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Do you wish you could make more time for your business? Do you have big plans for growth but no time to make it happen? Well, you’re in luck! Keep reading and I’ll share 10 creative strategies to help you carve out more time!
It took just over four years, but I finally accomplished my big goal for my business.
This is my husband’s last week at work.
Beginning Monday, I will support the whole family (all 11 of us) with income generated from my business. Then we can officially get started on full-time deputation!
It’s been a whirlwind these past four years. Ups and downs. Twists and turns.
But through it all, some things remained the same. I:
- Carved out time for my business
- Kept taking baby steps
- Never gave up
And now, my big why has been reached. It still seems unbelievable.
I am so thankful the Lord brought freelance writing into my life four years ago. It has completely changed my family.
And I can’t wait to see what is in store for us as we transition into full-time deputation and can spend more time telling others about our burden for retiring pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers down at Missionary Acres.
If you have a big goal but can’t find time to work your business, this post is for you! I share ten creative ways I made time over the past four years. These are all tied and true, and not the common advice you hear over and over again.
Need a Business Idea?
But first, if you don’t even know what business to begin, here are three of my favorites. They all work together to encompass my business, so I know they work well for busy moms!
Now let’s find you time to grow and make things happen!
10 Creative Ways to Make Time for Your Business
Sometimes you can’t just wake up earlier and stay up later. Life is crazy and full, and mama needs her sleep! So, here are different ways that you can free up time and find minutes for your business.
- Share Your Vision
- Promote Independence
- Slash Some Commitments
- Move Your Garbage Can
- Choose Simple
- Create a List
- Invest in Your Backyard
- Eliminate Small Choices
- Dedicate a Workspace
- Lower Your Expectations
Ready to dive in and explore how each can help you? Let’s go!
1. Share Your Vision
Starting a business is a shock to the whole family. It doesn’t involve just you.
When you start a business, your priorities shift a bit. You spend more time on your computer. Or phone.
And if you just jump in feet first without sharing your vision with your family, it is going to backfire.
They will resent your actions because they don’t see the possibilities. They just see you spending more time on that and don’t understand the why behind it.
You must share your vision with your family. They deserve to know what you are thinking and understand what is possible.
So gather them around and share. Dream big. Let them get in on it.
How could your business help the family? How could it change the direction of your life?
For more details on sharing your vision and helping your family get on board with your business, read this post:
How to Get Your Family On Board with Your Business
2. Promote Independence
I rarely entertain my kids.
I don’t want to raise kids who are so used to being entertained that they can’t figure out what to do with their time.
Now I know, you might be thinking, “Oh Lisa, you have nine kids. Of course they can entertain each other! I’m over here with only one or two so you don’t understand…”
And while I do have nine kids now, I didn’t start my family that way. And…my oldest was an only for over four years.
So, I do know a thing or two about smaller families.
Guess what? Back then, I was a busy college student. I did not entertain my daughter.
Yes, we played together each day. Family play time is still an important part of our days.
But, from the time my oldest was a baby, I purposefully choose to promote independence. This means I expect my kids to:
- Play independently
- Quietly work on projects
- Learn new skills to help them become more self-sufficient
- Help each other
When I communicate with other busy mompreneurs in Facebook Groups, one common struggles shared is moms who just can’t get anything done – anytime they sit down to work, their kids won’t leave them alone.
And that is so sad to me, because it shouldn’t be the case. Kids were never meant to rule the roost.
The good news is it’s not too late to start promoting independence.
If your kids are older, it will be hard and they will fight back. But, if you stick to it and expect your kids to be responsible, they can learn!
Start small. Help them pick an activity and set the timer for five or ten minutes.
If they make it until the timer beeps without interrupting you, praise them! If not, gently ask them, “Is your time up yet?” And if they say no, then ask, “Is this an emergency?” If it isn’t, ask them to come back when the timer beeps.
When work time is over, absolutely enjoy your kids and let them show off what they did. Listen to them and give them your attention.
Then, set the timer and get back to work.
Look for other ways your kids can help more. Let them make their own sandwich (my four year old loves making a PB&J!) or get their own glass of water using a stool.
Give them chores. And inspect their work to make sure they got done.
Help your child to see that they are part of a team, not a member of royalty who has people there to wait on them hand and foot.
And just a word of caution – this strategy will initially take more time. It’s hard to break bad habits and even harder to replace them with good ones.
