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GRASPing the Situation By Ruth Lloyd-Williams

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Cruising at 37,000 feet, bound for Cyprus with the drinks trolley, six emergency exists and the length of the aisle away, now appears to be as good a time as any to reflect on the last, very busy six months in my Network She world.

Taking the plunge into the deep and scary waters of self employment, letting go of the security blanket of a permanent job with a monthly pay packet seemed like such a good idea last November from the luxurious comfort of a sun bed in Bali. The novelty of the idea kept things ticking along as I worked my notice during the cold snowy start of the year until when on the 1st March – I jumped!

Four months in and there are days when Bali seems a life time away, when I feel as though the parachute has failed to open, the deep and scary waters are shark infested and it is very, very lonely.

How come for the last 11 years I have juggled a successful and demanding full time career while filling every other waking hour creating a high profile women’s support network, getting everything and more done, yet now, when I am at last in control of every working hour of every working day do I struggle to get anything done, if even started?

“How long will this inefficiency last” I recently asked a friend, who 10 years earlier had left a very successful career and joined the ranks of the self employed
“Give it two years and you should just about have it sussed” she replied with a knowing look. That’s when the penny dropped and I realised I had to GRASP the situation.

Generation
Responsibility
Accountability
Structure
Procrastination

The Woman In Charge
Being self employed in an industry where everything is self generated I am no longer responsible or accountable to anyone other than myself, I am after all “The Woman in Charge”.  The structure of my working week is generated by my ability to procrastinate and go off at tangents, finding a million and one “more important” time sapping things to do. Why sit in the office and do the accounts when I can be in the kitchen rustling up a fish pie?

So what have I done to GRASP the situation?

Well I have got myself a mentor, a Melanie, a pink pig kitchen timer, a 2018/19 wall planner, a book keeper, a virtual PA and I’ve parked my car round the corner.

The Wall Planner: with a clear view of the 18 months ahead I have started to structure my months and weeks into bite size chunks, added deadlines and even planned in time out and holidays.

Oink Oink: My Pink Pig kitchen timer ensures that I stay focused on the job in hand. And should I stray the bell rings bringing me back in the room. I work out the amount of time I have or that a task should take and set the timer. The ticking of the clock is something of a background comfort noise and the loud alarm means very little of the day is wasted rustling up culinary delights.

My Mentor: talking things through has made me realise that I am making myself responsible for far to much and that I need to delegate the the tasks that are a waste of my time and talents.  Delegating them to those who thrive on pulling together a newsletter, spread sheets or invoicing means I can be my more creative self, generating ideas and initiatives to develop Network She and the member benefits.

Parking the Car: Well it means I am out. Or parking it at a great WiFi friendly venue away from the distractions of a home based office means that things get done.

And as for my Melanie, well everyone needs one, whatever their name is.  I need to be accountable to someone other than me.   It helps to tell someone other than your reflection what a successful, productive day you’ve had- or not as the case maybe!

Once the drinks trolley gets here I will raise a glass, well a plastic glass at least, and make a toast to a very exciting, productive year ahead. So girls- go GRASP the situation, it’s easier than you think!

Until next time

Ruth x

Don’t forget to book you place at the Women Mean Business conference, save the date 21st September 2018.  Book Here

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