I do chuckle looking back at my pre child self, I had no idea how the sleep deprivation was going to hit me. Before becoming a parent, I used to say to my business friends with kids, “Can’t you just do your business mindset in the middle of the night to make the best use of your time”? or “Why don’t you just work every night when the kids are in bed?”. Now I know why they laughed at me!

Image 1Our sleep thief

Our little Sleep Thief Oliver greeted us 5 weeks earlier than expected, and although a healthy premature baby, he had his hurdles to overcome. Even when he turned 9 months, he was still up at least 4 times a night and we were lucky if he napped for 30 minutes a day. So you can imagine, the sort of sleepless state I was in; exhausted, frustrated and low are words that spring to mind.

How things changed
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However after 9 months of severe sleep deprivation, I was at breaking point and close to a M.E. relapse and this is where it all changed for us. We decided we needed professional help, so we hired a Sleep Consultant and the rest you can say is history. Within just 2 weeks, Oliver was sleeping through the night and sleeping for 2-3 hours a day.

The improvement in his sleep was so life changing for us as a family, I knew I wanted to help other families going through similar stressful situations. So off to London I went to retrain in Advanced Sleep Consultancy and now I help sleep deprived parents to help their children of all ages to enjoy better sleep.

I’ve put together these six simple survival steps for you, so that you can maximise your business productivity whilst being sleep deprived

Prioritise sleep
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Naturally as a business mum you are ambitious, driven and motivated. These qualities have so many positives for your business yet the reality is suddenly you are running yourself into the ground squeezing work in whenever you can.

If you are not in the position to take time off once you have had your baby or have an older child, the best thing you can do for your business right now is set yourself realistic expectations and boundaries.

Go back to school days, set yourself a timetable and make rest and sleep time your first priority over worktime where possible. This may seem counterproductive to start with but it is amazing the amount you can get done in a small amount of time when you have had some rest in comparison to having extra time and working with a fuzzy head and tired eyes.

Observe your negative chatter
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Most of my clients have said that before reaching out for professional help, their mornings consisted of dreading the day ahead, drinking as much coffee as possible, and feeling exhausted before the working day had even started.

Often the sleepless negativity mindset affects key areas of your life, such as your relationships, overall well-being and business productivity. For this reason, I recommend that all my clients practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of being mindful and aware in the moment, observing your thoughts whilst not passing judgement on them. Being mindful allows you to develop resilience towards the sleep deprived negative mind chat.

The easiest way my clients have found to practice mindfulness is through the app Headspace, the app is free and allows you to use “Take 10” – 10 days of mindfulness. However I highly recommend you subscribe as you can access packs relating to sleep and I love the one specifically for children.

Who can help?
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As an ambitious and motivated business mum, it is very easy to believe you can take on the world, however I have come to learn that being realistic with your time not only saves you stress but also helps you to focus on high income generated tasks.

It is easy to feel like you are failing when you ask for help, but just remember your top priority right now is looking after yourself so you can keep spinning the plates of super mum and business woman. Everything else has to come lower down the list.

Take a look at your endless to do list, what is there on it you can delegate to someone else? Whether this be a loved one, family member, a friend or hired help. Examples of delegation which my clients find useful are laundry, ironing, housework, child care, cooking, gardening and walking the dog.

My husband and I hired a cleaner for just 1 hour a week when Oliver was not sleeping. This extra time allowed me to rest if I needed it or to use the time wisely (if Oliver was taking one of his rare 20 minute naps) to earn more than what we were paying the cleaner so that it was financially beneficial.

Bedtime routine isn’t just for children
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I recommend that you also follow a bedtime routine every evening. This ensures that you get to bed on time in preparation for a broken night’s sleep and also gives your body and mind time to wind down from the busy life of parenting.

Set yourself a regular bedtime and enjoy a 30-45 minute routine where you do some gentle exercise such as yoga, pilates or stretching, read a book that is not business related or stimulating, start a “What’s been awesome today” book where you write everything positive that has happened and enjoy a warm bath. It doesn’t matter if this is segmented if your child wakes early evening, the idea here is to swap watching T.V. or scrolling social media to a routine which allows you to take yourself to the mind gym.

