All Articles Tagged "time management"
“How do you find time to handle it all?” has to be the most asked question that I receive. From the outside looking in, I would probably be asking the same exact thing as a mother of two, fashion blogger and designer. My answer to that question is: time management.
Careers moms have to be focused, committed and have a strong support system as well. From my point of view, it has now just become a part of my lifestyle. I would completely lose my mind and drown if I were not organized. Becoming organized in a storm of meetings, blogging, date nights, parent teacher conferences and working out, was definitely a triumph for me. It took time, along with a lot of patience and after almost throwing the towel in a few times, it was definitely worth getting on track. Here are five tips that I live by that will help any mompreneur find structure and balance while building a booming business.
Have your ever heard the phrase “If you stay ready, you’ll never have to get ready?” I’m quite sure that I may be quoting a rap lyric, but the line for sure makes a lot of sense and is definitely the truth! I prepare at night for the day ahead, as much as possible. Once bedtime hits, it is then when I process, plan and organize. The next day will be solely based on execution.
Invest In A Calendar
My calendar comes to my rescue like a superhero. While chasing my two-year-old around, there are many times when I’m not even aware of the day or the date, which makes it easy for things to slip my mind. Without my calendar, I would be lost. I’m still pretty much old-school, so I’m still a fan of paper calendars, although the same rules apply on an electronic one. I post it on my wall so that it is in clear view of what I have to do for the entire week. Any time something new appears on my schedule, I immediately transfer it to my calendar. It keeps me aware of how I will process my time each day.
All moms feel like we have eight arms at times, although we don’t, we still have to work as if we do. While I prepare dinner, my 13-year-old and I go over homework assignments. During playtime when my infant Santana is more interested in Elmo than he is in me, I take full advantage to draft a blog post and publish during naptime. Any openings where a task can be accomplished, I go for it!
Priorities MUST remain in order. You never want to waste the small amount of time that you have on meaningless things. I write a to-do list each day, with the most important task first. Depending on my day, sometimes I organize my list with which task is the fastest to accomplish, that helps speed up the process when it’s crunch time. All in all, by the end of the week, you look back and see how much you’ve achieved! It’s a gratifying feeling and it keeps you motivated to do more.
Ask For Help
Asking for help shows strength, not weakness. Being a momtrepreneur, we wear so many hats, that at times we have to either pass the hat or take it completely off. Passing a task, whether it be asking for work-related assistance or taking someone up on his or her offer to babysit. A helping hand is always a great source of taking some of the burden off of you, making it easier to concentrate and focus.
Mia Ray is a fashion blogger, fab mom of two and mompreneur. Ray started her fashion blog Confessions Of A Glam-Aholic in November of 2009, but it isn’t just her fashion savvy we’re obsessed with, it’s her can-do attitude that is contagious–from getting in a good workout it, starting a hair line, designing fashion totes or running after her children, Mia is that mom.
Here’s how I rock time management: Wake-up, breastfeed the baby, change the baby’s pamper, brush the baby’s teeth, take care of my personal hygiene needs, make the bed, dress the baby, get dressed, feed the baby breakfast, feed myself breakfast, change the baby, clean the kitchen, engage the baby in an academic activity, read emails, create a priority to do list, check in with husband, check in with business partners, prep business activities for the day, bathroom break, breastfeed the baby, put the baby down for a nap, begin business activities for the day, prep lunch, baby wakes up from nap, change the baby, feed the baby lunch, eat lunch, prep dinner, change the baby, breastfeed the baby, bathroom break, engage the baby in an afternoon play activity, continue to work on business tasks for the day, put the baby down for a nap, take a transition break, baby wakes up from nap, change the baby, give the baby snack and breastfeed, cook dinner, welcome husband home from work, feed baby dinner, eat dinner, breastfeed baby, quality time with husband and baby, husband puts baby to bed, husband cleans kitchen, wife ends the day writing, reading, studying, or all of the above before retiring to bed …
Yes, this gigantic run on sentence is my life. I could really lose my mind thinking about the outstanding to do list being a work from home married mother, student, and businesswoman affords me. But I have not had a melt down in a really long time, circa three-to-six months. No, I am not super woman. I, also, do not believe in the delusional stress inducing methodology called multi-tasking anymore. As Arianna Huffington put it best, “There is no such thing as multitasking. It’s actually task switching and it’s been proven to be highly ineffective.”
So how do I use time management to get through my days without having to admit myself to the ER for severe anxiety? 1.) Lots of prayer 2.) I love what I do and 3.) There is no more time. Yes, I said that, I believe that, and I have been practicing it since I decided I wanted to keep my sanity. There is no more time.
