Carman's owner Carolyn Creswell has the secret
recipe for work-life balance
Carolyn Creswell, the woman behind the hugely successful Carman's muesli products, understands how important it is to keep a healthy work-life balance.
Carolyn has grown Carman's to become the number one selling gourmet muesli brand on Australian supermarket shelves, while at the same time maintaining a successful relationship with her husband Peter and raising four kids aged ten and under!
Carolyn believes we should try to give our all when it comes to both work and family.
“What we do today is [create] memories for us and for our children to look back on for the rest of our lives. So…as parents, we are responsible for making them great ones.”
Carolyn believes it's important to recognise family commitments as equally important as work commitments.
There are a few principles Carolyn lives by when it comes to managing business and her home. She recommends being in the moment when you're at work by powering through the day, getting as much done as possible to leave on time. However, she finds some people confuse rushing with productivity.
“Feeling rushed and frustrated all the time and frantically running around like a headless chook shouldn't be confused with productivity.”
Carolyn believes being organised and having good time management helps her get the most out of her workday. “When you're organised you will find that your mind is clear, [which helps] you prioritise better and get through your work more efficiently.”
Keeping her workspace tidy and clearing her inbox daily helps her stay on her A-game.
In the same way, Carolyn notes that it's also important to be present at home.
“Walk in the door and be there for your family. Resist the temptation to collapse in front of the TV and zone out.”
To make the most of her precious time with her family, Carolyn plans weekend activities like camping or skiing to help them connect more as a group.
Being proud to talk about your family commitments at work also helps you to keep a positive balance, Carolyn says. “Do not be embarrassed or hide it when you have family commitments.”
At the start of each year, she asks her children's schools for important dates to she can schedule them into her diary.
And when each event day comes, she “announces them proudly” as she leaves the office to attend them.
While she attempts to make every important date, she does recognise the difficulty working parents face to attend every event. “If you cannot go to every event, [it] doesn't mean you cannot celebrate it together later.”
When asked how she does it all, Carolyn says that she's cut down TV time and goes to bed early to have good night's rest. “Enough sleep and early morning exercise means you have more energy to give everybody.”
Carolyn stresses that achieving work-life balance is about the quality of your efforts, not the quantity of time you spend doing everything.
“It is not the total hours you spend at your desk that means you have done a good job, but the quality of your output.
“It is not the number of hours you spend together as a family, but the quality of time together. And I encourage my staff to do the same.”