tephen Covey’s excellent “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has given millions of people throughout the world a way of living and working more effectively. Single mums who want to become more effective in their daily life can benefit from coaching for women to help them develop their own “seven habits”!
Some of these habits overlap or could be reinterpreted in a different fashion, but these principles should be adopted as soon as possible if you are new to being a single mum, or beginning to feel harried beyond belief.
Habit one – Master the clock.
We all have the same amount of time in a given day, but how we use it dictates how we will feel after the sun goes down. Will you look back on your day and feel that you’ve truly been productive, or will you look back and feel that you’ve been fire-fighting throughout the day and achieved little?
Those who fall into the first category are generally masters of time and have itemised what they need to do in any given day to get through. It is important to take baby steps and not to look too far ahead when you have a busy schedule, as this will appear so daunting that it may compromise your ability to succeed.
First of all just do a brain dump onto paper of everything you’ve got to do. Get all that information out of your head and onto paper on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Have you ever considered professional coaching to help you control your time?
Habit two – Be habitual.
Your highly effective timetable will be no good unless you get into the habit. If you have some clear intentions or goals for each day, you’ll still have more mundane tasks to achieve. By adopting a routine – say a regular time each day for tackling the small stuff, they will not grow out of proportion.
You’ll also find that as you stick to your timetable you become more used to these tasks; you will achieve them in less time and free up a bit more personal space at the end of each day.
Habit three – Set up your voice-mail.
However tempting it is to surf the web or catch up on some gossip, remember that these are most definitely counter-productive to being a highly effective single working mum.
The most effective businessmen or women do not allow themselves to be distracted by random phone calls and while you may not be able to employ the services of a personal secretary, you should ensure that you maintain your focus and don’t let your guard down to the temptations!
Habit four – Plan for the rainy day.
You know that rainy days will come and that family issues will sometimes trump what is going on at work. Look after your personal days at work and only use them for emergency purposes. See if your schedule at work will allow you to play catch-up here or there, maybe working Saturday mornings or one evening per week, so that the inevitable issue at school for the kids can be addressed without it becoming a major concern.
While these rainy days may certainly throw your clock mastery out of sync, the highly effective single mum has planned in advance as best she can.
Habit five – It’s all about me.
If you don’t give yourself this time to refresh yourself, all your dedication and efficiency will count for nothing.
There is a time for delegation, to get away from it all to recharge your batteries, so you can come back refreshed and be able to take it all on again.
Habit six – Be fit.
Health always comes first – for your family and for yourself. You’ll feel much better if you force yourself out of bed fifteen minutes earlier each day to exercise. This must be priority number one! If you don’t give this high priority, your efficiency will gradually erode and you won’t be as highly effective.
Habit seven – Scratch a back.
If you are smart, you will realise that while you may be able to manage as a single mum most of the time, there will be times when you must call in for help. If you have a network of friends, good acquaintances and other family members you can turn to, you should invest a little in this support group by planning time within your schedule to help them out first. We’re adopting Covey’s famous “win-win” approach here. By donating your time or other resources to help one of your contacts, you will have kept your side of the win-win bargain.
Yes, there’s a lot to it, but don’t despair. Online life coaching can help you drill even further into those seven habits and come up with your action plan for the future.
Amanda Alexander, Director of Coaching Mums, helps pressure-cooked, stressed working mums who long for more hours in the day. Through her professional coaching programmes and online life coaching courses, Amanda shows mums how to create fulfilling and successful lives. For your simple 5 step guide to balance as a working mum, download our free eBook at => Coaching Mums
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