Invest to transform your life

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I guess it is difficult for me to write about this tip without seeming biased, but investing in a professional sleep consultant completely transformed our lives. I’ve gone from being an exhausted, helpless, sleepless business mum who was trying to squeeze in work wherever I could to now being full of energy, positivity and having an extra 2 hours a day for business work. Which is magic when you are running a business around being a full time parent of under twos. However, more importantly my health is back on track and without that I wouldn’t have a viable business to run.

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Are you feeling confused about everything you have read online and have no idea where to start to help your child sleep better? Feel free to download my Free EbookSix Core Steps to Sleep Success” for free advice on taking your first steps to reaching your ultimate sleep goal.

 

 

 

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Kathryn Stimpson
Kathryn helps sleep deprived parents to cope, manage and improve their sleep challenges.

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Bringing joy and energy back into your work dayIf you’re feeling tired and in a bit of a rut when it comes to your day-to-day work practices, it could be time to freshen up your routine! Small tweaks to your daily work habits can bring in a new sense of joy and energy. Give these ideas a go to bring more fun and enjoyment into your workday.

1. Tidy up your space

Have you heard of the KonMarie method? Marie Kondo’s premise behind keeping things neat and tidy is to spark joy. While it is certainly a worthwhile method to explore, instead of recommending you go off and spend weeks getting your house and business in perfect order, my suggestion is to dedicate five minutes a day tidying up your workspace.

Leaving your desk in good order at the end of the day is a good feeling. Coming back to your workspace the next morning with your documents in order and ready to go will help you get stuck into your work faster. Help yourself by taking just five minutes at the end of the day to get sorted. It is a satisfying feeling!

2. Make laughter happen every day

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I will notice I’ve gone a few days without any laughter. Then, in that moment when I do have a good laugh, I think how weird it was to go without it.

Laughter is good for your health; it gets the endorphins going, relaxes your body and can lower your stress hormones. Instead of waiting for laughter to just happen, why not make a good laugh a must-do each day?

Consider allowing yourself to indulge in ten minutes session each day, such as a 3pm YouTube session to give you a quick break and give you the energy you need to finish the workday well.

Need some suggestions? Old clips of Kath & Kim or Lano & Woodley, or some stand up from Judith Lucy, Chris Rock, Key & Peele or Wil Anderson could do the trick!

3. Don’t be afraid to take a break and get social

Whether it’s having a chat with a colleague, calling a friend, texting your partner or just taking a short break to connect with loved ones via social media, taking some time out to feel connected with others can increase your feelings of happiness and sense of belonging.

Better yet, taking a moment to call a good friend or Facetime with a loved one can provide a sense of support and encouragement, and help you feel less anxious or lonely (which could be an issue when running a business solo). Even if it’s just a few short minutes, you will reap the rewards from keeping those important relationships a priority.

4. Schedule in creative time each week

Employees who feel inspired at work are more productive than their counterparts. Introducing a block of time each week to get inspired and re-energised could change the way you work for the better and get you powering through your work with more efficiency.

Consider blocking an hour or two each week to let your mind wander and to stir your curiosity. It could be as simple as heading to a new place to work, dream or have some fun for a Monday morning (or Friday afternoon!).

How about finding a local park to visit or visiting that café you have been meaning to check out, with your laptop in tow, for a change of scenery?

Better yet, leave the laptop at home and just take along a pen and paper. Give yourself an hour or so to let your mind reflect on the year so far, have a think about what’s working, what’s not, and what your business goals are for the rest of the year and the year ahead. You would be amazed at the ideas that can come from spending such a short time away from your regular workspace and allowing your mind to imagine new possibilities for you and your business.

 

Bringing joy and energy back into your work day

 

Kate Mackay, Invigorate Wellness

Kate Mackay is a food and wellbeing coach who loves seeing women thrive in their work and life through balancing priorities, building in simple healthy eating habits and getting creative with exercise.

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This post brought to you by Deliveroo

Every busy parent will know how hard it can be to stop your kids from indulging in snacks and junk food. What with our working lives and all of the endless tasks, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to cook up a healthy home banquet when they return from school.

But rather than giving into the unhealthy habits of ready meals that are often packed with salt, sugar and other nasty ingredients, there are a few healthier options out there.

So from simple home-made meals to quick fixes from Australia’s healthy food outlets, here’s how you can stop the kids from feeding on endless junk food!

Keep it veggie

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Vegetarian meals are not only healthier than meat alternatives, but they can often be cheaper and quicker to prepare too – especially if you get the kids involved!

