by Amyli McDaniel
Do you wake up each day with great intentions of getting a lot done, but then find yourself fall into a state of stress as the realization that there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done?
I know that exact feeling. Time management is the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs who happen to also be parents.
A few years ago, I found myself ending each day exhausted from doing a little here and a little there but not getting anything completed. It was not until I invested some time into learning and mastering time management and productivity when my business started to flourish and I was able to really be present and engaged with my children and in family activities.
I learned that you must have a strategy each day for achieving balance your home and business life. Here are my top three tips that can help you achieve your goals and maintain work life balance along the way.
Setting Practical Daily Goals
The first tip is to end each day by writing down your two or three most important daily tasks you need to get done for the next day. Then, when you wake up the following day, make sure that before you do anything else these things are accomplished.
You should start on these at the beginning of the day and they should be goals that are specific, practical and achievable and still leave you time to do other things you might want or need to get done.
I work during the time my children are in school. I create a business task list for each day. I make sure I complete that as soon as I sit down in my home office after the kids leave for school. It is so nice to get those done before noon each day!
Then I have a second family based task list for each day. These can be things like helping my son with his book report, getting my daughter a haircut, or cleaning out the garage together. Those kick in when the kids come home!
Blocking Out Your Time
The second tip is to block out specific periods of time on your calendar to devote to specific projects, events and obligations. The ideal period to block out for specific tasks are 30-45 minutes for work
If you block time to work on a business task, then during that time, only work on that specific task. Do not check emails or go on Facebook . . . and do not multi-task by doing other things during that period.
I have found that blocking time for household and family tasks work really well. For example, the period from 2:30-3:30 every weekday is blocked off on my calendar. The tasks for that period include getting the kids from the bus, preparing them a healthy snack, sitting with them to hear about their day, and then getting them set up to do their daily homework.
Before I blocked out this time, I was always frazzled when my kids got home because my mind was thinking about business issues of the day or a project I was in the middle of when 2:30 came around. Now, because I know that time is blocked out for family, I am present and engaged with my children and our whole family benefits from that valuable time together.
Blocking time is a secret productivity tip for success. This will help you manage your time better. By blocking time, you will make real progress with your business and ensure that you are spending the necessary time with your family.
The third tip that can help you greatly is to take advantage of the opportunities of outsourcing that are now available today.
In business, I take advantage of online service marketplaces like eLance and Guru to find assistants and professionals to help me with a variety of business tasks involving maintaining my business websites, customer service, marketing, writing, financial bookkeeping, advertising, and design work.
In family life, there are outsourcing possibilities as well. For example, if you are working on a business project that will yield huge returns, then it is well worth hiring a sitter to free up some time, or hire a housekeeper to help with the housework.
Having a little extra help can go a long way towards making sure that you are able effectively balance your home life as well as your work life. Outsourcing has not only created work life balance for me, but it has helped me build my business faster and allowed me more time to spend quality time with my family.
As you can see these are simple steps that you can take to ensure that you are able to balance your home and business life as a parent entrepreneur. Incorporate these time management tips into your daily business and family life!
If you have any other great tips to help us entrepreneurs who manage business and family life, share below!
Amyli McDaniel is the founder of ParentEntrepreneurs.com. She helps parents create lifestyle supportive businesses so that they can have the financial and time freedom to live life on their own terms. Visit her site and download her popular eBook: The Parent Entrepreneurs Opportunity Guide: Top 5 Ways Parents are Creating Family Financial Freedom today: http://parententrepreneurs.com/getguidenow/