I never intended on starting a business and becoming pregnant simultaneously. It’s interesting what life throws at you isn’t it? I quit my job with no clients nor security but instead with a vision and the confidence to make that vision possible. In reality, being pregnant whilst starting this new venture probably seemed like the hardest thing at the time, while it’s highly likely that it was my driving force to making Leila Michele a success.
Staying focused and motivated with work while pregnant
I’m sure the rest of the working Mum’s out there have the same thoughts ‘I need a nap’, ‘all I want to do is eat’, ‘I’m feeling lazy and un-motivated’, ‘I just want to be reading up on baby stuff instead’, so how do you bypass those feelings?
Let baby be your motivation
Nothing is a bigger motivator of what you need to be doing now than the baby that isn’t even here yet. When I think about the amount of time (or lack thereof) I am going to be able to dedicate to my business once the baby arrives, I immediately go into panic mode and start getting on with things. Not only that, but suddenly you have this other person relying on you and your income. Make that little one proud by doing all those tasks you’ve been putting off.
Use the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. The Pomodoro Technique aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.
The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically. You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.
Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.
P.s. I’m using it right now whilst writing this blog, with my phone is on flight mode. Another tip is to turn off email notifications on your laptops. In general though, it’s good to get into a habit of checking your emails at specific times during the day. I aim for first thing in the morning, after lunch and at the end of the day. If you don’t follow some sort of structure, you can get swallowed up by the all-encompassing inbox.
If you’re going to adopt the Pomodoro Technique mentioned above, another incentive to add into your five-minute breaks could be a treat? I know how much I am enjoying grazing these days, so small snacks as treats throughout the day can be a real motivator. Think fresh mint tea, avocado on toast, popping out for a decaf coffee, a bowl of fruit or if you’re like me, something sweet to keep you going.
This isn’t so much pregnancy specific but in general a real help for me, being the complete procrastinator that I am. On a Friday, I make my day-by-day list for the week ahead. Each day there will be a number of tasks I need to complete. Of course, the task that you dread the most is usually the most important. My way of no longer avoiding these dreaded tasks and filling time with the less important easy projects is by assigning them a number. Numbers 1-3 (usually highlighted red) are a must do and I am not allowed to go onto the next task before I have completed the previous one. It works people! As well as giving you immense structure which is usually hard to find being a freelancer.
It’s nice to know we’re not alone on this mad rollercoaster ride we’re on and support is always appreciated. Feel free to get in touch if you’re in the same boat and I’m sure we’ll have lots to bond over.