When someone becomes a parent, a lot of their plans are put on the back burner. Maybe you wanted to move up the career ladder. Perhaps start backpacking across Europe. Or maybe explore another career path that you’ve always been dreaming of. Whatever the case may be, having a child can put those plans at a halt—but certainly not permanently.
Many moms dream of having their own business, but many are hesitant because starting a business means having to divide their time between home and work. However, with the right time management strategies in place, you can juggle both roles and still end up on top.
If you want to become an efficient mompreneur, here are some time management tips to keep in mind:
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Whether you plan to start a business making signs with a laser sign cutter or franchise a restaurant chain, always remember to manage expectations for yourself. Many of us want to push ourselves past our boundaries because we think doing so always comes with success, but it can actually do more harm than good—both for our work and personal lives.
If you want to juggle being a parent and a business owner, you have to determine where your limitations lie. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and you must know how many of those hours you can dedicate to your business without compromising your home life. After you set your limitations, find a venture that will allow you to maintain those boundaries while also providing a reasonable path for growth.
Declutter your mental space
Having to think about everything is a big productivity killer. Who can stay productive when they are thinking of a thousand different tasks that have to be done for the family? Unless you are using a hundred percent of your brain, you have to free up at least some of that mental space.
Here are some tricks that can work for just about any mompreneur:
- Sync all calendars on devices so that the whole family is aware of any appointments, schedules, etc.
- Set up automated delivery of household essentials, such as diapers, baby food, toilet paper, etc.
- Program alerts into your phone’s calendar to remind you of business and household matters
- Instruct other family members to list down non-urgent notes, requests, and questions on a notepad that you can peruse after work
- Create a month-long meal plan so that you don’t have to think about what to cook every day
- Automate payments for the mortgage, bills, insurance, and other recurring bills
Involve the family
As much as we want this to be true, you can’t do everything independently, even when you don’t have a business. Being a parent is one of the toughest responsibilities that one can have, and you need all the help you can get to avoid getting burnt out.
That said, involve the family in both your business and at home. If your children are old enough, entrust them with age-appropriate household chores and allow them to be more independent. More than that, divide the responsibilities fairly with your partner to reduce the chances of either of you getting too overwhelmed. If there are tasks in your business that your family can help out with, get them involved. Not only does this help free up more of your time, but working as a unit can also drastically improve your relationship as a family.
Leverage business automation
With the kind of business automation technology that we have today, you can program almost all manual tasks to accomplish themselves. Several great examples of business functions that you can automate include email marketing, customer service, lead generation, and brand reputation management, among many others.
By leveraging business automation for traditionally manual tasks, you can devote more of your time to the important stuff that actually requires constant human interaction, such as meetings, planning, decision-making, and more.
Whether it’s at home or in your business, outsourcing can be a tremendous help for time management. At home, hiring housekeeping staff and babysitters are the two most common outsourcing tactics that you can use. In your business, hiring a virtual assistant and outsourcing some of your business functions can help you be more efficient. Either way, using this strategy can help you better manage your time and thus become more successful in both roles.
Juggling a business and motherhood is not an easy feat, but with the right time management strategies in place, you can achieve more than you’ve ever thought possible in both aspects.