Now that you have your office space set up and created your ideal home working environment, it is time to look at how you are going to fit in running a digital business whilst still doing all the tasks that just have to get done when you’re a mum.
Let’s face, someone has to do them and if it isn’t you then who is going to do them?
Time is a factor that is a constant in all our lives – we only have so many hours in the day and in order to be successful you will need to be able to manage those precious hours effectively.
When my girls were younger, I worked a full time job as well as running a busy household. I was up early each morning by 6am ready to start the day completing the tasks such as getting breakfasts and lunch boxes ready before waking the brood for the day. After rubbing away their sleep and coaxing them to get dressed we would be ready for the mad dash on the school run. This was usually with the hope that there would be a parking space near the gate in order to save us those valuable few minutes before the school bell rang.
Then it was off to work for me for a full day at the 9-5 grind whilst my girls went to the afterschool club in the school until I collected them at 6pm. The evening continued with precision, dinner would be ready and homework completed in record time. Several nights a week, were taken up driving to and from dance classes as the girls were both keen dancers, swimmers and gymnasts. By the time, the evening came to an end, they were well and truly ready for bed and so was I.
But then the routine started all over again the next day, and the next whilst we counted down the days for the weekend.
But the weekend, ended up being a marathon of tasks that needed to be completed, shopping to be fetched in, endless laundry and cleaning the house. It’s a wonder that we fitted in any time for leisure.
Yes, life was hectic back then and I am proud to say that as a working mum I had to become a queen of time management and learnt a few valuable skills that have come in handy when I first came to start working online.
Here are my tips for better time management :-
Time Management Tips for the Home
Plan out the meals for the week. Write out a shopping list and get everything in using an online shop so you don’t waste time popping out for forgotten items.
Make double quantities of freezable foods for those days when you just don’t have the time to cook something fresh and healthy.
Prepare school bags for the next day every evening. Teach your kids to become involved in doing this for themselves, at most it will free your time and they will gain in their independence.
Start using the ‘touch it once’ rule, pick up clutter straight away instead of moving it to another area to be sorted out later. I used to place items near the bottom stair to take up stairs the next time and would usually walk past them for several days whilst always meaning to complete the task. Adopt the do it now approach, it will become a habit in all areas of your life.
Keep the house as tidy as you can and then have a huge spruce up day once a week setting aside a couple of hours for this. List the tasks that you will need to complete for the big clean, set a timer and stop when it goes off. Keep the rest of the tasks that you haven’t had a chance to tackle for the next clean up time.
Keep on top of your laundry, a little each day means that you won’t have piles and piles to contend with at the end of a week.
I’m sure that if you look at your routines you will be able to come up with a few more, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Time Management Tips Starting Your Home Business
Develop a habit of only checking your emails twice a day for a set period of time say 30 minutes each time. Don’t keep your emails open and don’t keep checking them constantly.
Deal with each email as you read it, either respond or delete emails and don’t go onto the next one until you have dealt with the first email.
Chose the hardest task first, whether you feel like doing it or not. Read Brian Tracey’s book ‘Eat That Frog’.
Deal with your mail as it arrives and don’t let it build up. Pay your bills by direct debit and file away any correspondence so that you always have a clear in tray.
Start on your key task straightaway – remember the early bird catches the worm. Some of the tasks that you may have when starting your digital business may be to write a daily blog post, read a book in your field each day, watch and implement some training each day. Choose which one is key and which you will start with first.
As you start your journey online, the first thing that you will need to do is to take stock of the amount of time that you will have to give to learning the skills needed to run your digital business.
As a busy mum, and tell me a mum who isn’t busy? This isn’t going to be easy. It is important that you can identify a period of time each day whether it is an hour or a couple of hours a day or time at the weekends that you can put aside to work uninterrupted on your digital dream. A short period of time that you know you can give your time to doing something for you.
Take time to draw out a weekly chart with the days of the week on the top and assign hourly slots to the side.
Fill in the Non-negotiable tasks
Fill in all the tasks that you have to do. The kids do come first here, so all those meals that have to be cooked, the stories to be read, the homework to be completed. Block out the days when they have any activities. Block out the time of all the non-negotiable tasks.
Fill in the comprisable tasks
Work out which tasks you can compromise on and don’t really need to be done each day or if you can get the kids to help out even better.
Fill in the time for your digital life
By now, your chart will have filled up and you hopefully have some blank spaces when you may be able to dedicate your time to working towards your digital life.
Brighten it up and stick it up on your office board.
I love colour so I also use a highlighter pen and like to colour code the areas that are same.
I use pink (my fav) for my goals and spiritual time – this is usually first thing in the morning before I do anything else. I stop to take stock of where I am. I try to meditate and write my thoughts in my journal as I begin my day.
I use orange – for the digital business stuff as orange is a vibrant colour that energises me and tells me that this is the time that I ought to be busy being productive.
I use green for health and physical tasks that I love doing. I am a yoga junky and can’t get by without my fix. I am also learning Tai chi and love walking so I try to fit in time for these physical activities through the week.
So by now you probably have a colourful weekly task sheet which has helped you to identify the periods of time that you will have. You can then come into your calm, office space, where you will breath a sigh of relief that you have tucked your little ones into bed, or dropped them at school and you know that you can take this time to build something special for your future.
Lets spread the word about the digital world
The Digital Mum