Do you ever wonder how the women behind successful businesses do it? We certainly do. How do they run a mini empire, organise the household, get the kids out of the house with packed lunch box in hand, keep on top of an exploding inbox, arrive on time for meetings (without sticky finger stains on clothing) and be punctual for school pick up? This week in our ‘Keeping Time’ series, we caught up with Holly Garber, the managing director and founder of Golightly.
What are your tips for keeping the household running on time?
I’m a punctual person and so is my partner Huw. We are the type of people to get to the airport a good 45 minutes early. So we naturally tend towards keeping things running on time. Having a toddler can make that slightly trickier than normal but I just work the extra time needed to do whatever needs to be done with Violet into my plan, i.e. add 20 minutes to everything! Also if I feel like something is going to mean we are rushed and stressed and it’s discretionary, I’ll just cancel it. I’m not interested in doing that to myself or to Violet.
Do you work to a tight schedule?
I work to a schedule but it doesn’t feel overly tight most of the time. I work four days a week in the office and will do a little extra work at night if I need to. I’m focused when I’m in the office and I’m a relatively decisive person, so I get through much of what needs to be done each day and make sure things don’t mount up too much. Also, I have an amazing team who are given quite a lot of autonomy and responsibility, which means that I can get on with what I need to without needing to be involved with every tiny thing that goes on in the office.
What do you do personally to make the day easier?
Routine and communication. Both Huw and I are structured people who like to feel organised so we have a relatively set routine for how things run in our family on a weekly basis. We also maintain a common calendar so that any events or things out of the normal routine are shared in there to make it easy to manage. That means that we both know what is going on any given day, what is happening with Violet and where we need to be. I also make time to exercise, meditate and get as much sleep as possible all of which keeps me sane. Violet is 18 months old so she’s a little young to help out. However we encourage her to do small tasks for herself, such as taking her plate to the sink after eating a meal and putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket at the end of the day. Basically, we are starting out as we hope to go on, so as she gets older and is more capable she will be given more and more responsibility in the house and for herself.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the juggling act?
Right now, no. But it changes frequently so I have in the past and I’m sure I will again in the future. At the moment my partner Huw is setting up his own business so he isn’t currently working full time. That has made a huge difference to the pace of our life and given me considerably more freedom with spending extra time at work if I need to. However it also means I’m spending a little less time with Violet than I was before, which I’m a little conflicted about!