10 Time Management Tips for Moms who Own their Own Business
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Hey busy moms! I know how tough it is to own your own business and live up to all of your mom duties so...
Here are 10 Time Management Tips for Moms who Own their Own Business
"How do you manage to get so much done!?"
I get asked this question all the time! So I'm here to share with you a little on how I accomplish so much in any given day. Ready for the huge secret??
I am intentional with my time. Now don't get me wrong...there are plenty of times where you can find me scrolling on my phone or pacing the house. (I pace a lot if I have things on my mind. Are you a pacer too!?) In my case, when I have a lot on my mind, I am usually cleaning while pacing so that definitely helps keep the house clean!
This post will give you actionable time management steps you can try today.
Since I have been asked so many times, let's go through a typical day in the Oak + Willow household:
5/5:30am- (Sometimes we will wake up around 4 or 4:30) The kids and I are usually awake by now. I feed the dogs and get the kids food make they are settled.
6-8:30am- Now this time can vary depending if we have to go anywhere that morning, but usually this is the time that I do my computer work for Oak + Willow. Website maintenance, answer emails + messages, social media posts, etc.
9am- I try to do a workout and get the kids involved too! Then I hop in the shower and get myself and the kids dressed and ready for the day. After we get ready, we'll go for a walk or play toys together. (I'll also throw a load of laundry in!)
11am/noon- Lunch! I make everyone lunch and if hubby has the later shift that day, then I'll make sure he's all packed, more coffee is made, and that he's ready to leave soon.
12/12:30- Quiet time. Since my kids don't nap anymore, we have some quiet time after lunch. They will usually play what they want and I'll have a little bit of time to work on designs.
1:30/2pm- Story time and/or homeschooling. We like to read a book together and we'll work on some school activity (writing their letters and numbers, fine motor skills, etc.)
3pm- The dogs usually act like they are starving by this point, so the kids will help me feed them. I'll also use this time to switch over anything in the washer or fold the clothes from the dryer. I'll also vacuum if needed or wipe down any surfaces that may need it.
4pm- Time to start making dinner! I clean up as I go so that all I have to do once I'm done eating is pack up the food and wipe down the sink and counters.
5:30/6- Start getting the kids bathed and ready for bed. (They go to bed early 1. because they're still toddlers and 2. we wake up so early every morning.)
7-9pm- I will get everything ready for the next day (coffee prepared, pick up toys, straighten the house) and work on designs or more computer work while watching a show. If it's been an especially long day and hubby is home, then I'll take this time to spend with him.
*This is a typical day and does not include outings, cleaning days, or spontaneous cookie baking days. But you get the general idea. :)
I am a stay at home mama to two toddler boys, a wife, business owner (and only employee!) of Oak + Willow, take college classes online, keep a clean and organized house, and still have time to make sure I'm playing with the kids while making them feel important and loved. None of this is to brag or make you feel bad...it's simply to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to...including accomplishing all of those tasks on your to-do list.
Learning to be intentional with your time is extremely important, regardless if you are running a business. It helps lower your stress, allow you to have more time for the activities you enjoy doing, and most importantly: allowing you to be present in the moments you don't want to miss.
So where to start if you're not used to being intentional with your time?
- Make a list of tasks you wish to accomplish in a day. Now don't try to be too ambitious or you will just find yourself stressed and overwhelmed. Start small and list tasks that are achievable.
- Prioritize your tasks. Put a number beside each task so you'll know which should be done first.
- Take breaks. Even though I am used to constantly moving around, cleaning, cooking, working, playing with the kids, I still take a small tea break or work on a puzzle to clear my head.
- Complete your most important task first thing in the morning. This will be when you have your most energy so it's better to knock out that thing you may be dreading first.
- Get organized. By being organized in your business, you are less likely to get distracted when it comes time to work on something. You'll know exactly where your things are and won't need to go searching in the moment.
- If necessary, put a time limit on your tasks. This will help avoid those time wasting habits since you will only have a set time to get a task done.
- Do not aim for perfection. It doesn't have to be perfect to be effective. Just try to accomplish the task to the best of your ability. If needed, come back to it later. Don't spend all day obsessing over one thing.
- Schedule your relaxation time. Make sure you set aside a chunk of time, whether it is for nightime netflix viewing or morning outings.
- If social media is taking up all of your time, learn to schedule times to answer messages, comments, and even scrolling and engagement with others.
- Lastly, but perhaps most important: Just do it! I know this is difficult for many people, but it is essential that you learn to trust your own instincts and just get it done. Do not spend hours and days second guessing every step. Trust yourself, stop procrastinating, and just go for it. Do not be scared of failure...failure helps you grow and learn. You can do this. You just have to believe in yourself, or at least pretend you do until it eventually becomes a reality. :)
Now I don't schedule everything in my day, but I do recommend doing this if you are finding yourself stressed to the max and as a result, not accomplishing any of your tasks. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the things we are meant to do in a day. But i can guarantee that if you are not getting everything done, it is more likely that there is a lot of wasteful activities being done.
For all of my stay at home mamas trying to run their own business out there: I often am told "but my kids want all of my attention all of the time." So do mine. All kids want is time with their parents. I am here to tell you there is a way to balance everything, no matter how many kids, no matter the ages. There is still time in the day to exercise. There is still time in the day to play with the kids and make them feel important and loved. There is still time in the day to clean. And you guessed it...there is still time to run a thriving small business! It is completely up to you how intentional you are with your time. Pay attention to anything that may be taking your time away that isn't ideal, whether it is social media or obsessing over what is going wrong. It is often that we make excuses for the things we do not wish to do. Example: I don't have time for a workout...I have too much to do and my kids want to play with me. But really, there's something inwardly holding you back from exercising. If you are feeling guilty for taking time away from the kids, ask them to join you!
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Above all: kids want their parents to be happy. Make your tasks fun. Play music and have the kids join in on cleaning. Even my toddlers enjoy grabbing a rag and wiping down the furniture. If you need to cook, ask the kids if they want to watch or help. I am living proof that you can raise amazing little humans while going after your dreams. Life is too short to worry or obsess over everything that needs to get done in a day. Start small, pick achievable goals for the day, and have fun. No, not everyday will be rainbows, but learning to cherish the most mundane moments will help change your perspective.
Here's a little change you can practice right away:
Instead of saying "I have to write this email or I have to do the laundry." Try: "I get to write this email or I get to do the laundry." There was once a time when I wished I was in a position where people would actually want an email from my own business. There was also a time where I had little to no clothes and no washing machine to clean what I did have. Perspective is everything, my friend.
You do not have to do everything in one day. However, if you are being intentional with your time, you can do everything you'd like to in a day. (At least pretty close!)
If you would like personalized, one-on-one, help with time management in your business, I offer consultations! I would love to help you achieve your dreams.