a bit of “me time”, house movers need some “me time” and mums especially need a healthy dose of “me time”!
Do you feel pulled in too many directions, and feel you never have the time to properly dedicate to your family, work or personal life? We can arrange for Michael Heppell to take a look into the mechanics of your days and build your own personalised tips. For a free Time Makeover, simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you need this Makeover!
Michael Heppell is a “success coach”, and an expert in organisation and time management. With a style described as “shot-gunning a bucket of espresso”, Michael works with individuals, multi-national corporations and everything in between. His books – the most recent of which is How To Save An Hour Every Day – have been translated into 18 languages.