In every conversation involving a Mum, the issue of time seeps in somewhere. Mums are dashing here, there and everywhere, trying to juggle it all. We want to work ‘hard’, earn a living and feel the gratification of succeeding, but our work days are… how do we describe it… bumpy. If we work at home it’s easy to be distracted by our list of house jobs; the washing, the ironing, the tidying, the postman delivering a parcel….arggghhh! If we head to the office, we dash to catch buses and trains or battle with rush hour traffic and just about make it back in time to collect our little people from nursery, school or clubs and to start the dinner-bath-bed routine. Yep, this stuff is tough.
Still, Mums do run successful businesses, they eek out the time they need and dedicate themselves to making it work. From chatting to numerous business Mums, here’s 6 top tips to help you cut through the clutter, to manage your time more efficiently and to make it happen.
1. PLAN. Plan out your week before Sunday ends. That way you go into the working week focused, in charge and committed to your business and clients.
2. GOALS. Stay focused on your goal/s. Firstly your big picture goal of what it is you are trying to achieve and secondly your daily, weekly, monthly objectives.
- I recently read about someone writing their main business goal at the top of their to do list each day. What a great idea!
- Be concise with your to do list. Don’t sit staring at a list as long as your arm. That’s far too overwhelming and distracting. Maybe have a master to do list, but only transfer an achievable amount of actions to your daily to do list. If you think you have time for 5 tasks, don’t add 6. The feeling of achieving 5 and then going in search of number 6 is much more rewarding.
3. REALISM. Allocate yourself more work hours in your week than you need to. If you have 15 hours paid work, allocate 20 hours. That way, if something happens, which it undoubtedly will you have time up your sleeve. Don’t over commit yourself.
4. WORK. Remove distractions, focus and work. If you work from home, remove any potential interruptions in advance. Don’t do 4 loads of washing on your work from home days, don’t plan for the online shopping order to arrive, or just do that form that needs completing, or hunt online for your Dad’s birthday present – each one of these none work tasks shave significant time from your working day.
Similarly if you work in an office, be strict with meetings. Are they essential? Can they be covered with a phone call. If not be strict with time management in that meeting.
5. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Whether you work alone or lead a team, it’s good for you to be accountable to someone. You can’t drift along talking the talk and not doing if you have someone who you’re accountable to. A business coach, a group of likeminded business Mums, another business owner, even a friend. I have an ambitious relative who religiously meets a friend every month to review their goals together, and I also follow a number of blogs that talk about amoung other things how to stay on track through ongoing connections with a women in business coaching group. This stuff really works.
6. SEGMENT. Segment your week into blocks of time. Ensure you map out quality time for you personally and for spending with those who you love.
And most of all, give yourself a break. You are already doing brilliantly and succeeding. I’m sure you will have plenty of amazing time saver tips of your own to share too. We’d love to hear them and add them in to help everyone.