Here's the short answer: She doesn't.
Once upon a time I worked for a wonderful woman. She had six kids, an outrageous amount of email, a thriving international family business, speaking engagements, live events to plan, a dog, a goat and a massive amount of obligations.
Every now and then she would be on the phone with someone and would say, "I don't know how I do it all, either!"
To which I would quietly raise an eyebrow and think... "But, you don't do it all."
She had a nanny who would watch the kids, cook meals and keep on top of the housework. She had an awesome team that included customer service, someone to check her email and phone messages, a bookkeeper and an office manager to make sure things ran smoothly. She had a brother who would run errands for the family and sometimes the business. She had an enormous amount of people working to help put on events and ensure that everything ran smoothly.
In my mind, this doesn't make her any less of a successful mother or businesswoman. In fact, it makes her smart and efficient -- but what bothered me was that when someone asked how she did it all, she would simply shrug it off and say, "I don't know!"
No one does it all, including me.
Truth be told, if I don't have my project manager, personal assistant, design team and developers, my entire business (and life) will turn to chaos. The dishes pile up, the laundry doesn't get done and I start to completely lose track of everything. Emails go unanswered and I forget important things.
I'm only human and I'm simply not able to do everything.
Same with anyone else out there who appears to have the perfect life or business. The person who makes you question yourself as a woman, mother, entrepreneur or human being, because somehow, they seem to get everything done while you're struggling to keep on top of everyday tasks...
They do it all by having a strong support system in place.
This could mean a best friend or close group of friends they can vent to and talk through things with. Maybe it's an amazing family that chips in and helps with the kids and day-to-day tasks. Maybe there's a cleaning lady, personal assistant, husband or entire team you've never seen.
Let's stop the glorification of superwoman, shall we?
It's okay to admit you need help and can't do everything.
It's okay to admit you want some time to sit and do nothing, and in order to do that, it means something else won't get done. It's okay to ask for help, hire it out or let things slide a bit.
Why do we feel the need to prove we can do it all? I bet, if you really tried, worked endlessly, didn't sleep and stopped doing anything just for fun, you could probably do it all. But at what cost? Trying to do it all just leads to exhaustion, overwhelm, resentment, sickness and a major meltdown. Trust me, I know.
1) Stop trying to do everything.
It doesn't make you any more of an amazing, worthy or capable human being to do everything -- it usually just makes you more exhausted and stressed out, so stop. Be honest with yourself about your time constraints, lifestyle, preferences and abilities. Sure, you can probably do a lot of things well, but should you? Is it the best use of your time? Are you making sacrifices or are areas of your life suffering because of it?
2) Admit where you need help.
Once you get honest with yourself about where you're spending time on things you shouldn't, admit that you need help. Are you overwhelmed by the housework? Is your inbox a major cause of anxiety for you? Do you spend far too much time trying to edit things when your spelling and grammar aren't the best to begin with? Be honest about what sucks the most energy out of you and your life as well as what overwhelms and stresses you out to have to handle.
3) Choose what's really important to you.
Is it having time for your kids? Being able to read or be creative? Is it time for your business? Time for friends? Each and every one of us is different, so you have to be honest about what's most important to you. There's no right or wrong answer here. Check in with yourself... What lights you up the most? What makes you feel alive and happy? What adds value to your life? What moves you towards your goals? These are the things you should be prioritizing!
4) Delegate, eliminate or hire the rest out!
Oftentimes we say yes to far more than we should. Start by looking at all your commitments and eliminating anything that's not absolutely necessary or essential to your well-being. Being on the PTA, helping out with the school bake sale and coaching your kid's Little League doesn't make you any more of a supermom -- in fact, it makes you less of one because you're stressed out, too busy and unavailable to your kids.
Working on client projects, answering your own emails, keeping track of the bookkeeping and managing all your own marketing doesn't make you a super-entrepreneur -- again, you're probably slowing down your growth, overwhelming yourself and under-delivering on promises if you're doing everything yourself.
Additionally, take a look at what you've committed to that your heart just isn't in. Don't work on, attend, commit to or say yes to anything that doesn't make your heart sing. Take a look at things you've already committed to and see if there's a respectful way to bow out, or start saying no to any new requests of your time and energy.
Take Action Now
Get honest with yourself about whether or not you're trying to do it all -- or even more than you can right now. There's no shame in it. Work through the steps above and free yourself from the burden of feeling like you have to be superwoman!
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
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