Weekly Routine – How I run a business, & stay healthy & sane with little kids

Weekly Routine – How I run a business, & stay healthy & sane with little kids

A client asked me how I get things done, keep myself fit and healthy, and stay sane while being a mama of little kids and not getting much sleep…

It’s a good question, she asked me for a behind the scenes look into my schedule… So here it is!

She wanted to try and make her day start “perfectly” with yoga and a walk every morning and when her perfect morning routine didn’t happen, the whole day was thrown out and she would end up eating crap and working all day long with no break.

I organise my day in a week! Schedule by the week, not by the day

I run a rolling weekly schedule, where I make the things that I care about fit into the week in a way that works for me. You’ll see on my calendar, (which doesn’t always look this organised) that my days are different from day to day.

I usually get up at 7am each day, when the kids wake me up, if they sleep in (rarely), I sleep in too! Yay!

You might have thought that I would say that I’m up at 5am and have done a workout, meditation, and half an hour of gratitude journalling. But that’s not realistic. Those kind of full-on self-care morning routines are for people who don’t have very young kids in my opinion… If you do it and it works for you, that’s AMAZING! You’re a true super-mum. Go you! I remember when my little girl was a baby, I was lucky if I even got out of my pyjamas each day, or washed my hair once a week. Luckily I’m over that part of parenting now, and have set up systems to support me a bit better!

 

Where I never compromise is getting in my minimum standards on exercise at the gym. It’s my sanity time. At least 3 times a week.

I have a minimum number of exercise sessions to get in in a week, and I have to fit in my work around my kids sleep-times and daycare days.

I often do short 30-45 minute workouts so that I can sit in the gym reception on my laptop and get 30 mins of work done while the kids are still in the gym creche. I do the workout first, and the work second! NEVER the other way around.

 

My big Mummy Secret is that I have lots of help and I have consciously built my business so that it is leveraged, systematised and serves me and my family.

I have spent 10 years building my expertise and business to the point where I can run it on part-time hours, I have meticulously set up systems, online products and programs, remote staff, and continuously worked on my mindset to get it to this point. If you read Tim Ferris’s – 4 hour work week, those are many of the principles I have used to set my business up. There is never a time where I can only work 4 hours in a week, realistically it’s more like 20-25, regular part time hours.

I have written before about building a support team in my business and life so that I can enjoy the flexibility that I do. Of course this involves focus and dedication over time. I also employ other women part-time remotely so that my business can support other Mums to build flexible, sustainable lives.

I know that this is not realistic for many mothers who work full-time hours 9-5 as employees, or do shift-work or who run different kinds of businesses. I also have to do shopping and cook food and clean the house. I fit that in when I’m with my kids or when they are asleep like any other mother. I’m sharing my schedule now because I was asked, and certainly not to put unrealistic pressure on other mothers to fit it all in,  if you’re also working a 40-60 hour week and travelling to and from work.

 

I’m sharing this to show you that if you want to build a life that serves you and your family it is possible…

AND it takes a vision, a conscious decision, and commitment to follow through on what’s required to do it. I have worked at this, and now I get to enjoy a very relaxed schedule, where I call the shots, and I know that I am super lucky to enjoy this and am very grateful.

If you’ve got a different situation and have way more working hours, I applaud you for doing the best you can, and I’m only sharing this in the hope that it gives you the idea that building a life that serves you is possible if you plan it, focus on it and build it slowly over time.

 

weekly-schedule

Mondays

On Mondays I often have had a sleepover with my amazing in-laws on the Sunday night, so that they can mind Ollie while I work upstairs. My husband Chen takes Ruby to daycare, and heads off to work, then in the afternoon, I take Ollie home with me on the train or in the car. Once the kids are in bed, we watch a favourite show on Netflix and cuddle on the couch, and I’ll often go straight to bed after that. While Ollie is still waking multiple times in the night for a cuddle and boobie, I need to catch up on sleep as often as I can.

Tuesdays

These are my Mama days, I have both kids and try and organise a fun activity to do with them. Meeting my mum and going to a new park, taking them to the zoo or something like that. When I don’t have a big day planned, I take them both to the gym creche, and do a workout, and a meditation at the gym. Yes I meditate at the gym! Often among the stretch section, with my headphones on, or I’ll go out to the balcony. I’m lucky enough to have Fitness First Bondi Platinum 5 mins up the road from me and have a beautiful view of the harbour from the gym window! Sweet! I don’t have a special meditation room, corner or chair, I just do it wherever I can. After my gym-sanity time (where they will be playing and having as much fun as I am), then we hang around at the local park, go home while Ollie naps, Ruby will watch a bit of TV and I might do a quick work-check while they are both entertained.

On the days I have big activities planned like the zoo, I don’t go to the gym because I end up pushing my mountain buggy double stroller around all day and that is a killer workout!! I love this Mountain Buggy double stroller, where the second child can sit or stand a the back. That’s not what they recommend, but it’s what we do! So much fun, it’s their chariot! The double stroller is a god-send, I pack my laptop, snacks and colouring book & a few toys for the kids, and tiny travel yoga mat in the bottom and I’m ready for anything.

