The single most challenging thing for mom-preneurs is the fact that there really are only 24 hours in a day. If we didn’t have to sleep we would all get so much more accomplished, wouldn’t we? But the fact is we do need sleep. I know I need MY sleep. How do mothers “do it all”? I have learned over the years, that there is no way to do it all, but there are ways to fit in the things that are more important for you by revising how you approach each day.
There are many things I do on a daily basis that help me to find time for my business, but here are three that I think are very important:
1. Get organized
How often do you spend a good hour looking for something that you know is somewhere, but you have no clue where it got put? Didn’t you just see it right next to the phone yesterday!
Every week I spend about 15-30 minutes organizing something in my house. I may just put everything back where it belongs, or I might clear out a closet, straighten a drawer in a desk, or clear out clutter from under my child’s bed.
The short time that I spend organizing saves me so much time later looking for something that isn’t in the right place. For example, when I need to find a transaction statement for a certain bank account from 2005, it would literally take me a matter of minutes. Or if the kids can’t find the glue sticks, I just pull one out from my private stash.
2. Work efficiently
Learning to work efficiently can be the most important time-saver out there. Someone working on a project while being distracted, unorganized and unfocused could spend 6 hours on the project while that same person working on the same project with zero interruptions, a clear outline of what is to be accomplished and streamlined focus on each task at hand could take 2 hours.
I find I am much more productive if I write down my goals for the day and for the moment that I just sit down to work. I write down what I expect to work on, in what order I am going to work on the tasks and how long I expect each task to take.
It’s best to turn off all distractions. Let the machine answer the phone, make sure the kids are busy (or as busy as they can be for their age), turn your ear away from any other distractions besides the kids and your work, and skip the snacks. (Snacking while working can be a huge distraction, believe it or not).
3. Realize that your house doesn’t need to be spotless
I used to think that my house had to be spotless and picked up all the time. I spent WAY too much time cleaning everything.
After I had a couple children, I realized that I had even less time to get everything done. There was so much more to do. I had to let something go. My business was too important to me, so I had to find other things that were not going to get done. With 2 young children, I was spending a lot of time cleaning up. I didn’t want to hire a maid, so the alternative was to decide that certain things could be cleaned a little less often.
After each child (I now have 3), I found more and more things in the house that didn’t need to be cleaned as often as they did before. I have learned that there are many more important things than a clean house and they always come first. And just think I STILL have people who come and visit and mention that my house looks great! How clean is your house? Clean enough?
It ultimately comes down to the fact that people make time for what they feel is important to them. If your business is important, then you make the time for it. You give other tasks, projects and distractions a lower priority.