Whether it’s a simple salad thrown together with locally-grown organic ingredients, or even this this ultra-quick burrito bowl, taking the veggie option doesn’t have to be boring. And it’ll play the important part of educating the kids that they don’t necessarily have to eat meat at every meal.

Healthy fast food

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It can sound like an oxymoron, but just because food is fast, doesn’t mean that it has to be unhealthy. Whether it’s making some homemade sweet potato fries rather than oven chips, or even using a spiraliser to make a speedy zuchetti pesto meal rather than relying on gluten-heavy pasta, it all shows how there are many creative ways to get around those tempting junk food staples.

And a quick look at the Brisbane restaurants covered by the food delivery company, Deliveroo, shows how healthy fast food like Vietnamese freshy rolls and veggie burgers are giving us a good alternative to ordering in yet another takeaway pizza.

Snacking healthily

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We’re all guilty of indulging in some afternoon snacks every now and then. But rather than combating spiralling blood sugar levels with chocolate bars and crisps, think about getting the kids to help prepare some healthy snacks for the next time they feel hungry.

Whilst it’s unlikely that healthy snacks like rice cakes and mini muffins will edge out sugary treats for good, it’ll all help in boosting energy levels. And with delivery companies like Deliveroo on hand to help when things get too busy to even think about going in the kitchen, it shows how there’s plenty of ways to keep junk food at bay!

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MJT_8852Kathy has donated 1 half-hour mentoring session to Mummy Mentoring Festival – supporting Share the Dignity.

Click the link to read all about Mummy Mentoring Festival and Share the Dignity.

About the business

Paracombe Wines is an award winning, family owned vineyard and winery located in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia producing beautiful ecologically crafted wine from the vine to the glass.

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About Kathy

Kathy Drogemuller is Owner, Co-Founder of Paracombe Wines. With 34 years’ experience in the wine industry, she is a passionate storyteller, using her vision and energy to market her wines throughout Australia and the world. Kathy is responsible for Paracombe wine sales – domestic and export, marketing and business management. She is a dual finalist in the 2014 and 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.  Kathy is an ambassador for community minded business supporting the Tanzania Maasai Women Art Org, empowering traditional Maasai women in Africa, the Hutt Street Centre for people who are homeless and the Little Heroes Foundation assisting families with seriously ill children.

Kathy can mentor on

  1. How to sell successfully
  2. How I learnt to overcome adversity to make opportunity and build a successful business from the ground up
  3. Don’t fake it until you make it, have faith, believe and you will, my tips to help you do this.

To win a mentoring session with Kathy, you must purchase a $4 ticket at this link. One $4 ticket is worth one entry. To enter twice, purchase two tickets and so on. The winner/s of the mentoring session will be drawn on Mon, Sep 25 at 10pm.

You can donate as many times as you like to one mentor to increase your chances of winning. You can also donate to as many different mentors as you like. All funds raised go to Share the Dignity.

Winners will be announced on the MM FB page and also emailed directly.

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Renee September 2010Renee has donated 2 half-hour mentoring sessions to Mummy Mentoring Festival – supporting Share the Dignity. Click the link to read all about Mummy Mentoring Festival and Share the Dignity.

About Anxiety Solutions

Anxiety Solutions is a psychology practice treating anxiety, stress & depression.

About Renee

Renee Mill has worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice for over thirty years and is the owner of Anxiety Solutions CBT Psychology Practice, located in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. She has successfully treated hundreds of individuals, couples and families,
is a bestselling author and has appeared as an expert commentator on anxiety, depression and parenting for TODAY, The Morning Show, ABC Radio, news.com.au, BubHub and Essential Baby. Find out more about Renee at anxietysolutionscbt.com.

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Renee can mentor on

  1. Managing stress
  2. Conquering the fears that are holding you back
  3. Building confidence to be heard
  4. Forging successful relationships
  5. Overcoming procrastination

To win a mentoring session with Renee, you must purchase a $4 ticket at this link. One $4 ticket is worth one entry. To enter twice, purchase two tickets and so on. The winner/s of the mentoring session will be drawn on Sept 25 at 10pm.

You can donate as many times as you like to one mentor to increase your chances of winning. You can also donate to as many different mentors as you like. All funds raised go to Share the Dignity.

Winners will be announced on the MM FB page and also emailed directly.

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