As a mompreneur you have one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. You have decided to run your own business and be a parent. It doesn’t get any more wonderful, and challenging, than that! All of those responsibilities means that finding a balance is essential. A balanced life helps you continue to have it all and gives you the time you need to enjoy the life you’ve designed. Here are some tips, strategies and ideas to balance your working and family time:
1.- Schedule time for everything: It may sound extreme. However, scheduling time to work and time to play really does help you find the balance that’s right for you. Scheduling your life forces you to look at your priorities and make sure you find time for them.
For example, you may decide that working from six am to noon every day works best for you. Then you have from noon until bedtime to focus on your mom responsibilities. Alternatively, you may decide that working two ten-hour days a week works best for you and then taking the other five days to focus on your mom responsibilities. There’s no right or wrong schedule here. A balanced life is defined by you.
2.- Prioritize: This is important for both your business and your personal life. There’s always more to do in every area of your life. Take the time to prioritize both. For example, for your business your priorities are likely your income-producing activities. If you’re a service professional, then the time you spend working with clients is a high priority. If you’re in affiliate or information marketing, then planning and creating content is what brings in the money. On the personal side, spending time with your partner each week is a priority – as is spending quality time with your children. However, cleaning the house may not be a high priority.
3.- Get help: Once you know where your priorities are you’ll most certainly notice that there are tasks and responsibilities that are not on that list. For example, the house cleaning or your bookkeeping. These are tasks that get pushed to the back of the list. These are also tasks that you can get help with. For example, you can outsource the housecleaning or bookkeeping to a professional. Make sure that when you outsource a task you fill the available time created with a high priority task. For example, if you outsource your bookkeeping perhaps that frees up three hours of your time each month. Make sure you use that time to work on income-producing activities. The goal is to earn more money than you’re spending on outsourcing.
4.– Improve Your Time Management Skills:
Take a look at the Time Management Matrix in the image above created by Stephen Covey, first described in his book First Things First.
As a working mother, in which quadrant do you spend most of your time? If we’re honest, it’s probably not in the Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership, More than likely, we’re spending most of our time:
- Signing field trip forms at the last minute on the way out the door in the morning;
- Stopping at the grocery store every day in an effort to find something for dinner;
- Making last-minute trips to the store for ink cartridges so school research papers can be printed;
- Taking unnecessary phone calls;
- Staying late to prepare for tomorrow’s sales meeting;
- Checking email too often throughout the day;
- On the Internet;
- On Facebook;
Now that you understand how you should be investing your time and where you might be wasting it, you can work on improving your time management skills.
- Make a list of all tasks, activities and priorities that fall into the Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership, those things important but not urgent. Include both work and personal priorities.
- Set aside the first two hours of each workday and only focus on those important but not urgent activities. Close your door, stay focused and tell your co-workers you are not to be interrupted.
- Set aside one hour per evening and only focus on personal activities that are important but not urgent. These might include exercising, playing with your children, paying bills ahead of schedule or simply relaxing or reconnecting with your spouse.
Once you’ve mastered the above schedule on a consistent basis, challenge yourself to increase the amount of time you spend both at work and at home on these important activities. You’ll find this extra time by continuing to identify and eliminate time wasters.
Soon, other people will look at you and ask, “How does she get so much done?
“Finally, learn to recognize when your life feels out of balance. There’s no formula that can tell you. It’s up to you to know when things are askew. This is where regular planning sessions and quiet time alone can help. You can perform an honest analysis of your life and where it is going and make any changes necessary. This is your life.”
You’re in control!
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