Productivity Tips for Moms that Work from Home
I get asked all the time, “how do you balance being a mom and a business owner” all the time. I promise, I don’t really balance anything. Balance is a myth.
However, I do plan everything in advance and try really hard to be intentional with my time.
If I am with Ford, I TRY not to bounce between giving him attention and doing work, unless it’s something super important. This is hard at times because work is so accessible. A lot of it can be done from my phone.
On top of that, a lot of my clients text me throughout the day because it’s easier, so it’s a struggle balancing getting distracted with that. I think the key to success in being a mom that works from home is 1. setting separate time for baby and work. 2. asking for help! 3. creating systems and being organized.
Let me explain further…
Creating a schedule for work -
I used to start the day with a list of to-do’s and would just go down the list to check them off. This method does not work for many reasons. Some days, you can get everything done and it feels really great! But some days, having a list of things to do can feel overwhelming and lead to not doing anything at all - or getting too distracted.
I realized that in order to be efficient with my time, I would need to schedule out my week. So, I now have assigned the type of work I will do each day. Here is what my schedule looks like right now:
MONDAY - email + client social media planning / at-home with Ford
TUESDAY - client campaigns + projects (writing, pithing, etc.) / coffee shop
WEDNESDAY - consultations + client projects contd. / coffee shop
THURSDAY - meetings + content shoots / client visits
FRIDAY - coffee consultations + wrap-up projects / coffee shop
SATURDAY - client events + blog campaigns / at-home
SUNDAY - weekly planning + blog writing / at-home
When Ford is with me while I work (Monday + Friday’s typically), I only focus on THREE big things that I want to accomplish for work. That way, it’s a manageable to-do list in case we doesn’t take a long nap, which does happen A LOT. Since the work I have to do on those days I am home with him are lighter, it’s much less stressful about getting everything done. It feels manageable. I also have to give myself lots of grace.
Creating time away from baby to work -
This was a big challenge for me at first, but in order to be successful, I had to start asking for help. I thought I would be able to juggle mom life and running a business + blog. I thought I could get everything done during naps until Ford stopped taking 2-hour naps and I realized that I would have to come up with a new plan. And you might not like hearing this, but it involved asking for help AND sometimes paying people to help you.
We hired a part-time nanny to come to our house 3-4x a week for around 4-5 hours. This would allow me freedom to get out of the house (so important) and to get things done (also, so important). I now utilize this time to be super efficient in getting work done. I also use this time to workout or do the things that are too hard to do with a baby. Sometimes, I even use this time to treat myself to a mani/pedi. Promise', it’s money well spent! But in all seriousness, if you want to run a profitable blog or business, you have to invest in it. For me, investing in a reliable nanny that can help me to get the work done each week ensures that I can continue to bring in an income, keep my clients happy and grow my brand.
If you are worried about making this investment, start SMALL. You don’t have to start with a full-time nanny. Try 1-2 days per week. You would be surprised to find that you can learn to trust someone else with your baby (and I think it’s equally as good for baby as it is for YOU.) Also, get clear on the money you could be making IF you had more help. That might help you justify that investment. By not making time for yourself to work, you will never have room to grow.
Create a Plan
I’ve already shared how I schedule my week, but there is so much more to having a schedule. You need to get organized and create systems that will run without you constantly monitoring them. I’ve learned this the hard way. When I had Ford, I realized I would have to learn to run my business in half the time I had before. So, I had to look at every part of my business in detail. How much time was I spending on each thing? What were the things that actually brought in money or moved my business forward? What were the things I need to keep doing (to bring in new leads or keep current clients happy), but that shouldn’t take as much time? These were the questions I asked myself. In order to do this, you have to take inventory of your time and the things that are necessary for you to build/run/grow your brand. From there, see what you can either outsource or put on autopilot. What are the things you can “batch” and plan ahead of schedule? A few things that have helped me are…
Creating a weekly social media plan + scheduling content: I like PLANN app for Instagram
Outsourcing parts of my business that take me too long to do (i.e accounting, graphic design, photography + editing).
Batch working content (i.e. I write all my blog posts on Sunday & Wednesday evening)
Creating email templates for FAQ (copy, paste and send!)
Creating templates for my client proposals, consultations, and more: I use CANVA
These are just a few of the tricks and tools I use to help me run my business! Have a productivity hack that has helped YOU? I would love to hear! Let’s keep the conversation going on social media @thekathrynelise.