But, keep going. Soon you will have more time and be able to work with fewer interruptions.
3. Slash Some Commitments
There are only 24 hours in each day. And no matter how good you are at juggling, you can’t overfill your schedule and expect to get everything done.
You can only do so much.
So look at your commitments. What can you start saying no to? It could be:
- Story time at the library
- A Bible study
- Volunteering with the PTA
- Watching each new episode of your favorite show
- Kids sports
Sometimes, you have to cut good things from your schedule.
You’re saying: I enjoy doing this, but I want to make time for my business more.
You’re deciding that it’s worth it to give up this thing for that thing.
Evaluate your commitments and wrap up any you plan to stop. Then dedicate this time to your business.
4. Move Your Garbage Can
I’ve lived in this house for over a decade now. And for almost all of those years, my garbage can was in the utility room (off the kitchen).
You see, I didn’t like the way it looked in the kitchen. And the ones that fit under the cupboard are WAY too small.
So I stubbornly put it in the utility room and had to walk out of my way every single time I wanted to cook. It was crazy how much time that added each time I used the kitchen.
Recently, I wised up. I decided that the ugly part of having a garbage can in the kitchen way outweighed the benefits of having it out of sight.
So I moved my garbage can. It’s now in the kitchen, next to our moveable island.
And though I don’t like the way it looks, cleaning up as I cook is so much easier now. I no longer have to leave the room to take care of my trash.
Is there anything you can rearrange in your house that’d free up a bit of time? Can you rearrange your kitchen cupboards to maximize efficiency? Maybe move your dishes to right near the dishwasher or something?
(I’m sure you probably already thought about things like this when you set up your kitchen in the first place, but I didn’t!)
Even small changes can pay off – if it’s something you have to go out of your way for two times a day, seven days a week, you will notice the difference in efficiency.
When you’re a busy mom, these small chunks of time really do pay off and help you make more time for your business.
5. Choose Simple
I don’t do fancy or complicated anymore. There’s just not time for that (and the added stress those usually bring!)
Instead, I simplify. I:
- Cook simple meals from cookbooks
- Let my kids come up with their own art projects instead of scouring Pinterest
- Wear simple clothes
- Don’t wear makeup
- Keep my hairstyle simple
- Declutter frequently
A simple life takes way less time! And, it’s rather satisfying.
6. Create a List
You notice that many of my tips only free up a few minutes here and there. Well, that’s okay! Small bits of time pay off.
But, only if you use them.
You know what needs done for your business. And you know that not every task requires complete concentration for thirty full minutes.
But, if you wait until you have a few minutes, you probably won’t remember what tasks those are. So, give your brain a break and make a list.
Your list might include:
- Creating a new pin
- Participating in a share thread in a Facebook Group
- Writing one section of an upcoming blog post
- Sending a freelance writing pitch
- Reading a chapter in a book
- Watching a quick training video
Sit down and start writing. You may be surprised at how many quick tasks you can come up with!
For more information on using your small chunks of time, here’s a post that will help.
How to Grow a Business with Baby Steps
7. Invest In Your Backyard
If you have an outside play space, make the most of it. Spend a little bit of money making it a fun place to be.
Over the years, my family has worked to create a park-like environment out back. There’s a play set, trampoline, tire tractor, tether-ball pole, and more. It gives all of the kids (regardless of age) some options when they head outside.
Many of these were inexpensive, and repurposed some items we had hanging around the farm. The play set we purchased, and grandparents bought the trampoline for a joint Christmas present.
My kids spend HOURS outside each week. During the spring and fall when the weather isn’t crazy hot or cold, they spend hours outside every single day.
Since I have older kids, I often send them out alone with an older one in charge.
But, if my older kids are busy, I just head out too. There’s a picnic table there, and I can easily set up my laptop on it. Then I can enjoy some fresh air while I get some work done and keep an eye on my kids.
I’ve never regretted the money we put into making this a kid-friendly space. It’s freed up so much time.
Even a small yard can have some kid friendly, open play elements.
And don’t let not having an outside play space stop you – can you purchase an indoor jungle gym set or small trampoline?
Give your kids plenty of interesting things to do that they can explore on their own.
8. Eliminate Small Decisions
Is your brain like that popular meme? You’ve got multiple tabs open and you can’t figure out where that music is coming from?
