It can get frustrating to have a to-do list of things you want to do in your business, things you need to do for your family, and to never feel like you have enough time to finish anything…let alone have any “me time”.
Alert: Overwhelmed Mompreneur on the Loose!
I hit major overwhelm earlier this month. I remember being on the phone with a friend (who is also mompreneur in another company) complaining about the state of my house, how far behind I felt about my business and what little quality time I was actually spending with my kids, not to mention what a crappy job I was doing taking care of myself. I was exhausted and working on about 4 hours of sleep. I hadn’t eaten much of anything healthy. And I hadn’t showered yet that day and my girls were about to get off the school bus. (And I represent a health and wellness company? Ironic, don’t you think? Talk about not practicing what I teach!)
I had a flashback to several years ago (when I was first getting started in my mompreneur home based business, and before I’d been blessed with a surprise baby boy) to when my girls were smaller and I was doing the fly lady routines. On almost every given day, I had dinner planned or in the crock-pot, I wasn’t embarrassed if someone stopped by because I was showered and dressed, with make-up on, my house was lived-in tidy, not looking like the coat closet and toy shelves had been ransacked. And although I worked at home, my business didn’t consume all my time.
So, In order to save myself from the total chaos my life felt like, I’ve made a commitment to jump back into “Flying” and I’ve discovered that what works for our homes can work for our home based businesses too! Here are the 4 routines I’ve developed to enjoy my life as a mompreneur, thanks to Marla Cilley, The Fly Lady’s help. They are doing a great job of keeping the overwhelm ogre at bay.
2 Essential Routines for Mompreneurs and WAHMs
1. The most important mompreneur routine: A bedtime routine that sets the stage for the next day
This is where I create a peaceful morning for the next day:
- Make a list: I start a little before suppertime by creating a list of things I want to do in my business the next day, note any appointments I have, check the kid’s schedules, etc.
- Go to bed “Ready”: I make sure that if I’m going out for appointments, I have the clothes set out, clean ironed and ready to go. It’s helped to have my girls pack their backpacks the night before, make sure that gym uniforms are clean, permission slips signed, etc. I also have started to make the coffee, and make sure that the dishwasher will run overnight and the kitchen is tidy.
- Take care of me: I didn’t do this for the longest time. I’d literally brush my teeth, wash my face (usually) and crash into bed, exhausted from the day. I’ve found that I sleep so much better when I’ve given myself time to wind down. Take care of my skin with my anti-aging routine, read something positive (I’m reading the Purpose Driven Life right now), write in my journal if I feel like it, and listen to something peaceful on my mp3 player as I fall asleep. I’m trying to go to bed early (shortly after the kids) so that I’m not grouchy and exhausted the next day.
2. A mompreneur morning routine that sets the stage for a successful day
The biggest rule I’ve set for myself is that I cannot get on the computer until after I’m ready, my family’s taken care of, and I’ve done a few things to keep my home under control. That means, I’m NOT a mompreneur in the morning, I’m just a mom. No email, no blog commenting, no Facebook, nothing until I’m done with my routines. It’s incentive to get busy and get it done, and it helps me to not lose track of time so the kids don’t miss the bus, etc.
- Take care of me: Get my shower in, get dressed, do my hair and make-up, exercise, eat, etc.) So often as stay at home moms we put ourselves last on the list and don’t get our showers in until the kids go down for naps. How productive do you think we are when we treat ourselves that way? Would we do that if we were going to a job? NO! If we’re not going to treat our businesses seriously they’re not going to reward us seriously.
- Take care of family: Get my kids off to school, snuggle with my son, chat with my husband on his way to work if it’s possible. (The “take care of me” and “take care of my family” are sometimes switched if my son wakes up early before I’ve showered. I settle him in my bedroom with cartoons while I get ready after the girls are on the bus.)
- Take care of home: Breakfast dishes, a load of laundry, walk any bills that cannot be paid online to the mailbox, tidy up the backpack papers that get dumped on the floor, etc. (If I’ve done my night-time routine, this is only about 15 minutes or so.) During the take care of home time and take care of me time I’m usually listening to some type of personal development audio on my mp3 player.
- Take care of business: Now I can put on my mompreneur hat. 🙂 I use the timer on my cell phone and set it for 15 minutes. I tackle my no-matter-what list first, in 15 minute sections with breaks every 2-3 sessions. My son is usually playing next to me, coloring, tv, etc.)I’m most productive in the morning so I do my hardest or most challenging tasks on my list then, unless it’s something I really need to focus on, which I usually save until my son’s nap time.I’ve developed a blogging routine and a pre-flight blog checklist to simplify my writing and a blog SEO checklist to get the most out of my efforts. I have had to set a limit for my blog posts, where I’ll do a maximum of 30 minutes of writing and then 15 minutes tweaking it for SEO, adding images, tagging it, linking to other posts, proof-reading, etc. Are they perfect? No, but they’re done. I also “try” (honestly works about 50% of the time) to get a few days ahead of my blog posts so I don’t have to scramble to get a post done when things aren’t clicking easily for me.
- Keep track of time: It may sound silly, but I can easily get into hyper-focus and lose track of time when I’m writing or doing things online, so I have alarms set on my cell phone to remind me to switch loads, when it’s lunch-time, nap time, time for the girls to come home or get picked up depending on the day, etc.
Please check back tomorrow. My post will include the 2 other routines I have developed (weekly and monthly) that are working to simplify my life as a wahm and mompreneur.
Also, I’d love to know what your routines are, if you’re a mom or a dad who is building a business from home. I know we can all learn from each other, the tips and tricks we use to simplify our days and get the maximum reward for our efforts! I’m also looking into outsourcing somethings for my business. If you’ve started outsource in your business, I’d love to know how it’s going for you and what your thoughts on the subject are.
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