Few of us knew what we were getting into when we decided to take the plunge as a work at home mom. The insane schedules, last minute pulls on our time and fly by the seat of our pants changes didn’t seem so daunting, did they? Still, most of us love what we do for a living and we would not trade our freedom. The thing we lack the most regardless of our stock and trade is time. How we manage it and organize can change our lives for the better…or the worse.
Here are some tips to ensure that yours comes out for the better:
Using lists is the number one way to ensure that your day goes off without a hitch. No matter what you might do in a given day, having a list will help you do it more efficiently. From your parenting to your job, list everything you need to do the evening before.
Keep a Calendar
As a back up to your lists, you should also keep a calendar that you constantly keep updated. If something happens on either side of your WAHM world, you should be noting it in your calendar. This will ensure that you miss nothing while chasing your tail all day.
Schedule Your Work Tasks
Work tasks are those that are vital to your WAHM business and they are those tasks that can’t be compromised. If you are a single mom, schedule this time when the kids are asleep, at school or otherwise occupied. This time is what is considered to be vital to your business and you will need uninterrupted work time. Schedule this out and do not deviate unless the world is coming to an end.
Schedule Your Down Time
Just as important as your work time, your down time is that few moments where you get to breathe and think about nothing if you choose. A cup of Java, nice walk or deep cleansing yoga session might be in order. Schedule this or it will never happen.
Keep Your Work Station Flowing
Setting up your workstation is a huge key to time management and should be a high priority from the start. Try to arrange it so that you only do things once. For example, how you process your invoices should be so streamlined that you need not even think about it. From the moment it comes off the printer to the mailed and filed copies, your work should flow off the station. Try to make it so that all of your processes are like that. That means that it needs to be clean, efficient and organized.
Use The Three Step Priority Method
If you touch something more than twice in one day, it is a drag on your efficiency. When you set up your day the night before, you should use the three step priority method.
To-dos (including home and kids) should fall under three categories:
Must do – These are those items that have to be done no matter what. Note them with a color that works for you and do them first the next day.
Should do – These are items that need to get done badly, but can wait one more day if necessary. Give them a second color.
Can Wait – These don’t have to be done anytime soon and can be put off in an emergency.
Now that you have these things laid out and prioritized, you can approach your day from that angle. As you get new things added to the list, prioritize them accordingly.
Invest in Items That Save Time
Nobody likes spending cash towards their business, but it is a necessary evil. If you are working on an antiquated laptop that desperately needs repair or replacement, bite the bullet and get what you need. This will save you time and make you more money. Every item that comes up should pass that litmus test….
Can it save me time?
Did you know that I’ve written and released ebooks for moms who are looking to work from home? I have! The first in the series, A Mom’s Guide to Working From Home is a great introduction for anyone (mom or not) to the world of working from home. I’ve also released A Mom’s Guide to Being a Virtual Assistant and A Mom’s Guide to Making Money With Surveys. You can see every book right on my Amazon author page.