The cruel fact of life is that nobody can have the entire cake and eat it. You’ll always have paperwork in your in-tray, the car will always need a wash and your kids will always need help with their homework. There will always be something that needs doing.
As demotivating as that may be, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have most of the cake and eat it too. The sooner you accept that you won’t ever get everything done when you’re a Mom and entrepreneur, the quicker you’ll get to the top, achieving true happiness.
As a Mom running your own business, you’ll be constantly juggling your priorities and tasks, trying to find a balance between family life, business commitments and a bit of time for yourself too. Unfortunately for some, the latter often gets neglected, but we’re going to give you some tips on how to find equilibrium, without being overwhelmed, and keep it…
Tip #1. Prioritize
Your first port of call should be to identify the tasks and activities that are essential. That might be making your kid’s packed lunches, answering your emails, spending a chunk of time on projects and taking the dog for a half hour walk. Keep them in mind, and schedule the rest of your day around those essentials that will make the biggest impact upon your life (or will cause the greatest problems if they’re left).
Tip #2. Use Free Services
Starting a mom business is an investment too and with kids and out of work, you are unlikely to have some extra money to spare. The good news is, there are lots of free or almost free services to use online, including Gmail, Trello, free images, and so many others. Also, if you search for discounts, you can find great deals to save. Here are a few great eCommerce website builders that are affordable and easy to use.
Tip #3. Divide Your Day
Instead of just tackling each workday as one large block of time, divide it into different types of work. Schedule a bit of time for phone calls, a bit of time for e-mails and a big chunk of time to get projects done.
Your day should be divided into three main categories:
Identify the essential tasks within those categories, and then spread out your other commitments/rewards between them. This will give you the balance you need to stay happy and on top of things.
Tip #4. Don’t Get Distracted
It’s far too easy to get swayed by things you want to do rather than things you need to do, or working late so that you can finish that project a day early. It seems like a good idea at the time, but you’ll end up mentally exhausted and unable to enjoy that special day off you worked so hard towards. It’s better to have an enjoyable evening off rather than a whole day when you’re tired and grumpy.
Tip #5. Make Lists
If you do find yourself getting distracted, you need to write down exactly what you should be doing in a list. Remember you are juggling three different priorities, so you’ll need three lists (one for work, one for family, and one for yourself).
Lists needn’t be long, but simply write down your essentials. Tick them off as you complete them, and you’ll find your stress levels fall considerably, and your confidence rises. It’s incredible how much of a boost just writing these things down can give you. Use whatever tools help you to get organized – flash cards, highlighters, a white board, whatever.
Tip #6. Honor Your Schedule
A white lie here and there isn’t going to do any harm. If you’ve planned a baking day with your kids, but a client wants you to work on something that day, tell them you’re already booked with another client instead. The same goes for the other way around – if your kids want you to take them out, when you’ve planned to go to the coffee shop with your friends, make it clear that Mommy needs time for herself too.
Take away all distractions possible when you’re in ‘work mode’ or ‘mommy mode’ too. I.e. turn off your work phone when you’re with the kids, and ban your kids from the office when you’re working.
Try to think of yourself as an office worker rather than someone who is self-employed. When you go out to work you don’t have your kids pestering you, so why should that be okay when you’re working at home? When you leave the office your clients don’t come home with you, so why should you be talking to them when you’re relaxing with your partner? Perspective is important.
Tip #7. Hold Onto Your Sense of Humor
Things are going to get hairy and you will run out of time occasionally. So, when it happens, don’t panic. Laugh it off and catch up – your schedule won’t crumble to pieces if you’re just one day behind!
Image source: justfunnies.com