Many people assume that work at home moms have it easy. If you’ve ever lived a day as a WAHM you know that that isn’t always the case. There are children to take care of, a house to clean, a dog to walk, groceries to buy, dinner to cook and dishes to wash. Psht! How’s that different from the life of any other mom, right? Well, on top of all of that, there’s that business to work!
It may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible, either. By using some simple time management tricks, a WAHM can find time to get the important things done without having to be “SuperMom”. One thing every WAHM should have is a planner. This can be a fancy-schmancy electronic planner, or it can be a simple paper day-planner. Always make sure you schedule your family time first! Then schedule in the time you are going to work your business. Once you have your “work time” scheduled, make it a priority to stay focused on your business during those hours. It is very easy to procrastinate when you are a WAHM.
If you are on Twitter, Facebook, etc., it’s easy to get sidetracked very quickly. Social media is a very important method of networking, and I am in no way discounting that. But if you find yourself Tweeting a lot about things that really don’t pertain to your business or surfing the internet for non-business purposes, set a timer for yourself. Give yourself 15-minutes to “play”.
Once the timer does go off, make sure you adhere to your time restrictions and get back to the money-making aspects of your business.
If your work requires you to do lots of different tasks, instead of bouncing from one thing to the next, try to group similar tasks together. For instance, if you are in a direct sales business and you have a team under you, designate one day to be your “training day”. Instead of helping various team members throughout the week, schedule all of your mentoring sessions for one day. Set aside an hour in the morning and an hour in the late afternoon to respond to email and/or return phone calls. By scheduling that time in, you will find that you are able to get more work done and feel less scattered.
You might also consider outsourcing some of your activities. If you find that you are spending too much time on responding to email, returning phone calls, or updating your website, hire a virtual assistant to do those tasks for you. This will free your time up to work on your business, and by spending more time on the parts of your business that actually bring in money, you will be able to increase your profits.
You can also save time by setting aside a block of time each week to do your “regular” errands, such as grocery shopping, going to the post office, etc. If you plan your meals for the week and go to the grocery store once, you will save lots of time during the week by not taking those daily “quick trips to the market” (you’ll save a lot of money this way too!). And while you are planning your meals, try to schedule a few days where you cook everything once, but spread it over more than one meal. For instance, you can plan on having spaghetti on Monday and tacos on Tuesday. So, on Monday, brown the hamburger you will need for both days. On Tuesday, half of your work will already be done. And if you are making a meatloaf or lasagna, make two and freeze one for later.
Most importantly, do not feel as if you have to do it all by yourself. As much as we would love to be (or think we are) SuperMom, we can’t get it all done on our own. If you have a spouse or significant other, ask them to chip in on household chores. Children love to help out, and depending on their ages, there are many tasks that they can do, be it around the house or even with your business. And when it is all said and done, don’t forget to take out some time for yourself. Everyone needs a break– WAHMs included!