The laid back days of summer are over and it’s time to get serious! School is back in session and working from home with children is NOT easy; trying to run a successful business and adhere to their schedules most often puts our jobs on the back burner. Having four kids of my own, I wanted to share a few tips to help you focus and find extra time for yourself so that you too can be super productive and save your sanity!
SLEEP. Remember that? Waaay back before you had kids and you could lie down and not wake up until 8 hours later? Studies show that the lights from cell phones, tablets and computer screens keep your mind going long after your body needs rest so try to turn off all devices around 10pm. TV too – read a book or magazine instead. You’ll sleep more soundly and even if your little one wakes you, you’ll feel more rested in the morning. We’re supposed to get at least 7 hours a night – best is 8 to 9 but as entrepreneurs that is often unheard of! So I’m asking that you shoot for 7. Ear plugs optional for those snoring spouses.
WAKE UP. Early. Since you went to bed before midnight you won’t need to press snooze ten times and can bounce out of bed and seize the day! Seriously though, before the rest of the house wakes up is the best time to answer emails and make your little daily To Do list so you know what needs to be done after the kids get to school. It’s super quiet, you can concentrate, and it’s also some coveted alone time if you’d like to just relax, exercise or meditate.
BREAKFAST. Eat it. I’m not kidding! When you are getting the kids all fed before you rush out the door, eat something yourself. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you have to refuel your body from not eating since the night before and give it the juice it needs to run all day. There’s no time for midday burnouts!
DROP OFF KIDS. Or get them on the bus. Then breathe and check your list for your tasks at hand. If you have to run to the grocery store now is the time! Don’t wait to run errands until later in the day or you’ll feel rushed on all your projects and won’t be able to focus in fear that you won’t make it to the store before it closes. It’s best to pick up the dry-cleaning and grab tonight’s dinner before you head back inside for the work day. Don’t dilly dally. And if you’re waiting in line, you can always schedule a post or two with us!
OFFICE. Do you have a space you can call your own? It doesn’t have to be an entire room; a corner of the kitchen is fine or a desk, a window seat. Claim that space as your “office” and work there. Own it! Make it pretty. Be proud of it. When you have a spot that is designated to your business you’ll find that you’re going to be much more focused and productive.
SNACK TIME. Take a break. Set an alarm that acts as your boss and when it goes off you get up from whatever it is your working on and you go eat lunch or get some fresh air or maybe take a shower or throw a load of laundry in the wash. Whatever you need to do aside from work, your break time is when you get it done. It could be one less chore to do after the kids go to bed but it also takes your mind off work so you can sit back down and feel refreshed and most likely energized!
PICK UP. The kids. Did you forget you had those? Kidding! So when you’re waiting at the bus stop or idling in front of the school don’t miss that opportunity to connect with your customers and followers. Get on Facebook and check on your business page comments, your messages, say hello to people, etc. You can also search for some content to schedule or pin some delivered post to Pinterest. After school activities? If it’s just practice and not an important “must watch” game, then it’s the perfect time to network in person with other moms in the stands or on social media.
TIMEOUT. Homework and dinner time = no working allowed. Put all devices away then watch some tv together or play a game. You’ve all worked hard all day so it’s time to veg and have some quality time together. No worries, you planned ahead with us!
BEDTIME. The kids’, not yours! After they are tucked in and dreaming sweet dreams you finish up your day by letting things go. Give yourself an hour tops to answer emails and get things organized for tomorrow. If it was on your To Do list today and you’re not at a deadline then you can complete that task tomorrow. You need to have some downtime for yourself and as a business owner/mother/wife – however many hats you wear – you need to RELAX. Daily. We don’t know how to do that but I’m telling you, if you don’t give yourself a break and wind down you’re going to crash and burn. We’re only human! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and turn off your brain until the morning.
REPEAT. And have a great day tomorrow!