When you start a business to make money online from home, you often find yourself wearing all the hats required for running it. Changes are, you are the head of your business strategy, accounting, marketing, sales, customer service and product/service manufacturing departments. Juggling your business from home especially while having young kids is no joke. As a Homeschool mom of 2 boys hopefully 3 by the time I finish writing this post, time management is key. Whether you are homeschooling, have toddlers running around all day or your kids are in school, how we spread out our workload through the day is so important
I have been a mompreneur for just over a year and it has definitely been a learning curve for me. I have often found myself answering emails while helping my son answer a math question or chatting to a client while I’m supposed to be making dinner. One day, I decided that this had to change. My family had to be my priority. My time is valuable and my kids’ time is precious. Lost time is not worth any amount a client will pay. So today, I wanted to share with you some tips that I have learnt on the way that have helped me organize my days and find balance between my family life and running my growing business.
1. SET GOALS Until a couple of months ago I was working aimlessly. I had a few clients and I had no idea what would come in by the end of the month or a direction where I was going with my business. Since I started setting goals, I am more focused. I know what I want to achieve and I work hard to get there. I have set goals for this year. On the last day of each month I sit down and write what I want to accomplish during the month ahead. I do the same every Sunday, when I sit down, write all the things I have coming up the following week and set my goals.
I keep my goals in a place where I can read them often so I know exactly what I’m working towards and what still needs to be accomplished.
Every evening I also spend some time writing my to-do list for the following day. I find that this helps me get right on track when I get up in the morning. In fact, I try to get up before the kids everyday, read my Bible and then do some work, so having the list ready helps me know just where to start.
2. TIME BLOCKS This is something that many moms have suggested to me and I’m working on implementing. Instead of spending all day carrying the computer around the house to check my emails and facebook, answering my clients the second they send me a question and dedicating my day to multitasking. I have now set times and days where I do certain tasks. My clients are well aware of my working hours but I am the one who doesn’t respect them.
After I’ve set your to-do list, I create time blocks through my day to get them accomplished. These are preset blocks of time where you will work on certain tasks. I usually create one time block in the morning and one in the afternoon Then, I choose one specific thing to work on during these blocks. If I finish what I was working on, I can always move on to the next thing on my prioritized to-do list. If I do not manage to complete all the tasks on my to-do list, I will finish it up when the kids are in bed at night.
3. TRELLO TRELLO!!!!! This is my favorite tool to run my business. It’s so great, I even wrote a whole blog post about it. This system helps you manage everything under the sun. To-do lists, project management, scheduling, organization……
I use it for myself, but I also have boards which I share with my clients. This always impresses my customers. They write down the tasks they need me to get done and I’ll work on the list without a lot of back and forth messaging on facebook where often times tasks get lost in long chats.
Another way I use Trello ALL THE TIME is to brain dump my thoughts. It’s very important to have a place to put all the random thoughts that pop into your head throughout the day. This helps me get all the junk out so I can stay focused throughout the day. I also find it very useful when I come across a nice quote or a blog post idea. I just write it down on Trello and when I’m scheduling my social media during the month, I know where to go. OHH and did I mention IT’S FREE!!
4. AVOID DISTRACTIONS Writing that title down makes me chuckle ….avoiding distractions with little boys in the house is my mission impossible. Living in a small house doesn’t help either. There is constant noise and always something going on. I have made them aware of the times that I need to get my work done…but you know how that goes! They know that after lunch mommy has to do some work and they are usually fine with that. I usually put on a movie or give them play dough or let them play in the yard for that time….but they also know it’s time to take advantage of all the yummy stuff in the kitchen. So this is their time to get creative in the kitchen and by creative I mean: Out comes the nutella and there’s chocolate all over the kitchen counter…OH THE FUN!!
What I have learnt to do is, on the busy days, normally on the days when I’m scheduling my client’s social media and writing copy for them, I sort it out with my husband so that I can go work in a cafeteria for 4 hours. Those are my most productive days. I don’t answer another emails and ignore any messages for that time in order to get things done.
5. DELEGATE A lot of people ask how does a mompreneur get everything done in a day. And my simple answer is, you don’t! You don’t get everything done that you want to get done. You just get everything done that you need to get done.
While it’s impossible to do it all, it’s definitely possible to get a lot more done if you delegate some of your tasks. This could mean asking your kids to pitch in more around the house or hiring a Virtual Assistant to offload some of those non-money-generating tasks that you are also taking care of. Whether that is your Social Media, Email management, Market Research etc…
If you’re concerned about spending money on a VA, always consider how much more important, revenue generating, work you could get done if you could off-load these time consuming tasks on to someone else.
Finally, I’d like to encourage you to have fun and reward yourself as a mompreneur. The whole point of having your own business is to get out of the world of 9 to 5 and to fulfill your dreams so make sure you go out, take a day off, go to the beach, take the kids out, go on a coffee date with another mom. You want to stay excited and enthusiastic about your business and have the energy to grow and make it flourish so make it a priority to make time for yourself to rest and avoid burn out.
Feel like you might be ready to outsource some tasks to free up more time for yourself? Schedule a Free Discover Call with me to find out how I can help you.
Take a look at some of the Virtual Services I can take off your hands to help you stay sane while running your business