I can honestly say I've tried it all; I was once the stay-at-home mom, then I became the full-time career 9-5 mom, and now here I am, at 36 years old, finally the boss mom I always wanted to be (well, I'm not really exactly where I want to be but you get the point). I'm finally at a stage where I can make my own schedule and create the magic I was always destined to create. It's exciting to get up and work these days, but if I'm being candid, the last few months have been HARD. At first, I thought it was because of our planned trips and crazy schedule, but last month, the kids finally went back to school, and things should have gotten more relaxed, yet they didn't. I felt busier than I was when I was going into the office for work, but how could that be, when I had eight extra hours in a day now?
Then, it hit me! I was busier than ever because I wasn't prioritizing my work since I felt like I had all the time in the world now that I wasn't working 9-5.
I was talking to a good friend about my problem in getting everything done, and she shed light on it as only she could. She said, "You think you have all the time in the world now that you aren't confined to someone else’s schedule at work, but making your own schedule is even harder because events/people/things, in general, come up. Know your plans and stick to them, do what works for you first and then let people work around that." The more I thought about her advice, I felt inclined to start changing things around in my household, my business, and even how I monitor my social media accounts and the internet in general. I made small daily changes that went unnoticed when performed and within a few weeks was able to create more time and freedom.
I know, I know…this seems obvious! I mean, we all value our time, don't we? We say we value our time, but our actions speak WAY louder than our words. How are you spending the most amount of your time these days? Do you pick up the phone when a friend calls, knowing you should be working on something instead? Do you try to multitask and open a bunch of tabs on your computer only to find yourself not completing the vital task and forgetting about the other tasks you opened? Do you scroll through your social media feed watching what other people are doing with their lives? All of these things clearly show that you do not value your time. Time is one of the most important things that we will NEVER get back! Therefore, how we value our time shows by the actions we take. As moms, our working hours are limited. We have children waiting to be fed, sports activities, doctor appointments, play dates, bath time, homework, family time, etc. etc…the list is endless. The few hours we do have to focus on our work has to be dedicated to OUR WORK! Remember that!
If you know me or read this blog weekly, you'll know that I am a HUGE believer in structure and organization. OMG! I live for these things because it saves me from going crazy. LOL! A couple of weeks ago, I explained just how important having structure was and how to start creating it in your home (read all about it here). The thing I love most about having a plan in place is that I get to check off accomplished tasks. It keeps me laser focused and dedicated to my daily/weekly goals, which in return, helps me with my bigger vision. Don't beat yourself up If things don't go as planned, be flexible because, as mothers, we are always juggling with so many things. Remember, you can always start fresh tomorrow.
For all the moms with young children who stay home: create your plan around your little one. Depending on their age, try different things to keep them busy in time increments. I am currently trying this with Novena. I bought a little table and put it right next to my desk. Everyday she comes and asks for paper and crayons now and colors while I work. This gives me a good 15 minutes before she gets bored and wants the next thing. I've also been known to turn on YouTube and let her watch Coco-Melon so I can get work done. If you are lucky enough to have family, friends, or a babysitter helping you with your children, pretend to leave the house and sneak away to a different room to get work done. This works perfectly for my best friend, and I started doing it at my house too.
Although this theory goes hand in hand with #1, the importance of self-love and self-care has to be talked about!
Sometimes (more like always) our world feels like we are constantly on the go, and when that happens, we tend to crash and burn pretty quickly. When I get to that stage, I become irritated, and it shows easily. I notice that I get this way when I go off of my daily mediation and Miracle Morning practice. So I try my best to always have my ‘me-time’ in the mornings as soon as I wake up as part of my self-care practice. I thank God for waking up healthy and then continue to write three things I am grateful for (I'll talk more about this practice next month) and then meditate and go over my vision board. I also read and write in my journal, and all this is done before the kids wake up. This practice helps me stay centered and in a positive mindset. I urge you to start a routine that benefits you first thing in the morning. Nothing work or family related, this is only for you, and you need to do something that makes you happy. When I started this routine, it dealt more with working out, and that's how it became such a huge part of my life today.
Batching my blogs is something I recently started doing and LOVE it. It's basically when you do a month's worth of work in a day or two, which leaves you with an ample amount of free hours later. If you're a blogger/creator/writer/podcaster/vlogger or have weekly projects due, I highly encourage you to start this practice for your career. This concept works wonders with your house chores as well. Pick a day to plan and cook your family meals for the week, then pick another day to do laundry and ONLY do it then regardless of how many dirty socks you see in the hammer. Only go grocery shopping on designated days and have the items you need written down. I started doing this with my kids, and not only did it save me time and energy but also money. The best part is that the kids are more mindful when it comes to wasting food now. They know I won't go grocery shopping just because we ran out of food (i.e- if we are out of milk on Wednesday, they know that they will be out of luck until Friday because Mom isn't going to the store for anyone until it's grocery day.)
I know we all think we are super woman, but even she had a little help now and then. Asking for help doesn't make us weak; it does the opposite. Involve your family by making them handle one key thing that you would typically take care of. The kids love this because they feel like grownups. Also, if you don't have family or friends around to help and your children are too young, try outsourcing. It's basically when you let other people (family, friends, interns, or assistants) do the tasks that are holding you back from getting critical things done in your business. This could be anything from house chores to daily/weekly email responses, or arranging meetings with your clients, answering the phones, working on graphics, managing social media, the list goes on and on. It's only when you free your mind of the small things that you can focus on the bigger picture and create magic.
Remember…Communication is KEY! Help your children, spouse/partner, family, and friends understand that just because you are working from home, doesn't mean you are free to talk, hangout, run errands, babysit or do anything else. Let your family know that certain hours belong to your job, and once you're done, make sure you are fully present with your children (this is hard when you work from home and is something I am trying my best to do now).
I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. As always, I'd love to hear from you. What are some ways you are managing your tasks from home?