Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.
Who: Ashley Rector
What: Attorney, mother-to-be and the founder of Harness Magazine
Where: Greater Columbus, Ohio area
My alarm goes off but I’ve already been up three times in the middle of the night to go to the restroom. Part of the curse of being in my final trimester of my first pregnancy is frequent (and I mean frequent!) bathroom breaks. These are my new norm!
It’s Friday and I took the day off from my attorney job to focus on Harness. Balancing doesn’t come easy these days, but it’s well worth it. I tell Alexa to shut my alarm off but she doesn’t listen, so I shout one more time. The sound of my voice wakes our two dogs, who are eager to go outside and start the day. My husband rolls over and gives me a hug, patting my belly and feeling our little son kicking inside me. We decide to get 10 more minutes of shut eye together. The dogs curl around us and I enjoy this peaceful moment before the chaos of the day starts.
I wake up 30 minutes later, my mind racing through my to-do list for the day. I check my email and add the rest of the tasks for the day to my electronic to-do list, Hibox (it’s a life-saver). My husband and I take the dogs for a quick walk (as quick as you can be seven months pregnant) and he jumps on a conference call as I begin shipping out magazine orders for the day.
After a quick shower, we head to the Post Office and a local coffee shop in town to begin the day's work. it feels like the morning is gone but a lavender latte kicks my butt into gear and I start answering emails. It’s amazing how quickly your brain can multi-task. I switch from writing an interview, to coordinating our crowdfunding team, to requesting a refund from a company that keeps charging me for a business service we aren't using. By the time I look up, it’s 12:18 and I’m ready for lunch.
I’m always hungry these days and my poor husband has the shakes. I furiously finish an email as he patiently waits for me to finish one more sentence. We arrive at lunch and as we wait for our food, I receive an email from a wonderful contact I made at Kickstarter, explaining campaign rewards. Roughly 10 minutes later, my phone rings and it’s our crowdfunding strategist. I step away after eating only a few bites of my food to see what she has to say. She informs me that she had a great conversation with Kickstarter about our decision to utilize the platform to launch the next phase of Harness. A sigh of relief comes over me as she tells me how enthusiastic Kickstarter is about Harness’ mission.
We finish our food and arrive home to greet our two overly-hyper dogs. I sneak a few bites of candy in as I hop on to my computer to finish answering emails and start building out a social strategy. I get distracted and order promotional postcards from Vistaprint but then hop back to emails and let all Harness members who were not chosen for our video campaign know that we appreciate them. I check my task manager to try to get back on task.
Tasks completed: wrote video script, sent poetry piece to videographer, entered emails into Mailchimp from an event we recently attended, applied for campaigns with brands to add to our revenue stream, cleaned up Slack channel, notified giveaway winner, set up a conference call.
I decide to switch to my day job email and quickly answer anything necessary while I’ve been out so members of my team aren’t left high and dry.
I decide to call it quits until later in the evening. I order tickets off my phone to see a movie at 5:00pm. I feel like I’ve just run a marathon, but I’m also really happy about the progress I’ve made for the day.
The movie ends and I’m feeling exhausted! I get home, answer a few quick texts from Harness team members, and make myself a snack.
I jump on the computer to check a few emails and market an event we are having in two weeks. My body tells me it’s time to turn in for the night and give myself a break tomorrow.
I head to bed and crawl beneath the covers. I mentally take note of how good it feels to rest and how great the space next to my husband feels. Gratitude is so important for maintaining a positive outlook. After today’s work marathon, I tell myself, tomorrow I will take it easier. Balance is NEVER easy as a business-owner and it’s important to make sure you are refueling and recharging as often as possible.
Ashley Rector is a full-time attorney, mother-to-be and the founder of Harness Magazine. Harness publishes authentic stories from women around the world and has evolved over the last two and a half years to become an all-encompassing community. Handpicked by Harness offers a curated marketplace of products made by small artisans with a mission and The Harness Talent Network helps connect contributing writers to companies that are hiring. In the coming months, the company plans to launch a premium, online content portal where women can access educational resources, view exclusive artwork and connect in real time with other women. Get involved with Harness here!