Mompreneur – it’s hard work. Being a mom without the “preneur” is hard enough, and I don’t see how moms juggle all they do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mom or have a husband, moms carry the world and make it go round. Add in a business and the pressure increases like crazy! But through the years of working from home I’ve discovered a few time management tips that I want to share.
It’s easy to see that there is a constant battle of something always needing to be done, someone always needing to be changed or fed, calls/emails needing to be returned, kids to pick up or drop off, dance class or soccer practice, and of course, husbands who need attention. Oh yeah, and a business that has to be attended to.
So how do you manage it all?
As a mompreneur it’s important not be so hard on yourself. It’s an uphill battle trying to always be everything for everyone and the guilt associated with not being able to meet those realistic expectations is enough to drive anyone mad. Here are 10 time management tips for mompreneurs to help you manage business and keep life in balance.
- Write Out Your Daily To-Do List – I have an iPhone and love the notebook feature on it. I can write out my daily to-do list on one and it syncs with my phone, computer and my iPad. So I have access to it no matter where I am. Ask yourself “What do I need to accomplish today?” Be realistic. Be specific. Be intentional. If you have a plan for the day it’s much easier to make it a reality.
- Live & Breathe by Your Calendar – Start with a schedule. Block off times when you’re going to work on your business. If you are a work at home mompreneur make sure to block off times to help kids with homework and a little relaxation time for youself. When the time is right, fit in a little “me time” for my hair, nails, eyelashes, a massage. Family is a priority, that’s most likely why you’ve chosen to be a mompreneur, but business and earning money is why you want the “preneur.” Take control of your calendar and make it work for you!
- Prioritize Your Activities – As you make your list, divide it in to three categories: Hot, warm and cold. Your “hot” list is everything that needs to be completed no matter what. Sales (income producing activities), marketing, doctor’s appointments, getting your tiny dancer to dance practice, dinner… anything that you cannot avoid that has to happen. Your “warm” list items are important and need to get accomplished, but are secondary to the “hot” items. Your “cold” list are items that you need to accomplish but have some flexibility as to when they get completed. Only place items on the list that you intend to do and need to accomplish. Only you know which items can go on each list, but categorizing what you have to do each day will ultimately help you move through the “to do” list with much more ease and less feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Unsubscribe From Annoying Email Lists – It’s amazing how much time we spend deleting unwanted emails. If you know you are going to always delete an email from a certain recipient, unsubscribe from their list. The time spent keeping an email inbox clean may feel productive, but it keeps you from truly doing business.
- Delete That Email! – Read emails and inbox messages and for the ones you know you will not need in the future -delete them! You’ve implemented the art of unsubscribing, so now after you check the emails that are left, delete them. You’ll feel much better each day starting with a clean slate.
- Avoid Time Traps – Avoid facebook and other social media time zappers, unless they are part of your business and marketing plan. In that case, stay focused and don’t get sucked into looking at college pictures from 10 years ago on some random friends photo albums. These have incredible power to suck you in and destroy productivity. If these are one of your guilty pleasures, work them into your schedule.
- Get Inspired – One of the best way to make the best use of your time is by staying inspired and motivated. I have the TED app on my iPad that lets me watch motivational speeches and even lets me choose the amount of time I have to watch the video. So if I have 15 minutes, I choose a fifteen minute speech. If I have 10, I choose a 10. Staying motivated and inspired keeps you focused thus saving time.
- Clean As You Go – I seem to have clothes and household items get strewn throughout the house all the time. Toys and games are the same! Get in the habit of returning clothes or items to their proper place as you are already walking that way instead of making special trips up and down the stairs or from one end of the house to the other. Those little one minute trips add up throughout the day, plus you’ll feel so much better seeing things nice and tidy around the house. Every minute counts!
- Treat Your Business as Your Business – Just because there are kids around and laundry that needs to be done, you do have to focus on family time, mom time and work time. While much of it can be intertwined, by having a focus on each one in their own time slots, you are able to save time and making the most out of each one when you are able to focus. If your kids see you displaying discipline, setting goals and accomplishing them, they will grow to do the same. You are parenting as you display discipline and focus. So don’t feel guilty about spending time on one when you know the other needs to have some attention. You have already scheduled these times on your calendar, so you’ll have great confidence that you can accomplish the awaiting items too.
- Rinse and Repeat – Repeating this process at the end of each day will keep you one step ahead for the next 24 hours and help you start each day with a fresh focus.
Even though my mom did, we all know that moms do not posses super human powers… and that’s okay. But by being in control of our time we tell our time who is in control.
You’re a mompreneur so you can enjoy your family and enjoy the freedom of working from home. You have the freedom, but your time is your slave! So make your time work for you!
Do you have any time management tips that have helped you? Comment below and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them!