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Are you struggling to get it all done as a mompreneur? These time management tips for moms with a business can help you increase your productivity.
When you’re trying to grow a business and raise a family, your time management has to be on point. You don’t have any time to waste.
To help you be more intentional with your 24 hours, here are some of the best time management tips I’ve used. These have helped me successfully start a business as a large family homeschooling mom. And given me enough time to grow that business since 2015.
What I’m trying to say is…
These time management tips for moms work.
They are proven. So let’s get started saving you some time…
1. Make a Plan
You cannot win the day without a plan. If you just wing everything, you’ll look back when bedtime arrives and wonder where the day went.
Instead, proactively plan how you want to spend your time. Be intentional.
A plan doesn’t have to be you scheduling out every second of time when your eyes are open. That kind of schedule drives me bonkers, because my life is too crazy full of interruptions and distractions.
So instead, think of your time as blocks. You can fill each block of time with an activity. Then you can rearrange or remove blocks as needed. Hey, if everything goes perfectly, you can even add more blocks in!
This means you might have a block for table chores. Teach your kids what they need to do during that time. What does a clean kitchen/dining room look like in your family? Who can do which tasks?
Then practice table chores. Whenever you eat, you can drop a “Table Chores” block of time in to follow. But, if you have a crazy day and need to leave right after lunch, you can just move the “Table Chore” block to when you get home.
(Except I’d recommend putting the food away first because of that whole food safety thing… :D)
You can break your day into several blocks and teach them to your kids who are home with you. Then you can mix and match each day to meet the needs of your family.
For more information on how I use flexible routine blocks to plan the day, please see this post:
2. Get Your Kids Involved
You cannot get everything done on your own. You are one person.
Instead of trying to do it all, look for ways to involve your kids. Here’s a secret about integrating your kids into your work…
It will initially create more work for you.
Let’s face it. Toddlers are curious bundles of joy. They love working alongside you, but can’t actually do a ton. In fact, much of what they do may seem like undoing what you’ve done.
But…if you don’t teach your kids to work while they are little, you will have a hard time forcing them to work when they are big.
You cannot wait until your kids are old enough to be useful before expecting them to pitch in. They won’t want to by then.
Instead, embrace the crazy life with littles and work together. Let them use a spray bottle with water and a towel to wash the walls or spot mop the floor. Have them sit on your lap and point out colors while you create images for your blog.
Work together and they will learn that work is just part of life.
And…before you know it they will be extremely helpful. You can turn over cleaning tasks and tasks for your business. Life will become easier.
But only if you put in the effort to teach them how to work.
For more information, you can check out these posts:
3. Put Things on Auto-Pilot
When you don’t have to think about everything, you increase your productivity. By proactively using tools and technology to help you run your home and business, you will get faster and free up more time (and brain power!)
So what can you put on auto-pilot? I recommend mundane tasks or ones you may have trouble remembering.
For me, this looks like:
- Having toilet paper, diapers, and other essentials set to automatically get delivered with Amazon Subscribe and Save subscriptions
- Creating “mental triggers” to help me remember to do things (ie after we finish homeschooling, we do a quick clean, I need to put a load of laundry on delay before I go to bed)
- Using my cell phone to set alarm reminders for important tasks (client meetings, due dates, etc.)
- Updating the shared family calendar on our iPhones when scheduling appointments so everyone is in the loop
You can also automate parts of your business! This includes using schedulers like Tailwind (I decided to hire a fantastic lady to do my Pinterest scheduling this for me – and have seen fabulous results!) or Buffer.
You can create templates for your blog posts or pins. Or have a reminder on your phone to update your books every Tuesday afternoon (or whenever…)
Don’t make your poor brain remember all these things. You will forget.
Especially the toilet paper…don’t know why that one was always so hard for me…I had to take many special trips to the store for that after I forgot to toss it into the cart. I’m seriously so thankful for Amazon Subscribe & Save!
4. Make Your Decisions in Advance
Your brain can only make so many decisions at a time. The more you can decide in advance, the better.
it’s such a pain when you’ve just sat down to knock out a blog post, and the kids come up (one at a time of course) and ask:
- What’s for dinner?
- Can I have a snack?
- When do we get to play?
- Is it my turn to pick a movie?
- Who gets to play with the building planks?
Ugh! The questions can be so overwhelming, especially because they typically only happen when you’re trying to be productive. If I’m just sitting on the couch and we’re watching a movie or something, no one has anything to ask.
But let me get out my computer, and bam. One after another!
