We regularly have people ask us point blank: how do you do it all ?! And they mean combining working as self-employed entrepreneur, being mother of three children, renovating a house (Nathalie) or a major office renovation project (Tessa). And in addition to all that adding social life and finding some time for yourself. We can be honest here: sometimes we do everything but we are a bit out of balance. This was also the case just before the summer holiday. And so we decided to go on a nice summer breaks and think how we could restore and maintain that balance. Now that the vacation is over, we are actively making changes and we’re happy to share with you. Because who knows: you might find these tips handy as well.
During the summer break we read the book Live Lagom from Anna Brones. This was a good start to think more about creating balance. The book explains the philosophy behind the Swedish ‘Lagom’. In fact, Lagom means ‘exactly the right amount’, not too much, not too little, but just enough. You guessed it: balance. You can apply the principle on several levels in your life: at home, at work, health and the environment. The book is interesting to read and it gave many insights. And the book itself is lagom as well. Besides extensive explanation of this Swedish philosophy, you can easily dream away with the beautiful pictures. Leef Lagom is available here.
Balance at work
With lagom in the backs of our head we started to look how to improve our ways of working. As you may know we started working from home a while ago. This worked very well but had some disadvantages as well. Nathalie had the stock of the webshop in her home plus the administration of a company takes up a lot of space. Tessa had the same thing with all the samples and project administration. Our company is growing so all the projects needed more overview. We also have two interns and we like to provide them with some space. We concluded we needed more space maybe outside of our homes.
Nathalie found this and created a studio next to her home. She renovated a garage to workplace. (read here more about this) And Tessa spent a part of the Summer renovating a small part of the buildings they are currently renewing.
In this workspace we have enough room to work on projects, the interns have their own desks and all the samples and necessities are within reach for the twentyone (!) projects we are working on. To create even more overview we bought drawers so every client had his own drawer with sample drawings and project information. A simple solution which brings much peace.
Share your insights
Learn from others: the reason we write this kind of blog posts. We like reading the blog posts of Marloes de Vries, who shares her insights about life as a freelance illustrator. The blogpost “Tips on doing admin (for freelancers)” gave good tips to keep track of projects. And overview gives an even distribution of tasks per day: again balance.
Een goede planner blijkt dus onmisbaar voor werk-privé balans. Dus keken wij rond naar agenda’s die iets meer zijn dat bladzijdes met data’s en kalenders. Wij vonden die in de planner van essentialiving. Deze agenda helpt je vanaf de eerste pagina met het creëren van balans. Je begint namelijk met eens eerlijk te kijken hoeveel tijd je nodig hebt voor werk, thuis, gezondheid, sociale leven en tijd voor jezelf. Omdat vervolgens op de juiste manier te verdelen totdat er balans ontstaat. De opzet van de planner geeft je houvast om overzicht te creëren én te houden en dat alles op een vriendelijke manier. Want niemand zit te wachten op nog meer ‘moeten’. Zo staat er wekelijks een tip in voor een lekker gezond recept en is er volop ruimte om je gedachten op te schrijven. En ook fijn, de dagen zijn van 6 tot 23 uur dat beter past bij een leven als werkende moeder.
A good planner becomes indispensable for work-private balance. So we looked around for calendars that are more than pages with data and year planners. We found this in the planner of essentialiving. This calendar helps you with creating balance starting at the first pages. First by honestly looking at how much time you need for work, home, health, social life and time for yourself. Then, then distribute it the right way to balance. The planning of the planner gives you determination to create and keep an overview and all in a friendly manner. Because nobody is waiting for even more pressure. For example, the planner includes weekly tips for a delicious healthy recipes and there is plenty of space to write away your thoughts. And also nice about this planner: the days are from 6 to 23 o’clock which fits better for a working mother.
What do you do to create a balance in your life? We’d love to hear from you.