Trust me when I tell you your not alone.
Time Management is one of the BIGGEST struggles for a Mom in Business who raise their children and grow their companies at the same time.
Never mind finding enough time in each day to do the things that need to be done but also trying to do this without the feeling of guilt, disorganization or frustration.
Below are tips that help me plan for success and are also a routine that I use on a daily basis to help me be my most productive self.
STOP striving for the perfect balance.
Being an incredibly organized CEO who is obsessed with order, productivity, following a specific schedule, and checking off tasks from the To Do list.
I struggled greatly with this one; until I realized there is NO perfect balance anymore, that this is my new normal and I have to be able to accept it.
I was able to adjust to the many start and stops during the day, without loosing focus on the task that I needed to get done.
Create a short list with work topics that need your attention immediately (for example):
- Create a rough copy for blog post
- Follow up with VA with plan for next week
- Communicate on social media for 15 minutes
Goal: Aim for a short list, with a maximum time limit for each task between 15-20 minutes.
Try to jump into each task, in order, for the maximum time limit you’ve allowed yourself. If you get interrupted and Mom Duties call, that’s totally OK! You know where you left off, so when it’s time to jump back in, set the timer again for any time left over and finish up. By creating short lists with time limits and specific tasks, you will be able to stay on topic and complete tasks without feeling like you’re jumping all over and not getting anything done.
Your most productive hour during the entire day:
I work amazingly in the mornings and can get done about triple the amount that I could if I leave all my work for the afternoon.
I didn’t fully grasp onto this idea until I started recording what was completed each day and I was shocked! If I got side tracked early in the morning due to the lack of direction without having a short list created (see above post), then I found that not nearly enough got done. But if I had my list ready, woke up and got an uninterrupted hour or so, this set my entire day up for success!
What you need to do is:
1. Figure out what time you are more productive
2. Arrange to get your short list completed during this time
3. Keep track of the time of day you feel your best, in case this changes with a new nap schedule, a teething little one, or any of the many changes that happen with a growing child!
Struggle to ‘Switch Off’ for 1:1 time?
Working from home and having your cell phone and laptop handy almost 24/7 is a part of the job. But no one prepared you for the guilt. It creeps up when you least expect it. Maybe you FINALLY got a productive hour or two in? A few random checks to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. And all of a sudden you’re feeling like your winning the Worst Mom Award.
Switching off, even if it’s for short periods of a time is a HUGE struggle for us Moms in Business.
Understand that this is super normal in the day and age we are living in, almost every one of us goes through this – so you are not alone!!
The tips that help me unplug, focus my attention, and make sure I don’t feel guilty with myself are:
1.Create your Non-Negotiables!
For me, this is no Electronics at Dinner time! If your cellphone is ringing, and you get distracted then turn it off or on silent. A few days of this and it will get easier.
2. 30 Minute Intervals with no interruption:
I schedule this during my daughter’s most energetic time. I go and hide my cellphone in a room that I will not need to go in. I focus on playing with Ofelia and doing whatever it is that she wants to do! Since it is out of my sight, I can’t hear the volume and this creates an environment where I am not tempted to just “check and see.”
3. 3-5 Minute Check-in Intervals:
Since our job has to do with being present and active online, it’s incredibly hard to disconnect and not think about social media, your website, updated blogs, etc. And that’s totally OK!
Allow yourself a few minutes here and there where you can quickly check in, make sure all is well and satisfy your urge for whatever online platform you have.
This way you’re not totally neglecting your online presence, but your aware of the small time frame you have so you use your time wisely.
(I usually take this time with a bathroom break! Bring my phone in with me, take a peak, quickly respond where needed. And then put my phone away again).
This creates the 1:1 time with your little one without distractions, but allows you a few minutes alone to check in and take care of business. This task alone will help minimize the guilt you feel. The goal is not to ban yourself completely, but schedule something that works without over doing it. As with everything, baby steps is the key to success 🙂
4. You’re AMAZING
If no one has told you this today, you’re absolutely AMAZING. You’re juggling a business with a work schedule from your home or maybe you do have an office. On top of all the time it takes to plan, operate, and grow your business, you are also being an incredibly amazing Mom to your little one(s). I want you to know that we are often our hardest critics and although it may seem like we are getting no where, making no progress, or not giving our child enough 1:1 time. You need to understand that what you are doing is way better than you think. You are incredible, and you are making your kiddos so proud 🙂