Being a mother is difficult enough, but add to the mix a home-based business and you can see why most working mothers stress about the fine art of balancing work and family life. It can be done effectively and comes down to time management for working mothers.
How do you go about it? What’s the secret sauce to balancing work and family life without pulling out your hair?
Goals and Schedules – First and Last Thing
The first order of business is to make sure you begin and end your day with organization. Write down your goals, both parental and professional. Answer these questions:
• What do you hope to accomplish in your business?
• What about as a mother – how will you proactively let your kids know they’re loved today?
• What did you accomplish come the close of the day?
• What do you still need to accomplish? This will get added to the next day’s itinerary as you plan out the next day…
It seems easy, and it is when you get down to brass tacks. What do you want or need to do? What did you do? What do you still need to do? The fun part is that you can take control of your day, and be prepared.
Use Bite-Sized Tasks
How do you swallow an elephant (if you even wanted to do such a thing)? Simple: a bite at a time. When your goals seem insurmountable and bigger than you can chew, you can break them down into smaller parts.
For example, if your desk is out of control, you can easily become overwhelmed – where do you start? By breaking the entire project down into smaller tasks, you can work through a punch list of one thing at a time to accomplish the greater goal.
This goes for mothering goals as well as business goals. Bite-sized tasks are easier to chew.
Work in Batches
When you have broken the tasks of your goals down into their individual baby steps, you can also take the approach of focusing on one type of task at a time. Say that you wanted to generate leads for new business – there are many ways to go about this, with many little tasks.
One of the ways to approach it would be to list out the various ways you can generate leads (cold-calling, networking, setting up a lead-capture website or a dozen, direct mail, advertising) and then choose one.
Say that you wanted to cold-call, for example. You could work for a few hours on collecting the phone numbers or other contact information of your prospects. The next batch would be calling them all, etc.
Reap and Share the Rewards
When you finally get to the point where you are accomplishing your goals, you should celebrate somehow. It could mean a dinner out with your significant other, a good friend or the kids.
Whatever motivates you, make sure you celebrate your benchmarks. Do the same for your kids: give them some goals, “By Wednesday, your laundry and this term paper should be done,” and then celebrate.
Keep it simple so that your celebration doesn’t become a chore, but is something you can practically accomplish and enjoy. This is a way that “working mother’s stress” doesn’t overwhelm you. Call it a pressure relief – but having fun with your goals will help accomplish them.
By balancing your work and family life, and making sure that you make your family a priority that you enjoy is going to help relieve your stress and help you remain focused on what you need to do as a mompreneur.