1. Know Your Priorities
Many moms try to do two or more things at once, thinking that it will save time. Unfortunately, most of your multi-tasking efforts will not be effective time-savers. This is especially true if you try to do business while doing family related tasks. Finding the right balance between work and family may be hard at first, but it is essential.
Instead of running circles around yourself, make a priority list of what must get done for the day. Following this list will help you be more efficient throughout your day. The list helps you to stay focused by beginning with the most profitable and essential tasks for your business and getting them done when there are no distractions around you. The rest of the items on your list can be like the icing on the cake. Even if you do not get to them, you will know that the most essential tasks are complete.
2. Schedule Everything
Make a daily schedule that works for your needs. Having a routine helps you to make the most of your time. If possible, try to make your schedule consistent on a daily basis. Having your tasks scheduled helps you to prevent wasting time thinking about what needs to be done or what you should be doing next. Use a written or digital planner and fill in your appointments and vacation schedule. Make note of your available work time.
Your schedule should also include time for yourself, kids, and home maintenance. Be sure to build in some margin or break time. If possible, alternate challenging tasks with easier ones or put your challenging tasks right before your lunch break so that you can relax when you are finished. After re-energizing yourself, you will be able to get back to work with an enhanced level of productivity. Consider spending part of your break time doing something fun with your kids. You can also set them up with an activity that will keep them busy and quiet so that you can return to your work.
3. Set Your Goals and Have a Plan
Having a plan helps you know what to expect as each thing happens. It gives you a finish line for your day. Your plan should include what actions you need to perform, what reactions to make if something unexpected happens, and a backup plan in case you need to revise what to do. As a mom, your plan should include common kid emergencies like a child who gets sick at school. This plan can help you move forward and measure your success.
In addition to planning, you also need to set measurable, achievable, and realistic goals. Choose one or two short-term and long-term goals you can work on at all times in your business. Short-term goals are those that you can complete in about a week while long-term goals can take about a year.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
There is plenty of technology within arm's reach that you can put to work for you. Use your smartphone's reminder lists, alarms, timers, and calendars to manage your time. Consider using some helpful apps to manage lists, chores, and schedules. You can also share your online calendar with your spouse and older children to keep track of family activities and appointments. Many of these apps are free while others require a small fee for premium services. If you have an iPad or tablet, bring it with you to get things done while waiting in the carpool lane or at the store.
5. Separate Business and Motherhood
Try to leave your parenting responsibilities at home and your work responsibilities at the office. When your work requires that you do some things after hours, try to save them until your children are in bed or do them at the table while they are working on their own homework or are having their own quiet reading time. If you have an office in your home, keep your work area separate and make sure that you stop working at a specific time of the day. Having boundaries can help you to manage your time better and be present in the moment with each task that you do.
As a working mom, you have the opportunity to demonstrate to your children how to successfully manage time. You can also show them how to be productive and enjoy a rewarding career. These tips can help you to manage your time as effectively as possible so that you can also enjoy spending time with your kids.
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter.