Being a mompreneurs has always been a dream of mine. Because I have work experience in K-12 and university level education, I had a semi-flexible work schedule and I was able grow my career after becoming a parent. As our family grew, I wanted even more flexibility in my personal and work life, and I wanted my family to be highest priority. This value appropriately pushed me toward becoming a mompreneur.
I often have conversations with other women who are work-at-home-moms (WAHM) and we always lean in a bit closer when this topic comes up, “I love working for myself. It is hard and fulfilling work. But, I am always wondering, when I see other work-at-home-moms, how is she so productive?”
That is a good question and the discussion can go in a variety of directions.
“I am so busy all the time and I feel like I am spinning plates.”
“My house is a mess, so I just work around it.”
“I wish I would get a big contract immediately so I could afford to have more childcare during the day.”
“Work is going great, but my clothes no longer fit. I do not have time to work out.”
“I have to schedule everything like a drill sergeant. I get things done, but that does not feel like my natural flow.”
“It is frustrating. I feel like I need to be making more money if I’m this busy.”
“I’m a happily crazy person. I wish I had better work productivity habits, but somehow I’m managing.”
“My car is my other office and it is a pit. I have work stuff and kid stuff all over.”
Before becoming overly frustrated or thinking other WAHMs have it figured out and you don’t, try these 4 productivity tips to shift your daily schedule.
Take care of yourself first thing in the morning. Having a morning warm up routine is important to set the tone for your day. Many WAHMs hit the ground running without focusing any attention on themselves. To start, give yourself 15 minutes, each morning, to do something that takes care of yourself. You could meditate, exercise, write in your journal, or sit quietly and sip some tea. Each week, add an additional 15 minutes until you have worked your way up to a full 60 minutes for morning warm up time. This will help you be mentally ready to start each day.
Schedule your activities based on your energy. It is always easy to tackle the items on our “to do” lists we love the most. When you are putting action items on your task list, schedule the hardest and the least exciting tasks when you have the most energy. This will help you feel productive as you go through the day. You are less likely to procrastinate when you prioritize task based on your internal energy clock. This will also help keep you motivated to keep your work flow productive.
Keep your work space organized. I have designated office hours, but sometimes I have to be flexible in how this works based on my family’s schedule. When I am working at home and I’m getting work done in between carpool, running errands, conference calls, and afterschool activities, it is easy for me to start and stop because my work space stays intact. I focus on keeping only a few tabs open on my computer, and I have the materials I need on my desk or on my kitchen table. I minimize any clutter that will distract me from completing things that need my immediate attention or that fall into an ongoing project. I also make sure I put everything away when my work day ends so I can start the next day organized and ready to go.
Release any guilt about securing childcare. I have heard clients and other mompreneurs say they feel guilty about hiring someone to help them with childcare. They think it is overindulgent and selfish. My response is, “Why would you put so much pressure on yourself to do everything by yourself?” Just because you are in business for yourself does not mean you have to do it all by yourself. It is okay to seek support and help. You can get childcare from a very part-time level to completely fulltime based on your needs and resources. If you know other mompreneurs, figure out how to create a childcare co-op. This is a great way to support each other and keep childcare costs low. Sharing a nanny with another family can also provide the right support for your WAHM schedule.
As a mompreneur, how do you keep your work days productive? What tools and support do you use?
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