When running a household and a home-based business, who doesn’t find it tough to manage their time? With school breaks, sick days, constant interruptions, errands, volunteering, working irregular hours, etc., it’s a wonder we get anything done with such a fractured schedule! The fact is there will always be demands on your time. These never ending demands can make you feel overwhelmed, cause anxiety and end up paralyzing your productivity, pushing you further down the rabbit hole of overwhelm.
How do you break the cycle and stay out of overwhelm?
First, you need uninterrupted focus time to get stuff done. When can you schedule this time? Early mornings before your family wakes, evenings after the kids go to bed, naptime, school hours, weekends when your spouse can take the kids. Carve out that time and commit to it. So much stress will be lifted off your shoulders knowing that you have the time scheduled to work on your business.
Also, consider swapping child care with another mom to free up your schedule or hire a teenager in the neighborhood to come hang out with your kids for a few hours. With younger kids at home, you are most likely going to have to look at child care options.
Next, you need to have clarity around what needs to get done during this dedicated time. Make your to-do list beforehand. This helps you be purposeful with your time. If you start the day with no clear plan - not a clue with what you’re going to do - you are most likely not going to get much done.
Be honest with what you really need to do. The world won’t come to an end if you have to push something back a few days. When prioritizing tasks, mark the ones that generate revenue a top priority.
Get the toughest tasks out of the way first. You can waste a lot of time avoiding what you don’t want to do. Also, stay away from shiny objects! We all know what sabotages our time (ahem... social media). If you find you are losing focus, check in with yourself. Ask yourself: ‘Am I a good employee for my business?’ This is a good reality check to get you down to business.
Also, don’t be a victim of trying to do more. You end up doing less. Pick your top two or three priorities to focus on and go from there. Don’t go overboard on your task list. Keep it reasonable and achievable. The goal is to set yourself up for success. An impossible to-do list will sabotage your momentum.
Finally, you might have to get comfortable with saying “no.” While we can certainly do anything, we can’t do everything. That’s just the way it is.
Hand it over
Consider outsourcing bookkeeping, social media, marketing, graphic design, etc. If you are not great at doing something, it is sucking your time and you are not adding any value to your business by doing it! Also, what about outsourcing some household to-dos? For example, grocery delivery services, dog-walkers and house-cleaners are great options for carving out extra time.
Let it go
Perfection can really mess with productivity. Taking longer to do something does not mean it is going to be better quality. Sometimes you have to be good with ‘good enough’ and move on.
There you have it! While there will always be demands on your time, and things won’t always go according to schedule, planning and organization are key, and go a long way in helping you stay out of land overwhelm!
Heather is the City Director of Entrepreneur Mom Now Calgary (emomnow.com/calgary), a growing premium community of entrepreneurial moms. Heather helps connect entrepreneur moms to each other and advance their business acumen, so that they can grow their businesses and achieve their dreams.
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