I laugh every time I see that one making the rounds on Facebook, because it resonates with me. Especially the music part. I always have a song stuck in my head…
But, your brain doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, it functions much better when it’s not.
One way you can help your brain out is to eliminate small decisions. Either delegate the decision making process or premake the decisions.
In my house, each of my kids has a day. On their day, they make the small decisions so I don’t have to. They pick the television episode to watch while I cook dinner. They get to lick the spoon if I make cookies. Anything that comes up that’s not super important, I let them handle.
I also make as many decisions as possible in advance. I’ve created an annual meal plan and chore chart. I know that reading time and quiet time happen every day. And we do Family Writing Time several days a week, when we don’t have out of the house appointments.
Learning to make decisions in advance is one of the ways having a large family has helped me as a mompreneur. There is so much pulling on my mind and I’d go crazy and utterly fail trying to make all my decisions in real time.
For more insight into how my large family mindset helps me grow my business, check out this post:
How to Gain Time to Blog with a Large Family Mindset
9. Dedicate a Workspace
Do you know how long it takes me to get down to business when I’m trying to track down where I left my planner?
Or figure out where the kids put my notepad with all my notes from a client call?
A long time!
Thankfully, wasted time from searching for your supplies or notes can be minimized by dedicating a workspace for your business.
Then, train your kids to leave it alone. Make it your space, so you can always count on there being pens, paper, and anything else you need.
When it’s time to work, you will have everything ready. No searching all over the house!
For more information about setting up a workspace as a mom boss, and teaching your kids to let it be, see this post:
How to Create a Workspace as a Mompreneur
10. Lower Your Expectations
Seriously. You cannot do everything perfectly. In fact, trying to be perfect will lead to massive failure.
Instead, cut yourself and your family some slack. Let kid clean be good enough for this stage of life. As your kids grow, they’ll get better and things will be cleaner.
Don’t expect to work full-time while raising kids without help. Instead, prioritize the time you do have and focus down on tasks that generate an income. (Learn more about growing a part-time business here…)
Embrace done instead of perfect. Do your best, and don’t stress.
Keep realistic expectations – you are busy growing a business while raising a family, and that is hard!
This season is challenging. Each year seems to bring new challenges so you have to constantly shift things up. If something stops working, try something new.
You can do this!
10 Creative Ways to Make Time for Your Business
There you have it – ten creative ways to make time for your business as a busy mompreneur. Will you be trying any of these out?
And remember -baby steps totally count! A series of baby steps will lead you to exactly where you want to be. You will just arrive a little slower…
For a PDF list of 100 baby steps you can use to grow your business, sign up with your email address below!
Lisa Tanner loves helping busy moms find time to grow their own business. As a homeschooling mom to nine, she knows a thing or two about balancing diapers and deadlines.
I LOVE this!! Move your garbage can!! Now my garbage can is right where I need it but that brought to mind so many other things I can adjust to make things easier and save time!! These are amazing tips! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Thanks Diane! It really is the small things in life – and sometimes it takes some outside perspective to help us find what’s causing us trouble.
Jasmine Hewitt says
these tips came at just the right time for me! I’ve lost my writing groove over the summer!
Jasmine Hewitt recently posted…What Is It Really Like To Have An Autistic Child?
I hope you get your writing groove back Jasmine!
I love your point on Move your garbage can! I think we all have something in our lives that we have somewhere that it doesn’t make sense, and if we move it our routine would be much improved. I’m working on my solution right now!
Yes it’s not always a garbage can Denise, but most people have something that’s causing a bottleneck or unnecessary work that they can adjust. Best wishes to you as you create your solution!
I love the idea of making the most of my backyard… I need to do this! Then kiddos play and I can potentially get some work done. Win win!
It’s one of my favorite strategies for getting work done Lisa! The kids are getting fresh air and exercise without a screen and I can knock out some tasks.
Jennifer Maune says
My kids can spend hours outside, so investing in your backyard is a great idea! They will almost never not want to go outside, so that is a great time to sit back and get some work done. Great tips!
Thanks Jennifer! My kids are the same way, they rarely turn down the opportunity to get outside, which makes it nice for me.
Nicole Kauffman says
These are great tips! And creative ones too 🙂
Ranch Office says
Awesome tips! Glad I stopped by your blog!
Where do you get your inspiration from?