Do you ever feel like you are on a hamster wheel, spinning around in circles but not really getting anywhere?
Yeah, me too and today is seriously one of those days when I’m praying for strength.
Running a huge corporation or retail business means there is probably a CEO, a Financial Director, and managers for every single department whether loans, insurance, food, clothing, makeup, whatever.
Not in many home businesses, though.
In a home business, you are probably the MD, maybe the admin and bookkeeper, and chief coffee maker! On top of that, you are the family manager, snack associate, and activity co-ordinator for your children. Whether you have one child or four (or more!), home schooling, public schooling, or too-young-for-schooling: each element creates a totally different scenario for your business and you family.
Balancing it all can be tough, and zap your strength.
What’s a busy mompreneur to do? Gather round; here are a few things I do every day to help me run my home business & my family as efficiently as possible. Maybe a few of these will resonate with you too:
Create a plan of action:
No matter how tired I may be at the end of the day, I (try) and take 5-15 minutes to write out a plan of action for the next day. I even include personal things, like walking the dog, as well as family things, like eating breakfast together, and snack time all on to one daily calendar.
**Other entrepreneurs may keep their lists separate, but as mompreneurs we tend to balance them all simultaneously. We’re just awesome like that!
Next, I prioritize that plan with a list of top activities things that must be done (like meeting client deadlines etc), followed by a handful of actions that will make me feel like I really accomplished what I needed to – even if that’s the ONLY thing that gets done).
Even if you have a day that isn’t as productive as you had hoped, creating a plan means that will likely start to have a lot more tracked wins, which will be a total confidence boost in the long run!
A separate work space:
If you don’t have a dedicated office, that is ok, but try to find some space that is separated from the noise of a busy family. I have one child and have tried in the past to work in the same space (fooling myself into believing that this is still quality time!) but it is not productive. Even with earphones, my son comes to me with 100 questions. It takes me less time to get what needs to be done, completed, when I take it to another room.
Guess, “out of sight out of mind” is true!
Use a timer to stay focused:
With or without distractions, I really can not concentrate for long periods of time. Add in a few distractions (Pinterest, Facebook, phone, Skype etc!) & I’m even worse! When I hit planning phase the night before, I also write down a rough estimate on how long that task should take if I work flat out (usually around 15 minutes for shorter planning type activities and admin & to up to two hours for creating).
Then with a timer set & headphones on, and I can knock out a lot of work really fast (oh yeah, I disconnect from the internet and definitely stay away from social media during focused time!).
Utilize the hours that are best for you:
We are given 24 hours in a day so use what suits you & your family!
Are you a night owl? Stay awake a few extra hours to write emails, plan, whatever is required in your business.
Early bird? Get up a few hours early (this is so me) and get some writing done. No one said that 20 or 40 hours a week HAD to be performed between certain times (unless you work for someone else, which frankly, is why you no longer do). Do what is right for YOU.
Do what is right for your family:
This may take some work, just because you like to work in the morning doesn’t mean it works the best with your family. Trial and error the situation until you come up with a plan that works and don’t apologize for it. NO ONE can (or at least should) compare themselves to your situation, only you know it best.
Don’t compare yourself to Superwoman:
Listen mama, sometimes you won’t get everything done; make peace with that. Maybe you work in your pjs (ahem). Maybe your children need to watch a DVD (I love PureFlix for good wholesome entertainment that I can trust) while you make important phone calls. Maybe the bed isn’t always made (or EVER made). Whatever thing (or things) get let left behind/remain undone, do it consciously and don’t beat yourself up.
You’re doing great!
Rest is not a four letter word:
Ok, it is but you get my point, right? Take time out to focus only on your family…or you…or friends…or work. One focus point at a time.
You already know that you need to separate yourself to get work done, but the same applies to you and other areas of your life.
Don’t forget what you are working for: your family and your future. Always take time to enjoy them!
And the most important rule? There are no rules. Balancing work and family can be tough, but the rewards are far greater than working for someone else, so always do what works for you, unapologetically.
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