It frustrated me enough that I decided to do something about it. So now I have premade many of my little decisions.
Here are some examples of what this can look like in real life. You can click on the links below to learn more about each:
- An annual meal plan
- Assigning each kids a day (so they all take turns making some small decisions and some privileges/responsibilities and I don’t have to keep track…)
- Creating a list of acceptable quiet time activities (if painting isn’t on the list, you can’t do it…:D)
- Brainstorming ideas for Family Writing Time with the kids each month and writing down the suggestions in case they can’t think of anything
- Using Excel to create an annual shopping list that is quick to update each month (details can be found in my course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines)
- Keeping a content calendar for myself, and ideas for my regular clients, so I’m not stuck wondering what to write about and can quickly write
Since I started premaking my decisions, my stress level has gone way down. I’m no longer constantly stopping in the middle of a task to decide.
My kids all know what’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack each day. They know if an activity is on the list, they can do it without asking.
I know what groceries I need to buy to make the meals on the meal plan.
And life is simpler!
5. Proactively Cut Things
Saying yes to running a business at home means saying no to some other things. You cannot do it all successfully without burning yourself out.
So…don’t be a victim to your circumstances and frantically walk around wringing your hands and crying because there’s just “not enough time.”
We all have 24 hours and YOU get to decide how to spend yours.
Make some hard decisions. Decide what you are no longer going to do.
It could be something as small as making bread from scratch. Maybe you’re going to use your increased income to buy a decent quality bread from the store instead.
Or maybe you’re no longer going to volunteer with a certain organization.
Or binge watching the latest Netflix hit.
A couple of words of truth to help you with this:
Just because you are saying no to this thing right now doesn’t mean you are saying no forever. You have no idea what the next season of life will look like.
And, it’s much better to purposefully set down some balls instead of randomly dropping some of them…
The book Finish by Jon Acuff really helped me wrap my head around this concept. I highly recommend it!
6. Don’t Ignore the Small Chunks
Sometimes, having five minutes is a miracle! But, I encourage you not to waste those small chunks of time.
Instead, make a plan for them.
Write down a list of things you can tackle in 2-5 minutes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Delete some emails
- Pin something on Pinterest
- Follow an influencer in your niche
- Comment on a blog post
- Read a blog post
- Search for blog post ideas on Pinterest
- Switch laundry
- Wipe the bathroom sink
- Do some stretches
- Pick up and put away 15 things
- Straighten a stack of something
- Sort your mail and trash the junk
Think about your life. What are small tasks that are perfect for those small chunks of time?
Go ahead and premake some decisions by creating a list. Then when you find yourself with a couple of minutes, you won’t waste it trying to figure out what to do.
7. Make Time for Fun
You cannot work all the time. You will start feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
Schedule fun. Put it on your calendar. Set a phone reminder.
Tell your kids – I know mine are great at reminding me!
Do something fun each day. And remember to do big fun things at least occasionally.
Have a Family Play Time block in your routine where you just play together. Or end your week with a Family Game Night. (You can try one of these games for freelance writers!)
Take a trip. Camp in the backyard. Go roller skating. Draw a bubble bath and get a good book.
Whatever refreshes you and brings you joy – make time for that.
You will walk away so refreshed and ready to jump back into work. Breaks are GOOD for your productivity!
8. Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air does your brain (and body) good! It helps you clear your head and ground your thoughts.
Make it a point to get fresh air whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. Even a quick walk down the driveway and back (without your cell phone!) can do wonders for you.
And lest you think it seems counter productive to managing your time to seemingly “waste” time outside, let me encourage you:
You aren’t wasting time when you take care of yourself!
Instead, you are freeing up mental space to be able to handle everything else you have going on that day. You are taking a quick break so you don’t burnout. And that’s a great thing!
For more ideas on ways to get fresh air regularly, read this post:
9. Write It Down!
This time management tip has been key for keeping my brain from feeling like it’s exploding. I have to write down things. Otherwise I forget them…
So find a good planner. Or a simple notebook.
Then use it. Write down dreams and ideas. Write down action steps. And deadlines.
Often when I feel behind, I mistakenly think I don’t have time to waste “planning.” And, I always regret this decision.
Take the time to write things down.
10. Build Good Habits
You need good habits to successfully manage your time as a mompreneur. Take the time to think about your current habits. Are there any that need replaced?
For instance, when I started staying up later in the evening to work instead of trying to do it in the early morning, I always wanted a snack.
