Coping with Stress and Finding Balance

There’s so many times as a Salon Owner, I have to prioritize my time.

There are things that go ‘below the line.’ The ‘line’ is the invisible boundary that allows me to keep a sane mind through all the chaos. But the big question is: how do you choose what’s above and what's below? Read on to find out my method through the madness…

There are seasons for everything. I time to rest, a time to grow, and a time to put your head down and work your tail off. What I have learned in the last 4 years as a business owner, is that there will always be pressing matters that need your attention. A to-do list a mile long, things to improve upon, or ‘fires’ to put out.

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So in moments of rest, those are the best times to make a clear plan.

STEP ONE: Write down the things you’re NOT willing to give up?

These are my top 3:

1) My kids and husband. I feel best when I spend at least 4 nights per week doing the dinner and bedtime routine with them.

2) My privacy and solitude in the evenings to work on business. I am a night owl, so I try to save 3 out of 5 weeknights to work in quiet after the kids (and hubby) go to bed.

3) Worship Team. I sing at church once per month, and it revives and restores me. It takes me back to the source of my strength!

After you’ve written down your non-negotiables, it helps you make decisions more clearly.

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STEP TWO: Don’t be a slave to guilt.

I once read a book called ‘Boundaries’, when to say yes and how to say no. It changed my life! It teaches you how to determine where you end and others begin. Saying ‘yes’ with resentment in your heart is MUCH worse than saying ‘No’ with a kind heart.

When there are activities, invitations, or conversations I have to turn down- I still sometimes feel a pang of guilt or the extreme need to explain myself. But I go back to my training: I am saying no out of respect for myself, my priorities, and for the other person.

Picture yourself saying yes to a picnic with friends for example, but you know you really need to clean your house. You’re stressed and not mentally present for the whole picnic, and then when you get home you’re cursing your friends under your breath. It would have been more healthy to say ‘I’m so sorry I’ll miss, but hope you all have a great time!’

STEP THREE: Label your to-do list according to urgency & STICK TO IT!

My to do list can be a mile long most days. I have found that I have to learn to be ok with moving things to the next day and still feel a sense of accomplishment. When I’m looking at my list, I categorize into 4 categories:

1) Urgent & Important (do these first)

2) Important but not urgent

3) Not Important but urgent (I’ll usually delegate these)

4) Someday (these are my brainstorming thoughts)

I find it best to do the BIG things on ‘urgent & important’ first when I have the most energy, and then move on to the others! I like to keep my lists on Google Docs, so that I can share with others and it also syncs between my devices. I also avoid checking emails during work time, it tends to send me off on ‘tangents’ that I didn’t want to go on! Emails tend to be what others need from you, not necessarily a part of your priorities.

Last thought for you working parents out there: it’s OK FOR YOUR KIDS TO SEE YOU WORKING!

I try to spend 50% of my time with them completely and totally engaged (on the floor, eye contact, talking and singing) so that when I am working on something, they still feel loved and cared for. I also tell them to pull up a chair and work with me!

Hope this helps you, and if you have a cool way to prioritize time leave it in the comments below! We would love to hear from you!

Sincerely,

Amanda