The school holidays are over, which means it’s time for the entire family to settle into a new routine for the year. Whether you’re a working or stay-at-home mum, 2020 has been a year like never before this century.
Where you stand right now at this juncture, however, will set the tone for what 2021 will look like for you. And like many others, you may be finding it difficult to navigate the return to work and school. Weeks or months of lockdown, stay-at-home notices or homeschooling can do that to all of us.
Let’s face it: We’re all new to this. We barely crossed the start line at the start of 2020 before the course changed direction and the race for many came to an abrupt halt. Our routines have been altered, our plans modified, and for the best part of the year, we’ve been frantically trying to keep up with the rules while doing our best to “get on with business”.
Now is the moment of truth: How we adapt and adjust in this new world will make all the difference. Make sure you avoid these three mistakes as you start the new school year, to help you find the motivation and enthusiasm to get back on the horse.
1. Dwell on everything you have to do
As the looming task of preparing school lunches, organising after-school activities and making your way back to the office returns, the level of overwhelm can build up and forge a spiralling sense of apprehension for parents juggling career and family commitments.
My suggestion is to focus in the moment and use the knowledge you have to make the best decision you can at the time. Now is a great time to reassess what wasn’t working in your life or business before, and use that information to make positive changes in your business and life now.
Above all else, remember that we’re all in this together. Reach out to your friends or family for help if needed (particularly with school drop offs and pick-ups), speak to your children and their teachers about any concerns you have, ensure you’re on the same page with your team about work commitments, and keep an open dialogue with everyone concerned.
2. Hope everything stays the same
There’s a saying, “The only constant in life is change.” While we can’t predict everything ahead of us, what we can do to lessen the impact of changes is to plan for what we can and be prepared to adapt.
It’s important to get organised as soon as possible to revitalise your focus and energy, which will have a positive impact all-round. Plan around what makes your life easier, making sure you look after yourself and your family first! Don’t book too many things at once; and manage your time to ensure you’re getting enough time to exercise, eat well and get a good night’s sleep. Plan out your meals for the week, do the food shopping online to save you time and share the cooking load with family members.
Organisation is key to smoothly sailing through adversity and it’s pivotal to formulate a plan. What is the gap between where you’re at now, and where you need to be?
3. Hide and not take action
As businesses ramp up their business activities again, and others remaining active over the past few months, I urge you not to take your foot off the pedal. Make the most of your community connections and cash resources so you’re not left behind.
Tweak your business plans, speak to your accountant about end-of-financial-year benefits you can take advantage of, and reassess what needs to happen in your business to have a successful 2021 and beyond.
Connecting with your team is another great way to leverage your efforts. A great acronym to remember is TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. Sharing your goals and expectations with everyone who is part of your team will make it so much easier for you to achieve your goals.
Not only is it financially valuable to prepare ahead of time, it is extremely beneficial mentally as well, for peace of mind knowing exactly where the goal posts are and paving a roadmap to help you get there.
Start the new year on the right foot
We all need to take a close look at our priorities and re-order what’s important to us. There’s so much pressure, especially for working parents, to find the right balance. Continual assessment of where you’re at and where you want to be, is the most important part in moving closer to your goals, and those who follow through and take stock of their plans are always the ones who are more likely to succeed.
Suzzanne’s book, What’s Your Plan, is out now.
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