But, in an effort to help me stay awake, I kept choosing really bad foods. (Well I mean they were great tasting, but not great for my health!)
However, I knew jumping straight into not eating would be a difficult adjustment. So I brainstormed ways to make this before work snack healthier.
Now I mix a small amount of low-fat cream cheese with some frozen berries and a handful of peanuts for crunch. It’s a small sugar free treat that I really enjoy.
And, I get a huge jar of water and keep drinking as I work. That way I hydrate my body instead of just cramming it full of junk food.
When it’s time for me to work, I also put my cell phone out of reach. That way I’m not tempted to keep looking at it.
I shut off notifications so my phone doesn’t tell me when to check it instead of the other way around.
What habits can you create in your life? Building habits is an important part of not thinking about everything and not making so many decisions.
Once something is a habit, you just do it – often without having to stop and analyze.
For more information on forming good habits, this post can help:
11. Know What Tasks Matter
A list of time management tips for moms with a business needs to include this one.
Are you spending your time on things that are going to improve your business’s bottom line? Or are you focused on tasks without as much ROI?
When you’re trying to juggle motherhood and business, you must be intentional on choosing where to spend your time. Spend it on the tasks that matter and that are making a difference.
What tasks bring you work and increase your revenue? Do those.
Which tasks suck a lot of time but don’t actually move the needle? Do less of those.
This can be applied to your home as well. Scrubbing baseboards and washing windows may check something of your to-do list.
But, do they really matter in the grand scheme of things?
12. Start Your Mornings Off Right
Mornings set the tone for the day. If you wake up stressed, you aren’t setting a great tone.
If your current morning goals or plans stress you out, change them. It doesn’t matter what anyone elses’s “perfect” morning looks like. You do you.
I used to want to wake up way before my kids and have perfect peace and quiet in the morning. But…my kids aren’t great sleepers and they almost always joined me at the crack of dawn.
I’d get SO frustrated. I just wanted this perfect morning time to set the tone to my day like all the experts talked about. Instead, my mornings looked like crying babies and hungry toddlers.
So I flipped my plans and embraced my reality to start my mornings right.
I welcome some time snuggling with my kids. And enjoy some coffee or cocoa.
I scroll social media and participate in some share threads. My kids tell me about their dreams. We tackle our morning chores and eat breakfast.
My quiet work time or time in the Word? Nope – not happening first thing in the morning.
And that’s okay!
You have to do what actually works for you instead of setting an unrealistic standard of what a “perfect” morning looks like. Scratch perfect and aim for good. What will a good morning in your home look like?
Write it down. And start making it happen.
And if you struggle with mornings, Crystal Paine has a great five-day challenge you can use to help!
13. End Your Days Well
Starting your day off right isn’t the only thing to do. You also need to end your days well. This means being intentional.
What can you do tonight to help tomorrow be better? Make a list!
My list includes:
- Putting a load of laundry on delay
- Doing a quick pick-up
- Checking the meal plan so I can set frozen meat into the fridge to defrost if necessary or start beans soaking
- Putting my cell phone to charge in a different room
- Doing something to relax (like reading a chapter of a good book!)
When you are intentional with your time through the end of the day, you will be amazed at how much you accomplished. For more tips on ending your day well, read this post:
14. Let Go of the Stress
Stress is a killer, literally! Don’t let yourself get so stressed out that you cause physical symptoms to manifest.
Instead, take a break. Fire the client who consumes your life or doesn’t pay. Restructure things so you feel more supported and rested.
Ask your spouse help you if you’re married.
Drink water. Eat good foods. And do at least one thing each day to help you destress.
You will have to decide what that looks like in your life, since you want it to be life-giving instead of life-sucking.
Find someone to talk to about business things. Many people IRL don’t get the added stress that comes with an online income. It’s not just “playing” on the computer all day.
So find online colleagues and build relationships with others. You were not meant to live life alone!
15. Don’t Change Too Much At Once
After reading all these time management tips for moms with a business, you may be tempted to jump in headfirst and start making changes.
Making too many changes to your life all at once isn’t sustainable. You will feel defeated instead of victorious.
Instead, pick one. What is one change you can make this week or this month? Commit to it.
Then once that becomes a habit, add another.
Baby steps are slower, but they are sustainable. You can do this!
All My Best Time Management Tips for Moms
If you’re ready to take tiny, progressive changes to your life that can really help you get more done, check out my course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines.
I share all my best time management tips that have helped me grow a business as a homeschooling mom to nine… you really can do this!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.