working mom tips

Tinou via Flickr

Achieving all your personal and business dreams can be a daunting task, especially when you’re a working mom, trying to balance your career, your family, and your own life. But it’s made downright impossible with an organized calendar that you actually follow.

CreativeLive instructor and photography business pro Rachel Brenke is all about organization and follow-through — and how it can not only help you get ahead in business, but also improve your personal life. That is, if you actually stick with it.

Step one: Making time for your personal obligations and responsibilities — which include anything from spending time with your kids, to going to the gym, to binge-watching Netflix on a Friday night. After all, your business might be going gangbusters, but if you aren’t able to spend enough energy on your personal life, you won’t be totally fulfilled. The solution? Rachel recommends “meshing” these two areas of your life by scheduling your business around family obligations rather than vice-versa — even if that means scaling back on the number of sessions you book and upping your price to compensate.

Once you have your family time scheduled for the week, month, or even year, you can take a look at your business plan and career goals.

“Set an hour range or an X amount of hours,” Rachel says. “Once I do all of [the above], then I look at how many hours I have left for myself.”

Next up, you want to put everything (and we mean everything) on the calendar. Including everything into an organized calendar is key to your success when it comes to balancing business and personal time, and Rachel suggests color-coding commitments to stay organized. Even better? You can use a Cloud-functional calendar app that you can access on the go!

“I have everything in one place and [the app] will tell me if there’s a conflict and I don’t have to worry about it” Rachel explains. “If a client calls and we’re trying to set up that pre-consultation time or a session time, I just have to pull up the calendar and look at it right then.”

Using this system, you can answer your clients scheduling questions on the spot rather than having to get back to them once you’ve chatted with your significant other about weekend plans — which runs the risk of being unprofessional.

Last but not least, you definitely don’t want to fall into the trap of letting clients book their sessions through your website. This completely ties you down and prioritizes your business above everything else, whereas consulting directly with clients and keeping your calendar private lets you maintain balance in your professional and personal life.

For more tips from Rachel, check out her CreativeLive class, Balancing Work, Family and Photography right here.