By Golda Smith
Being a work at home mom is amazing. Let’s face it; you have the best of both worlds … a 30 second commute to your office and the pleasure of spending as much time with your children as you want. Sadly, the biggest mistake that many mompreneur’s make is that they try to take their life and fit it into someone else calendar.
We’ve read and even heard many successful business owners talk about the importance of having a calendar and making a list and while those things are important many are still struggling. What makes perfect sense and works effortlessly for me and my kids, would be a complete nightmare for another family.
In order for you to be successful in your business and life, you must ask yourself and honestly answer this one question: What do you want your life to look like?
Don’t underestimate this step.
- Is it important that you wake up feeling like you want to glide out of bed?
- Is it important to sit and have breakfast and or dinner as a family?
- Is there a charity that you must give to on a monthly basis?
- How many hours do you want to volunteer at your children’s school during the academic year?
Ask and answer those questions and you’re on your way. “Sounds great Golda, but HOW exactly do you do this?”
Dedicated office hours.
It’s actually very simple, if you decide it will be. First of all you don’t need any fancy planners or complicated programs. Are you working your business professionally? If so, then you should have dedicated office hours. I don’t mean that you are physically tied to a desk but hours that are specifically dedicated to building your business. If you have a website, you should have your office hours posted. On your voice mail, you need to have a professional sounding message that lets callers know when they can expect to hear back from you regardless of who is calling, be it colleagues, clients or customers. You have to direct people to what you want them to do.
You teach people how to treat you!
If you’re running to answer your phone every time it rings, even if it’s during dinner time, you’re a slave to your business and not honoring your family. While we’re talking about the phone, STOP answering it unless you’re already expecting a call. I learned that from a millionaire mompreneur who’s built a million dollar business in direct sales. It limits your productivity when you’re constantly interrupted.
Here’s another suggestion … learn to say NO.
More women need to give themselves permission to say NO. Just because something is doable doesn’t mean that you should do it. You don’t have to volunteer for all the school activities to be a good mom. Commit to what you can without over burdening yourself. Never ever work out of guilt! That’s a poverty mindset and will create resentment. Remember, you’re creating the life you want and that means that what you do on a daily basis has to align with those over all goals.
Use an egg timer or iPhone alarm.
One tool that I use every day is my stop watch. I’ve heard some people talk about using an egg timer to time their activities. I use the stop watch feature on my smart phone. If you find that you’re spending way too much time on Facebook or writing your blog posts, then you absolutely need to start allocating a specific amount of time per task. It literally takes me 15 minutes to program all of my social media updates for the day and when that timer goes off, I’m onto the next task. Set it again, this time I have 15 minutes to interact with people on Facebook. Not 16 minutes, not 15 minutes and 10 seconds … 15 minutes then onto the next!
Family time, off it goes!
Between 2pm and 8pm that’s family time in my home. I don’t answer the phone or return calls. I’m not in meetings or doing anything work related. Why? Because the same respect and focus I give my business during work hours is what I give my children during their time. Sunday is family day. We lie around, watch TV, go to the park … anything but work.
Are you being that purposeful with your time? It makes a huge difference.
Something else to remember is that no amount of planning prepares you for the unexpected. Life happens. You will get that call from school letting you know that your child has a fever or you’re traveling and a flight is delayed. You have to give yourself grace, let go of being perfect and be prepared as best as you can. For example, one morning I was working on something when I received a call letting me know that my daughter fell and hit her head in the bathroom at school. I didn’t panic. I grabbed my blackberry, a note pad and two books, picked my daughter up and went to the emergency room. Side note: Head injuries are nothing to take lightly, always get them checked out, fortunately she was fine. My point is that while waiting to be seen, I wrote a blog post and read two more chapters in that book. Give yourself permission to be you.
Remember that your schedule serves you and no one else. The point is to have one and to be flexible when life happens, because it will. I’d love to know how you manage your life and time and if it’s working for you.
Golda Smith is a single mom who is building her “Business From The Kitchen Table” and enjoys working with other moms to get them into the happy zone and living the lives they were meant to live! She has a FREE report entitled “5 Ways To Talk To People About Your Business Without Ever Picking Up The Phone”. Don’t listen to another dial tone, get this NOW!