Time Management Tips
How often do you sit down to work only to realize that you forgot to take the meat out of the freezer for dinner. Then you run upstairs and find trash all over the floor that the dog chewed up. You start to clean it when the doorbell rings. The mailman has a package to deliver. You start to open the package when the phone rings. You decide to multi-task and get the laundry out of the dryer to fold while you finish the phone call. Then you glance at the clock and realize you only have 15 minutes before you have to pick up the children from school. So you quickly hang up and run to find your keys. Then you jump in the car to pick up the kids and whisk them around to after school activities. Sound familiar? This is the downside of running your business from home-you are always running in a whirl of unproductive activity. At the end of the day you are exhausted and frustrated, but there is nothing to show for it! You are unhappy and so is your family. It is time to get organized and manage your time better! Here are a few places to start:
Determine how much and when you want to work:
If you want to work on your business a few hours a week, create a plan for when you will be able to work on the business. If you just plan to sneak in a little time here and there whenever you catch a few minutes it will not work! Every time you sit down to work, your kids will want your attention, you will get distracted, and in the end nothing will be accomplished. So if you have 3 mornings a week where all the kids have school, set aside a few hours on two of those days as WORK TIME. For example, every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00-1:00 is work time. Do ONLY work and do not allow yourself to be distracted during that time.
Schedule (but don’t over schedule) your time:
Keep a calendar in the kitchen and always put everything on it! All your kids activities & school projects should go straight on the calendar so that nobody ends up forgetting show-and-tell or an important field trip.Next create a weekly schedule of activities that you always have to complete each week and plan a time that you will do those each week. This includes activities such as meal planning, grocery shopping, childrens activities, laundry, cleaning etc. Be sure to include your planned work time on the schedule. Hang a copy of this next to the monthly calendar. This helps tremendously since you will not feel like you have to try to do everything all at once and end up overwhelmed.One word of caution: You cannot say YES to everything. Be careful not to fall into the over scheduling trap! Your children can do ballet, gymnastics, and soccer BUT NOT ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Sign up for one now and the other the next season. Learn to say no to some extracurricular events & volunteer requests. You are not superwoman and it is not in the best interest of you or your family for you to try to do it all! Remember the kids want unscheduled free time not a flurry of organized activity.
Communicate your schedule to your family:
Be sure that your family always knows the plans. Include them in the planning process to get their support. (You may be surprised when they start to volunteer to take over a few of the weekly tasks!) Tell them that on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00-1:00 you will be working on your business. Make sure that they know that if they help you keep this time each week, you will have more uninterrupted time for them later since you will be done with your work and able to focus on their needs.
Stick to the schedule:
Now be sure to keep to your schedule. Do not try to sneak in work during family time. Give your kids plenty of uninterrupted one-on-one time. Your family will notice the difference and realize that you are happier and more available to their needs now that you have those few hours of undisturbed time each week to take care of your business. Now they will respect your work time and help you to keep it since they know it means more focused time for them in the end. Once you have better time management, you will get so much more done! I think you will agree that a more efficient life is a happier one!