Yesterday does not exist. I can’t get it back, I don’t want to go back, it is over. Tomorrow, I know all to well, is not promised. All I have is today, and I don’t even have today. I have this moment right now, because only God knows what will happen next. So every day I wake-up, I feel the sun on my face, I smile at my baby girl, and I say thank you God for this morning. Then, I proceed to do whatever needs to be done in that moment only. I’ve come this far by faith.
Now you may be like, what? What is she talking about? Who does that? Of course there is still time.
Listen, I use to be the biggest planner. By the time I graduated college, I had a timeline for the rest of my life that even included what year I wanted God to take me back. Yes, I even planned my death. But you know that saying; “we plan and God laughs?” Well, the universe has hit me over the head with that so much so that I’m sure it’s etched in my scalp.
If you asked me four years ago where I would be today, I would have told you in a colonial house on the Main Line of Philadelphia, with two kids, and a very lucrative law career. I never anticipated not liking corporate finance, wanting to be an entrepreneur, missing my art as a writer, or the tragic unforeseen deaths of several members of my family including my own infant son. The only plan that stands true today is the commitment of matrimony my husband and I vowed on October 22, 2011. And let me be the first to say that even that is a miracle and a testimony and a covering from the divine after all we’ve been through.
But I’m grateful, because living one-step at a time and leaving room for God’s plans to take over my life has afforded me the most precious gifts in this world, love and passion. My daughter is a constant reminder that I don’t have it all figured out and I should be glad. I never imagined her, I could not give her to myself, and I can’t control her. All I can do is be present and available to love her and build trust with her so that she trusts me as a reliable source of guidance. This requires my undivided attention, and I cannot give my undivided attention to anything if I’m worried about everything that has nothing to do with the here and now.
So, the Mom in Me does not plan. The Mom in Me knows that time does not exist.
Instead of having a plan, The Mom in Me has a vision, and every moment of my life is spent seizing the opportunities of the moment to manifest that vision. When it’s time to eat, I eat. When it’s time to sleep, I sleep. When it’s time to work, pay a bill, kiss my husband, love on my daughter, write a piece, read a book, take a bath, I do those things.
The less time I spend planning to live my life the more effective I’ve noticed I am at actually living my life with passion, peace, and purpose.
What should you be doing right now? Remember, there is no more time.
Clarissa Joan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the inspirational website, The Clarissa Joan Experience, where she shares her personal truths to promote a culture of peace, passion, and purpose throughout humanity.
Being a stay at home mom is an all around full-time job. Being a stay at home mompreneur is a full-time job times ten! Nothing is more rewarding than being able to nurture your children around the clock, the advantages are endless. But working at home with a little one running around, may come with a few challenges when trying to get the job done. Finding balance and time, all while cooking dinner and washing clothes can definitely be a juggle. Running a business and a family at the same time takes a lot of planning and multitasking. With the proper structure and time management, everything can fall into place with ease. Moms just know how to get the job done! Here are 10 helpful tips on how to “steal” time as a mompreneur.
Set A Schedule
The entire household should be on a schedule to help your process work a bit easier and quicker, at times. When an itinerary is set, it will assist you in successfully planning out your day and activities. A regular work routine provides structure for both your little ones and your business.
Organize Your Workspace
Working from home doesn’t mean working from your bed. A clean and clear workspace allows you to stay focused and not become distracted by clutter or non-work related items. Offer a small space for your little one such as their very own chair/table to sit next to you and enjoy an activity while you work.
Find An Activity For The Kids
When trying to find time to fit in a your daily tasks, finding an activity for your little one can help out in so many ways. To distract them for a moment of time, offer an independent activity such as watching their favorite television show, coloring or playing with their favorite educational app.
Make A Task List
Every night a task list for the next day should be created and prepared, so that you can immediately begin working at the start of your day. The quickest and easiest tasks should be accomplished first, saving the more time consuming acts to be carried out during naptime or whenever the opportunity is presented.
Naptime is the most productive time to get any work done. Although, it may be tempting to nap right along with your little one. Capitalize on this time knowing that for the next 1-2 hours, you can knock a lot of tasks off your to-do list.
When you have an outline of your daily duties, it gives a valuable perspective on how your time and energy should be executed. In between the ins and outs of your little one running your day, if you have your work schedule prepared it helps to keep the ball rolling efficiently.
This is the most important aspect of being a stay at home mompreneur. When done properly, juggling duties will get so many tasks completed. Doing laundry while replying to emails, sets a timeframe for both responsibilities to get done.
