Working from home gives moms the best of both worlds. They get to spend more time with their kids and build a business while contributing to the family income. The ability to work from home has had a big effect on many mothers — so much so that moms who run businesses from their homes even have their own name: “momtrepreneurs.” But running a small business from home leaves many moms wondering how it’s possible to juggle all of their responsibilities. The good news is, you can implement effective systems to help you balance your family and home duties with the responsibilities that come with working from home.
Get the Kids on a Schedule
All mommy moguls need uninterrupted work time, which can be hard to come by if you don’t have your kids on a regular schedule. If you have younger kids, consider setting a bedtime for them and getting them up at the same time each morning. Scheduling their naps can also help you get into a steady routine that gives you more work time. While the kids sleep, you can get an hour or two of work completed. Alternatively, some moms find it easier to get some extra work done before the kids wake and after they go to bed. It really comes down to what works best for your family.
It’s a bit more difficult with older kids who tend to go to bed later and have more after-school activities. If this is your case, it’s often easier to schedule work time around your kids’ school and activities schedules. You can always work while they’re at school, and if possible, take your laptop with you to dance class or soccer practice to catch up on work you can’t get done earlier in the day. If their activities frequently take you to a place without WiFi, consider adding a mobile hotspot to your cellular phone plan so you can work on the go.
Use To-Do Lists
When you work from home, staying organized is the key to success. Keeping a running to-do list with everything you need to get done for the week, month, and year can help you prioritize those tasks and use your time more efficiently. Each day, you can use your running to-do list to create separate checklists for household tasks and work tasks to help you balance both. It’s important to prioritize your daily to-do lists so they only include the most important tasks. This way you don’t become overwhelmed looking at a long list of things you need to do. When you start your day, review your lists and tackle one item at a time so you don’t end up with a bunch of half-finished tasks at the end of the day. Crossing off each item on your to-do list can be a motivator to help you get even more tasks done.
Set a Timer While You Work
When you have limited work time, you need to make the most of it. Setting a timer while you work can help keep you on track. For example, checking your email and catching up on business social media pages are important, but they can also be a huge time sink if you aren’t careful. So instead of winging it, you might set a timer for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, move on to something more productive.
The Pomodoro technique is another option that uses a timer. It involves choosing a task, setting a timer for 25 minutes, and working only on that task until the timer goes off. You then get a five-minute break. Keep working in those 25-minute chunks to keep yourself focused with little breaks in between. You should also consider setting a timer for any breaks you take so your 10-minute break doesn’t turn into an hour. Because you’re surrounded with a lot of distractions at home, it’s very easy to get so sidetracked and lose out on work time.
Make the Most of Your Breaks
It’s important to schedule work breaks, but you should also make the most of them. Consider spending your breaks productively — making lunch for the kids, putting laundry in the washer, or cleaning the bathroom. By doing these tasks when you take a break, you’re getting time away from your computer and getting your household chores completed so you don’t need to do them in the evening. You also remove those distractions when you get back to work. If you see that pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded while you’re trying to work, you may be tempted to take an unplanned break to handle it.
Learn How to Delegate
As hard as it is to let go, it’s really important to learn when and how to delegate your work to others to help you balance it all. If your kids are old enough, make chore lists for them to help you tackle work around the house. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) gives you a flexible option for delegating some of your work tasks. You don’t have to hire someone full-time, but you can use a virtual assistant on an as-needed basis to lighten your load a bit. Most VAs can handle things such as posting on your social media accounts, answering emails, and keeping your bookkeeping up to date. If you outsource work to others, your VA can help you manage your team, make sure they complete the work on time, and make sure you pay them on time.
Use Tools That Help Momtrepeneurs
With so many affordable apps and software programs available, you can streamline your work processes significantly to get more done during the day. QuickBooks Self-Employed can handle the financial aspects for momtrepreneurs. You can also integrate several other apps into your QuickBooks program to make it easy to manage everything in one place. Insightly CRM is one example that can help you manage all aspects of your customer interactions. If you keep inventory on hand, you might use an app such as SOS Inventory to manage it. Finding the apps and tools that solve your biggest time-wasters can free up more time for other business tasks or your personal responsibilities.
The fact is, momtrepreneurs have a lot on their plates. But by analyzing everything you have to do on a regular basis, making and sticking to schedules, and learning how to delegate less important tasks, you can succeed. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app to help you manage your workload as a mom and entrepreneur.