Stroller

Wednesdays

Wednesdays Ruby goes to daycare again, and I have a day with Ollie, so we hang out at the park some of the day, and go to the gym so I can get a workout in, and sneak in a bit of work at the gym. The kids are allowed in the gym creche for an hour and a half, so I race in do a 30 minute workout and a 10 minute meditation, then sit with my laptop in the reception long and get some work done. I often write a newsletter or quickly reply to important emails in this 40 minute block of time. Then I hang out with Ollie some more, and he will often sleep in the afternoon in the stroller for an hour or two so I sit in a quiet cafe while he sleeps and get a bit more work done.

Thursdays

Both kids in daycare. Proper work day! Yippee. I have to say that I love these days, and I am really productive on the Thursday and Friday when I work fully from home with no kids. Can’t beat that uninterrupted focus. Thursday I run my NLP webinar classes for my students learning NLP with me. And I prepare content for blogs, create new webinar trainings, run a coaching or mentoring client call, and occasionally empty my inbox. When I’m at home like this I prefer to divert all my calls to my reception service, and not open my inbox, to completely focus on getting my content done. I will check in on Facebook for a quick 5 minute social break every couple of hours, and have a quick look at my inbox to see if there’s anything urgent that needs my attention. The call service send me emails of my messages.  Most of the time, I ignore it and go back to my creation tasks.

I love to have my inbox at zero ideally each week, and when it starts getting into the hundreds it can stress me out when I look at it. I have filters and rules to send all my non-urgent emails into folders to look at when I have the time. Non-urgent question emails from people asking to interview me, or wanting something out of the ordinary sometimes wait for weeks to get a reply from me. This used to bother me, but it bothers me less now that I have lots of people who are contacting me to ask questions or make offers. I love Brendon Burchard’s idea that the inbox is OPA – Other People’s Agendas. If their agenda and mine don’t exactly align, then they can wait for my answer.  I laughed out loud when I saw Marie Forleo’s video on this topic, about how she routinely ignores people and says no to heaps of things too.

Fridays

More focused work, like writing a blog post like this one, and creating content for courses, updating my website, etc. When I’m doing these work days, I give myself a clear time limit for certain tasks, otherwise you could spend a whole day faffing on writing a blog post. I get it done in 45 minutes for a longer written post like this, then schedule the email in another 15. 1 hour. Done. If there’s typos, so be it. I move on. Lots of other things I schedule, or delegate for my VA or other staff to do, and then come back to it later. I try and minimise my time doing every single thing that someone else could do better than me, and focus all my time and energy on the things that only I can do.

Weeknights

If I’m busy or feel like I’m running behind on my projects then I will also work from when I get the kids to sleep to 10pm and sometimes midnight. I know it’s not ideal, but sometimes its got to get done. These working hours are often interrupted by me sitting in the dark for 20-30 mins feeding and patting Ollie back to sleep. He’s still learning how to sleep on his own and wakes up frequently.

If I’m tired or run-down, I will go to bed almost immediately when the kids are asleep. I’m lucky that I have trained my mind and body to be able to go to sleep as soon as I lie down, and am often asleep within a couple of minutes. Total exhaustion helps with this…

Weekends

Most weekends we limit work and just spend time playing with the kids, and hanging out with friends. It’s pretty relaxed and unscheduled. We’ll go to the park, the local shops at Bondi Junction or Miranda if we stay with Grandparents, beach. When we stay out at Caringbah with the (amazing) grandparents then Chen and I usually get one night where we can go to the movies or out with friends. these are so important for our relationship, especially in the “trenches” with young kids.

Minimum standards

I realised that I organise my week around base-line minimum standards for my own happiness. I fit these things in like puzzle pieces, wherever they can go in that week. Mostly my week looks pretty much like this, but sometimes a child will get sick or I will be creating a course on a deadline and things will shift. These are my minimum standards for my happiness.

Weekly Minimum

  • 3 x exercise sessions. 1 run, 1 yoga, 1 weights
  • 3 x focused meditations
  •  8 x 2 hour blocks of work time. My absolute minimum, if the kids are sick to keep things ticking over. Ideally I work part time, about 20-25 hours a week when possible.
  • 3 x park sessions with the kids.
  • 2 x quality time with husband. 1 out on a date, 1 in cuddling on the couch.
  • 2 x learning sessions listening to a seminar while walking or at the gym.
  • 1x large family lunch or catch up with Grandparents, and Sister.

Daily Minimum

  • 1 x daily quality playtime and cuddle moment with each child.
  • 1 x daily quality connection & cuddle with husband. even just for 5 minutes.
  • 1 x connection with my tribe on social media.
  • 2 x squares of chocolate every day.
  • 3 x cups of tea.
  • 5 minutes of stretching.
  • 2 x 3 mins of deep conscious breathing.
  • 5 x glasses of water.
  • 2 x meals with big serves of veggies/ salad & lean protein.
  • 2 x pieces of fruit.

Tell me… What’s your weekly and daily minimum for your health & happiness, productivity & sanity?

Comments (3)

  1. Hi Kylie, do you use an online planner for your rolling schedule? We use Cozi as a family but I want an online planner just for me (my husband doesn’t need to see when I have scheduled in my mindfulness breaks!). Any suggestions?

    • Hey love, I use google calendar, and I invite hubby to any events that he needs to know about. I couldn’t live without it. 🙂 I’m sure there’s more fancy schedules out there, but I just keep it simple and use different colours for different events.

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