Little free time, but time for everything

21 Dec

My sister-in-law, Emma Silcock, is great at getting a balance in her busy lifestyle. She’s got children aged three and one and a marketing business – she helps companies be more successful by building their brand and being more customer-centric. Emma’s unquestionably busy but manages to find time for everyone and everything in her life, including herself. And she always looks glamorous.

I chatted to her to find out how.

Emma Silcock

What are you juggling in your life?

Having my marketing business, two little people and a messy husband means I’m always on the go and don’t feel like I sit down until after 7pm each day. When I’m not working I always feel torn between doing something worthwhile or doing nothing and just relaxing. I get a fairly even split between the two but not as much of the time off as I’d like!

How do you manage to keep on top of things?

I’m a life-long fan of list making and, despite trying out lots of recommended apps, I always go back to good old pen and paper. You can’t beat scribbling over a job you’ve done, and it’s never quite as satisfying swiping it on your phone! In my previous job I did a course inspired by Stephen Covey, and learnt a system for prioritising according to whether or not things are urgent and important, and it’s stuck with me ever since. I spend time on the most urgent jobs and try to ‘eat a frog’ (metaphorically speaking) at the start of the day to get something out of the way that I’d normally avoid.

What’s your favourite time saver? 

I’ve learnt to make much better use of ‘dead’ time. So, for example, I empty the dishwasher while the kettle is boiling or put clothes away while I’m waiting for the shower to warm up. I make the most of my iPhone by replying to emails while my kids are having breakfast, keeping on top of dull jobs like entering meter readings on my apps and buying presents on it while I’m having a coffee. I take advantage of any time I have in the car by making all my phone calls then, when I don’t get interrupted by my children!

What have you learnt to do much faster out of necessity? 

Well it’s not necessarily faster, but definitely much more effective – I find ways to paint my nails without rushing them and having them smudged. So, when I’m working and am thinking about a reply to an email or what my next PowerPoint slide will have on it, I’ll paint another nail. I can easily do both hands by the end of the day and they’re almost always smudge-free. Working from home has many advantages!

What helps you keep things in perspective when you’re really busy?

Having kids definitely gives you a really good grounding and reminds you that there are more important things in life than the things you used to think were the be-all and end-all. When I’m feeling a bit stressed about work I think about the positives of having lots of work on and promise myself a treat when it calms down.

What do you do to relax? 

I get my pyjamas on as soon as the kids are in bed and lie on the sofa either watching some gripping TV  like Homeland (or equally as gripping Made in Chelsea), or I make my way through a book on my Kindle.

How do you create some time to yourself? 

Once or twice a week while my husband is cooking tea I go and have a soak in the bath and take my Kindle with me. The rest of the time I make sure I get a good coffee in each day and have five minutes to myself while no one bothers me!

What magazines do you enjoy?

I’ve always believed that you can’t beat reading trashy, mindless, celebrity-filled magazines to truly switch off. When my brain is too frazzled to take in anything remotely intellectual, poring over which celebs have really gone out like that is the perfect easy read.

What are your top 3 shopping sites? – their one-click ordering makes shopping for pretty much anything ridiculously simple, for last minute clothes crises, and for beauty treats.

If you had a day with nothing on your to do list what would you do?

I would definitely be shopping (for myself of course), having a nice lunch with my husband, and ending with a couple of beauty treatments thrown in for good measure.

Thanks Emma. Love the nail painting tip!

If you’d like help boosting your business’s success, you can contact Emma at

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2 Responses to “Little free time, but time for everything”

  1. pflead73 December 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Of course she can manage everything! She’s a marketing manager :)

    • Laura Silcock December 22, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      You’re right – those campaign management skills must come in handy!

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