People & Human Resources

I’m stuffed. How can I be superwoman? Help!

James Thomson /

Dear Aunty B,

I am exhausted looking after my business, my kids, my employees, my clients and my sick mother-in-law.

I never feel like I do any of it properly, which makes me feel guilty and anxious. I read about the superwomen on your site and have come to the conclusion I am not one of them.

How can I be more superwoman and less superwreck? (The other day I fantasized about killing all my fish because they’re just more things to feed.)

Not So Super,
Canberra.

 

Dear Not So Super,

It’s cold in Canberra and you have probably got as touch of Seasonal Affected Disorder. Avoid all politicians and try and get out into that winter sunshine. That will help.

Now, let me bust this superwoman’s story. There is no such thing as superwomen (Gayle Kelly and Judith Slocombe could be possible exceptions) but here are three things smart women do.

First, to your guilt. You can’t do everything. There will be some things that you can not do but you don’t feel ‘guilt’. You feel regret. So this is what you think:

  • I regret I could not make the kids sport this week but I can’t do everything and I’ll go next week.
  • I regret I can’t drop some food around to my mother-in-law tonight. I’ll pay to have someone drop it off and I’ll see her next week.
  • I regret I can’t visit that client today but I can give them longer tomorrow.

So that fixes your guilt.

Secondly, you must become super focused and organized. So you can fit in all those ‘next week’ things to do. This means getting a PA and an iPhone or a Blackberry.

Thirdly, you prioritise. How? Well, you run things through your head and the one that stops is the one you attend to. This can even apply to the kids. Judith Slocombe, entrepreneur with nine… NINE children, goes to bed and runs the kid’s names through her mind. When a name snags, she decides to spend more time with that child the next day.
Ditto clients and employees.

Last, I think you need a holiday.

Good luck!

 

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Your Aunty B

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James Thomson

James was the editor and publisher of SmartCompany and LeadingCompany for five years. He is now the Australian Financial Review's companies & markets editor, and a former BRW editor.

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