Being mom and being business owner. There are many hats to wear in each role. There are a lot of things to juggle when you are raising kids and growing a business. As my friend Jaclyn so succinctly says as the tagline of her amazing mompreneur community, Chasing Dreams and Littles: #thejuggleisreal.
Oh yes, #thejuggleisreal. But both she and I would be first to tell you that it is so good.
Trust me: things do not always get done around here. No day goes by that I actually complete all of the things on the to-do list. (What? You mean you do? Give me your secret sauce!) If I manage to get all my client work for the day done, then the household is probably suffering just a little. And vice versa. Or if my kids and I have an outing planned, then I know that it’ll be a less productive day for Verity projects.
But in order to manage my time, I have recognized three time hacks that I consistently implement for managing my time and accomplishing more as mompreneur.
Essential cleaning or chores first. This is dry and boring (and not the advice you really expected to hear, right?) but, seriously, guys, it’s what works for me. If you need your space to be in some semblance of order, it’ll drive you bonkers to see toys strewn about everywhere in the house, dirty dishes in the sink, and laundry calling to be put away. Okay, maybe not the laundry part. 😉
But if I can take care of most of the chores before my kids go down for a nap, or if at the very least, I can do a 5-minute clean-up before sitting down for my naptime or nighttime hustle, it’s so much easier for me to focus on tasks at hand than stress that I’m not keeping up with the house.
Time block. The idea of time blocking is to assign specific tasks to specific times of day or amounts of time. For the mompreneur, the most obvious time block is typically the revered naptime. By breaking naptime as a whole into bite-size chunks, you can stay on task and accomplish more. How so? For example, by blocking out a half hour for blog post creation, a half hour for social media marketing, and using the remainder of naptime for specific client work or product creation, you are able to stay on schedule and get more done.
Time blocking is based loosely on the principle of Parkinson’s Law: that work will simply expand to fill the time available for its completion. So true. Ever have that project that seems to take forever and you wonder why? By planning and implementing ‘deadlines’ to your own work time, you keep on track, minimize distractions and procrastination, and even multitasking (which can be so detrimental!). This all adds up to–you guessed it--increased productivity.
No business email on my phone. What started as procrastination became one of my best decisions. I didn’t want to take the time to connect my business email on the Google mobile app at first, so I just got used to only checking it on my laptop. What I now realize is that it is freeing to not be tethered to my biz email, and I can better focus on my family when it is not constantly available.
This principle could go for social media apps, as well. If having Facebook or Twitter constantly available on your phone is too distracting, perhaps you could delete the app and instead use a time block to utilize social media on your computer. At the very least, you could turn off all social media notifications on your phone. *ding*
Do you have any time hacks that work especially well for your small business? How do you juggle all the hats you wear? Take a sec and share in the comments–I’m always looking for more efficient ways to live and work as mompreneur!
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Oooh, these are good tips! I especially like the one about scheduling blocks of time to work on specific tasks. I also recently implemented setting a timer for 15 minutes right after my kids get on the bus to do a quick house clean up before getting to work on my business. It is amazing what I can get done in 15 minutes and then I feel much better about the house and not like those tasks are nagging at me while I try to focus on business related tasks.