Take your show on the road sometimes. Enjoy a day out at the park with your little one while brainstorming different ideas and aspects of your business. The fresh air will be beneficial for the both of you!
With various things at home that can distract us, concentrating and staying self-motivated is extremely beneficial. Try keeping a clock or timer around to remind yourself that time must not be wasted and you will need to close down shop soon to focus on your children for the remainder of the day.
Recharge & Relax
You never want your children to feel ignored. Set a particular time when your work day ends and all of your attention will be on them. Take the weekends off to recharge your energy and spend time with your family.
How many people will it take telling you about your tardiness before you fix it? Being late is never a good trait to have, and can reflect poorly on your professionalism or reputation. So fix that bad habit – and fast. Check out these tips on how to improve being late.
Each day, we’re bombarded with all sorts of news. Some of it, like the standoff in the Ukraine or persistent issues with the economy, has global implications. Other things, like the album cover for the latest Pharrell album, not so much. While it’s your right to have an opinion on anything and everything, you don’t need to exercise that right over every single little thing.
Your attention is a valuable thing. Companies pay a lot of money to get a small piece of it in the hopes that it will lead to a sale or some positive feedback on social media. So don’t give it away on things that really don’t matter. Even if you’re not consumed with the fate of the world, there are things like your financial health, your to-do list for the day, your child’s upcoming sports event, or that vacation you’re planning to occupy your mind space.
There are times when Twitter lights up with things that are so petty, it’s not to be believed. And there are those people who become consumed with office gossip, silly feuds, and who’s doing what. It’s one thing to have fun and give the brain a rest with something frivolous. It’s another thing to waste massive amounts of time that can be better spent on matters of consequence worrying about something that’s not worrying about you.
Unfortunately we can’t add hours to the day. So learning to manage your time will go a long way toward getting you where you want to go in your career. After all, no one will promote you if your inbox is swimming in papers and nothing ever gets accomplished. Use these steps to set better daily time management habits:
Make a to-do list. Whether an electronic or paper to-do list, you’ll want to set important items first and work down from there. Within the list, cut the big jobs into small chunks. Order the chunks by importance and work on them one at a time.
Be ruthless about priorities. When setting your priorities, be sure that what you think is a top priority really is one. Use deadlines to help when you hit a wall and are unsure which item should go before the other. At times there may be a difference between something important but not urgent and vice versa.
All things being equal, do the hardest thing first. Get it over with. Yes, it will be the least fun but that’s the point. While you still have energy early in the day tackle what is least enjoyable and by the end of the day you’ll hopefully be up to the easier more fun tasks.
Do it right away. Once that project is done assess what’s quickest to accomplish among your remaining tasks. If the task takes less than five minutes, go ahead and do it right away.
Jump right in. Instead of checking email and messages as soon as you get into work get one or two tasks done first. This way you’ll already be in the swing of things and have started your day off productively.
Take inventory- For a couple of days take an inventory of how you spend your time. This will help you find out where and how you’re wasting time.
Check in. At the end of your day review what you’ve accomplished. Be sure to move tasks to a new list of things to be done for tomorrow.
Welcome to our new column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, Reset is about life lessons learned and finally mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically. We’ll be taking a closer look at the real challenges faced throughout the journey of life, no matter how successful a person is.
I’m ultimately a big kid at heart and absolutely love the circus. However there is something to be said about juggling – giving others too much time, energy and face time. Managing my own daily circus act as brand mom, wife, PTA president, and chief do-it-all came to a halt recently when prepping to attend a PTA Central Council meeting. It actually dawned on me that I had the option of not attending and putting myself first.
Finally, I was tired from a full day and had to ponder: Did I sign up to be uber-involved in the PTA, or was I simply being super-Karen? Truth be told, I actually signed up for the First VP position, then the president became ill and I had to step up.
Perhaps you’re not a mother, but you can still be a sister who’s over-committed. Your career is demanding. Maybe you’re the primary caregiver for an ailing parent. Or you need a job and you’re currently trying to be in the right place at the right time to get noticed. It doesn’t matter – we all spend time doing too many things at the cost of health, love and preservation.
Deya “Direct” Smith, author of Touch Yourself 30 Ways: To Boldly Live, Love, and Let Go! says, “If you are willing to sacrifice self, but give others the best of you, it might be time to check self.”
Reset. I poured a glass of wine, watched my favorite basketball team, the Miami Heat, and exhaled. Started to think, how can I be a leader if someone else is leading me? It was time to write a job description for my new PTA role, itemize talent vs. time and present it to the PTA board.
Tips to Reset the Juggling Act:
Self. You are the most important person and when you put that on display, folks will stop adding to your workload.
