Life as a MumPreneur is hectic. Owning your own business is challenging enough on its own but add in parenting (another full time job) and life becomes one big juggling act. With so many balls to keep in the air it is easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control. You are more likely to feel this way if you are disorganised. A disorganised MumPreneur is less productive and more stressed. Could disorganisation be your nemesis preventing you from living the life of your dreams?
The irony is that most mums go into business to create a happy and healthy work/life balance and yet they can become so busy striving to achieve it that they find themselves far away from their goal of a balanced life.
Now I should state at this point that on a personal level, organisation is not my strong point. I am great at helping my clients with it but honestly find it difficult to follow my own advice. I write this post not from the perspective of someone who is perfect but someone, like you, who is a constant work in progress and always striving to improve. Some of the tips in this post I do practice myself but some of it is what I plan to implement so that I too can beat my disorganisation Nemesis. Remember though that not all the advice here will work for you, as we are all individual what is effective for one MumPreneur won’t be for the next. These are just ideas, practice trial and error, find out what works for you and embrace it.
Reflect on your time
Making a detailed plan of what you are going to do and when, is often a waste of time when small children are around. It is difficult to plan a minute by minute account of what your day will look like when your kids have other ideas! Before you make any plan, think clearly about the time you have available for your business and be realistic.
Start by recording the activities you currently do every day and how you spend your time. This information will give you a good idea of how you could better use your time to benefit your business, your family and yourself.
Consider the best times you personally work more productively, how long you can concentrate on a task for, if you work better under pressure or if you produce your best work well in advance of a deadline. Any plan you make should be tailored to your needs, your workload and what works best for you, otherwise it won’t last long enough to be effective.
This process may seem arduous if you aren’t used to logging what you do daily (I’m hearing you, it didn’t come naturally for me either), however, if we don’t know what we do every day and what we need to achieve to maintain and grow our business how do we move forward? I found that my work style was best suited to afternoons/evenings as my husband used to get home after dark in the summer daylight savings period and I would work through matching it. That just doesn’t work with my current family situation, so I had to retrain myself to be in the zone and focus on breaking down tasks so I could get them done at different times of the day.
Units of time
Think of time in 30 minute units; dedicate yourself the required amount of units to work and although it must always remain flexible, create time and space that will give you the best chance of staying focused. You can’t always control outside influences (such as children) so take charge of what you is in your control and make it work for you.
A good tip is to add family appointments, clubs and play-dates as units of time first before you organise your work around it. Don’t forget to also plan in time units for everyday jobs like housework, cooking or gardening. The time taken to do task’s like this can add up and if not planned in could end up eating away into your work or family time.
Lastly, plan units of time for yourself; if you don’t take care of your own well-being you will have little left to give everyone else. If you are only going to do one thing for yourself then exercise; even on days when you feel you have too much to do, raising your heartbeat will release endorphins that will actually keep you in a positive and productive mind-set.
It is also a helpful tactic to plan in flexi-time for those extra tasks you hadn’t allowed for, an appointment you hadn’t known about or a client that needs a little more attention.
Create productive systems and space
Disorganisation becomes your nemesis when your working systems do not serve you. Think about how you communicate, record accounts, perform marketing tasks and manage emails. Taking the time to perfect these systems enables you to work smarter, not harder and get more done.
Prioritise the tasks you have to do, if you have a big project split it into small manageable chunks so you can plan its completion in a more realistic way that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Having a clear and organised work area creates a more efficient and productive environment. When you have a space that is uncluttered your mind is more able to focus on one task at a time without being distracted by everything and anything in your eye line. Add motivational quotes and pictures if they inspire you just don’t let these things clutter your space. Remove the boxes of kids clothes and toys you have been meaning to sell, if you haven’t done it now … when will you? Donate them with love (from experience this has made a huge difference to wanting to enter my work space!). Scan the kids artwork and use the paper for lovely birthday or christmas wrapping paper.
Don’t forget that an organised workspace is not just the desk you work on but your computer too. Have you got a folder system on your documents that allow you to find the right file when you need it? Have you got old, unused documents on your computer clogging up space? Clear out what you don’t need and organise what you do.
Another great tip I got from my own coach was a communal blackboard (you can create a big space using blackboard paint), and use it to organise your work or your schedule. The great thing about this is you can create a space dedicated for your kids too so your children can feel like they are also organising their own lives (or doodle whatever they’d prefer).
Value your time
It is important that you treasure the time you have set aside for your children. Family life is most likely to be your motivation so make sure that when you are spending time together you are focused on them and not on all the work you have to do. Being organised gives you the confidence to know that you have set time aside for anything on your to-do list and so you can concentrate on each part of your life more mindfully.
Don’t let disorganisation be your nemesis (like it is mine); take control and organisation can become your superpower, after all MumPreneur’s are already superheroes!
If you need more guidance and support to organise your business life I offer a Free Strategy Call where I can talk you through how you can be supported to change your business and your life for the better.
To book your free session, contact me here today.
To Your Success