One of the questions that I get asked often is about time management. Being a working mama is hard – and trying to do that while you are at home can sometimes seem insane! I don’t pretend to have it all together but (for the most part!) I do manage to stay on top of some big things, including: working on PR clients (which includes my own marketing & getting clients), EntrepreneurMom blogging and social media, and we home school (I’m a single mama, by the way), plus cleaning and laundry is pretty much always up to date.
So that’s some fairly big stuff that sort of happens all at the same time.
My secret is that I’ve actually I’ve carved away a few extra hours that really work for me (ok, disclaimer here, I am a morning person so while all of this might be easier for me to achieve, even if you don’t start quite as early you can still be even more productive if you start your morning off right!)
Here is your Epic Morning game plan!
- Plan the night before
Honestly the best morning routine just wouldn’t work if it didn’t start the night before so before bed (or relaxing in the evening, which currently consists of absorbing as much information as I can from MollyGreen.com which I discovered through the Ultimate Homemaker’s Bundle this year!)
My planner is literally a spiral notebook with one page allocated for each day. The page is divided into two columns and then subdivided to include all the things I need to do (broken down into groups for admin, personal, homeschooling, and clients). Not everything scheduled is intended to be completed that day, but it helps to get a sense of what is coming up in the week ahead as well.
Once all that is down, I mark the things that absolutely need to be done on that day (meetings deadlines etc) and I also prioritize my list (little dots next to the must-do items and then number those in the order I need to get to them). That way, when I sit down to work there’s no trying to get my head back on track; I know immediately where I’m starting (and that can save me least 20 minutes!).
- Wake up early
You groaned, didn’t you? You knew that was coming, right?
Ok, so yes, one of the ways to get more hours in your day IS to literally put more waking hours in, but even if you are not a morning person, the difference a half an hour makes can be crucial, not only for what gets done, but how your mind feels and how it processes the day!
Did you know that before even opening your eyes in the morning, you can already start to determine your day (and future)? It’s true so start off right – before putting your two feet on the ground imagine your WHY (what it is that you are doing all of this for, what do you want to happen, or to change, in your life/family/home business) coming to pass: visualise (see/hear/smell the smells etc) of walking through your happy clean home, what your successful home business looks like(to you), and your children.
See that feeling you get (as opposed to first thinking about unpaid bills and other worries)? Pretty great way to get your morning started!
Pray, meditate, or sit quietly, whatever is right for you at this moment; just get in touch with all that is bigger than you. Center yourself before the world hurtles itself at you!
- Get the blood flowing
If I could run every morning I totally would, but being a single mom means no leaving the house with a child asleep at home alone! Still, morning stretches, a little yoga, a handstand up against the wall aren’t out of reach and really tell my mind that it is TIME TO WAKE UP!
(Just a side note though, I got K-man an epic Star Wars bike for his sixth birthday recently, and now I’ve been able to run every single day after he has breakfast….with him and our dog Molly alongside!! YAY!)
- Put those priorities in their place
Part of planning the night before includes highlighting what absolutely has to be done (client deadlines, meetings etc).
But here’s the fun part: that means playdates/outings/soccer games as well (or going for a run/bike ride each morning!)
The whole point in working at home is to be able to schedule those things in, so when something fun is happening you can be sure that’s in the diary, set as in stone as a client meeting (and if a client needs me in that time? Well, I’m in a meeting – no one needs to know we are catching crawfish with sausages in the river)
Schedule what is important to you first and then fit everything else around that. Isn’t that the whole point of working for yourself, at home?
My standard Tuesday morning meeting….just happens to be held at the park with the homechoolers – this day was a “catch and release crawfish” program, using thread and sausages 🙂
- No internet
It would be hard for me to choose just one thing that is most important in the list, but if I did, this would have to be among them. I will literally lose a half an hour to emails, blogs/articles, and Skyping or messaging friends and family (in different time zones, of course). I totally disconnect from the internet for the first few hours of my morning. If it’s an emergency then you have to go old school and phone or text me.
- Get un-Social (for a while)
I know I just said the same thing in number seven, but just to make sure: no internet includes social media (you know that right?)
If email can cost me a half an hour, then Facebook and other social media sites will cost me the whole hour! No internet means no internet!
Ok, I’ll be honest, waking up early is not difficult for me at all, but I can just imagine that for mamas who are nursing or up late at night or just can’t get up early (my sister is one of those late risers so yeah I do get it!) but try.
Life isn’t always perfect though so go easy on yourself!