Repeat. The more you practice saying “No,” the easier it will roll of your tongue.
Prioritize. Take a realistic look at your schedule, see how much time you can allocate to an activity or leadership role in an organization.
Delegate. You are a leader, empower others to step up and shine.
Tone. It’s not always what you are saying. It’s how you relay it to others.
Thank you, remixed. Keep it simple and sweet. Thank everyone for thinking so highly of you. But politely pass on the additional opportunity for the moment.
Karen Taylor Bass, has pressed RESET; boldly living life now as an Author, PR Expert, Brand Mom, Corporate and Small Business Coach and Adviser. Follow her @thebrandnewmom on Twitter.
If you’ve ever fallen into the hole of entrepreneurial work-a-holism, Neil Fiore’s book, The Now Habit, may have just the thing to help you learn to enjoy guilt-free play.
For many business owners their minds are working 24/7, churning over marketing ideas at lunch, brainstorming a new product while out with friends, and responding to customer or employee needs while lying in bed. This sort of continuous stress can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. It is just as important that an entrepreneur be “on” as it is to learn to stop and smell the roses.
To help you learn to slow down, Fiore’s Unschedule requires that you only block into a calendar previous commitments (meetings and appointments), free time and leisure, exercise, and routine events (commuting and classes). This is meant to help you reward your hard work with mandatory scheduled free time that, having been written in, can be enjoyed guilt-free. You may not want to use this technique all the time, pulling it out once a week allows you to maintain a space for relaxation and enjoyment at least one week a month. During that week indulge in your scheduled play-dates, whether with yourself or with someone else. Taking the time to de-stress will not only make you a better business person, but will also lessen your chances of turning into the Hulk over small or insignificant infractions.
You’re friends and family will thank you.
Learning to use your time wisely is an asset for anyone looking to make the most of their day. Accept that you won’t complete a big project or achieve a complex goal overnight. Commit, rather, to working on them every day in small chunks, using your time management skills to ultimately achieve efficiency.
By setting clear and concise criteria — breaking each goal or project into parts with understandable steps — you can actively work toward achieving them. Every day you can work smart instead of hard and make the right decisions to chip away at your goals. By taking the time to become sure of your goals and the actions involved at each phase of completion, you can work more efficiently and not waste additional time with planning when you could be getting the job done.
At the end of the day have you ever sat there and thought: “Where did the time go?” You might have had a list of things to do, but somehow time got away from you and before you realize it you just lost time that you’re never getting back. I’ll be honest, that has happened to me more times than I would like to admit, and it usually makes me feel like crap. I would feel even crappier when I would see a celebrity accomplish so much and I would start to compare myself to them.
After listening to Diddy’s recent interview with The Breakfast Club at Power 105.1, something really stuck out to me. As he was talking about launching his Revolt network he said: “I have the same 24 hours a day that everyone does.” That made me realize that if he was able to cook eggs, advertise Ciroc, create an entire television network, and be a mogul, what’s stopping me from utilizing those entire 24 hours that he has? So I had to stop and re-evaluate where my time was going, and decided to help those who might deal with these common time stealers.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I know that this doesn’t seem like a time stealer, but it can be. If you’re too busy thinking about how other people are succeeding then you’re not spending your time doing your own work. The moment you stop paying attention to what everyone else is doing is when you’ll be able to focus fully on your own work.
Once again, this seems like you’ll be able to multitask, but worrying takes up a lot of your time if you allow it to. When your mind is running with “shouldas, couldas, wouldas,” then you’re not working at your best capacity. Your mind isn’t being utilized to its full potential, so it’s going to take you longer to get work down.
Break up Tasks into Smaller Tasks
Something that can hurt people and their time management skills is usually by trying to power through such large tasks in a small time. This can cause people to become overwhelmed and shut down. By breaking it into small tasks then it’ll be easier to break up and complete, and the excitement if finishing a part of it can help power you through other projects.
One of my favorite tweets during the #ABCReports twitter parade expressed how black people think that lack of sleep is the way to success. Because too many times we do think that if you’re grinding all day and through the night you’re getting a lot done, but being tired is an efficiency killer. When you’re tired you work almost two times slower than you would well rested.
Wait to Visit Your Favorite Websites
I have fallen into that trap wanting to visit my favorite websites for a few minutes and then hours later, and seven open windows of stories that I have left to read are haunting me as I wonder where did my hours go. If you have a tendency to get lost in online publications, or social media sites, visit them after your work is done.
Now, let’s put those 24 hours a day to good use!
Kendra Koger is always here 24 hours a day, and her twitter is always @kkoger.