Simultaneous Equations

Holding your head in frustration with your problems is an everyday thing when trying to balance a work-life situation. Here’s some tips to do it with a smile.

Variables and coefficients

Dear Diary

As I go along my journey I find that I have to hold a few balls in the air, all at the same time. This comes after a week of having to:

  • Pay bills
  • Get the car fixed
  • Sales repping
  • Drawing up new documents
  • Deciding what to make for dinners
  • Making dinner
  • Doing grocery shopping
  • Writing my blog ideas down
  • Visiting family
  • Spending quality time with husband
  • And the list goes on

I’m starting to wonder how do people do this and some do it successfully too. It’s a real skill and quite the sacrifice I find, mainly of yourself. I have been reading blogs and articles about other women in business to see what they have to say about this subject. How they get through it all. We don’t even have kids yet, I can only imagine how a woman with kids does this. Let alone single women with kids who are trying to start a business. Is there enough support? How do they go about creating a support system around them to focus on becoming successful in their businesses?

It made me think of a much-dreaded school subject, math! I wasn’t always good at it when I was in school. But now being an adult I see why. It’s because I didn’t apply myself. I’ve always been logical and sought to do things in a systematic manner. This is the very foundation of math. Admittedly, I was just a lazy snot-nosed kid who looked at the problem and gave up. Unfortunately, this thinking set in motion a pattern in my life I only came to understand as an adult. As an adult, I discovered something amazing when I started to ask why? And then I started to ask how? These are important questions to ask in math, but also in life as a whole.


I found that the more I started to question things in pursuit of a solution, the better I became at math. It’s in the rules. Not always being one for rules and structure as a teen, as with most teens, I constantly tested boundaries to experience the surprises of their results. Through this behaviour I have learned a lot, about myself and about others. I learned about cause and effect, reasoning, risk-taking, result and; most of all of the situations in life often present themselves as problems to be solved.

Instead of fearing this process, I found motivation in solving a problem by looking at possible solutions first. Then selecting the processes by which I would go about solving it. Sometimes, there’s more than one problem to solve all with a few possible solutions. The question is what is the right answer? Is it a question of priority, what you pay attention to first. Or following a controlled system to get to a specific outcome?

Solving for (x, y)

Start with focusing on what you want to be done first:

  • The priority, your kids
  • Homework
  • Dinner
  • Bathtime
  • Storytime and bedtime, for the kids
  • Setting your schedule for the next day
  • Paperwork organized
  • Take kids to school,
  • Start your day of business etc.

To get things done I find I have to be strict with protocol or rules. A disciplined approach to things. Otherwise, I will never get to solve for x. Because I’m not following a set formula, I’d be making things up as I go along. Have complete chaos as a result and an elusive x. I find myself prioritizing, dealing with what I have been given, clues or…. things that lead to the obvious…

eg. I need to pay these bills first or there will be trouble, I need to spend time with the kids after school or there will be a consequence for that, then I need to reply to these emails or there will be a delay, etc.

Just send the email

I find if you send an email out of business hours this is not in any way unprofessional, it shows you are committed and eager to give someone a response even if they are asleep at the time. It will be waiting for them when they wake up to start their day. This should only be perceived as positive. It means doing work after putting everyone to bed is fine. I find I’m actually very productive in the evening, so this works perfectly for me. I once emailed someone at 3 in the morning and a good few hours later, when they replied actually complimented me on working hard and sought to help me with whatever I need within the day. But with this, take caution, have balance. Burn out is real and often gets the jump on you when your nose is deep in your work like this.

Solving equations with 2 unknowns

Balancing home and work life is difficult. With math, one isn’t expected to know the answer by looking at the problem unless you’re a savant! You go through the steps to solve the problem. Often as working women, we solve multiple problems at once, this is truly amazing. We seem to have this tolerance for it, a natural affinity for math!

As business people, math is at the core of your business. It is in everything you do:

  • Critical reasoning
  • Logics
  • Problem-solving
  • Working out commissions and Salaries
  • Budgeting
  • Doing your books, accounting
  • Dietary plan for your family, so they’re at they’re optimum throughout their day, yep there’s a bit of math there!
  • Sorting the finances for home and business
  • Calculating how much financing you’ll need for business, how much you can contribute and maintain a lifestyle
  • Doing math homework with kids
  • Probability and risk evaluation. eg. How far does this tank of petrol get me for what I have to get done, taking on new clients, business failure or success based on the market, etc.
  • Working out profits and losses

Process of elimination

I find that I have to constantly get rid of the clutter. Things that just get in the way or even cause problems in the first place. Things that cause clutter:

  • Negative thinking or defeatest thinking
  • People who add to the above
  • Bad habits
  • No schedule
  • No discipline
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Lack of support

Satisfy the equation

In math to solve an equation one has to “satisfy the equation”, meaning do the variables ‘fit’ or make the equation true by contributing to the correct answer. Is what I am doing the right fit for me? How can I ensure this? See the link on what is in your hand…

Substitution method

Don’t feel guilty! This is the biggest one that gets to me. I feel guilty if I say no I can’t meet up with friends and family to work on my business. Or guilty when I can’t buy new toys or cool clothes for the kids because we’re on a budget.

But I find by communicating my new purpose and reasons for changes in the family, asking for support in various areas I get support and understanding! We become a team spurring each other on and we celebrate together when there’s a victory, however small. Most of all we’re driving our destiny and making goals and dreams come true. By setting examples for each other and helping each other along. We sacrifice together knowing why we’re doing it, to keep an eye on the prize for later. We’re building a legacy together and learning how to grow.

Asking, communication and accepting. This has become very important in building my support structure on this journey. If I don’t communicate, everyone will assume I’m OK and leave me to do what I’m busy with. And if I don’t ask, no one will know I’m in need of help. Mainly, if I don’t accept the help no one will want to offer help again.

Truth of the equation

The truth behind the equation is that it is self-created. We create the reality in which possibilities present themselves through our decisions (x) and/or actions (y) and yes life throws in a few other variables and coefficients. We are the axis on which life plots out our thoughts and deeds in the hope that they are a balanced equilibrium. But to this there is always a reason, there is always a solution. A few methods may apply to help with the process.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.

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