Being a mum and starting a business, both can pose a challenge, and the combination of the two can be daunting. One of the biggest obstacles that mums face while starting a business is finding time to work on it, especially when your children are at home. This can be even more difficult during the school holidays. Here's what has been working for me.
The key to managing everything is effective planning, and for me, it starts with assessing how much time I have available and then making sure there is time allocated to every task that needs to happen in the business.
In my free course on managing the school holidays while keeping momentum in your business, I shared some lessons that will help you all through the year.
Weekly Planning Process
The first step in managing your work and family priorities is creating a weekly plan. A weekly plan will help you identify which tasks are most important and align your efforts with your goals. It will also help you balance work, family, and personal commitments. Ensure that you allocate enough time for the essential work tasks and also allocate enough time for your family.
Time Blocking Foundations
Time blocking is one of the most effective productivity hacks to manage your work commitments and family priorities successfully. You begin by identifying how much time you spend on work, family, and personal commitments. After that, assign specific times to each of the tasks so that you can optimise your work time. Some tasks can be scheduled during school hours while others can be done while the children are asleep or don't require your continuous attention. Set time for the most important and urgent tasks so that you can effectively run your business.
Manage your To-Do List
The first step in managing your to-do list is getting clear on your priorities. Create a list of business-related tasks and order them by priority, setting a deadline for each of them. For personal tasks, sports, the food shop etc, prioritise and order them accordingly.
Tiny Gaps and Productivity Hacks
You can use your tiny gaps for short bursts of productive activity. Use the small gaps of time between tasks like cooking or running errands to mark your to-do lists. You can take advantage of the time while waiting at pick-ups, school plays, or sport activities to update your social media or reply to emails.
Managing External Expectations
Setting boundaries is one of the most critical skills a mum starting a business should master. Let your clients know of the times you're available and the times you're not available. Communicate with your customers via email so that you can schedule calls and meetings when it's convenient for everyone. For new client requests, make sure you schedule them during your available working time to avoid conflicts with your family time.
Balancing a business and children can be a difficult task, but the key to successfully growing your business is effective planning and time blocking. Use your available time to the max and incorporate some productivity hacks to make the most of your time. To balance work and family commitments, it's essential to have a weekly plan and a to-do list that prioritises the most important tasks. With these few strategies, you can confidently grow your business during school hours around your children.