When I quit my agency job to open my practice, that was the first time I’d ever been self-employed. I was now a Mompreneur!
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but what I thought would be hard, like the legalities and financial side of owning a business, actually turned out to be easier than I thought.
It was other challenges that surprised me.
When I worked full-time, our much-too-short weeknights were jam packed with dinners, homework, baths, cleaning, and bedtime routines. There just wasn’t enough time!
Now, I had A LOT of time on my hands! No more boss, no more overflowing caseload, no more commute.
I needed structure to my days and a way to get (and stay) organized if I was going to get anything done and feel good about it!
Today, I share with you some of the key strategies and tips that helped me, as a mom and business owner, get organized and stay on top of everything.
Pick the Right Tools
At my last job, we had those huge (and expensive) paper planners, so I used that for work and home schedules. I needed a cheaper option that I could take anywhere, so I chose to use the calendar on my phone.
The most important organization tools are those that you will use consistently. If the paper planner has been your most consistent method, stick with it. If you want to try a a digit calendar or some other method, give it two weeks and then review. You can always change your mind.
Whatever you choose, just find a method that is easily accessible and one you’ll actually use. I always have my phone; therefore, I always have my calendar.
Identify the Have-Tos
Whether you work or not, certain things have to be done regardless. Structure your time around those things.
I blocked out time in my calendar for the before and after school routines. This gave me a clear idea of just how much time I had to work with each day.
Other Have Tos for my household included meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning.
Next, pick which days would be better for these Have Tos.
Here’s how I broke down my days:
Monday for basic cleaning routine. That way it was done and over with for the week.
Thursday for meal planning because that’s when the grocery store ads come out.
Friday for a big grocery shopping trip. We could pick up other little things throughout the week as needed.
My mentor advised doing at least one thing each day toward growing my practice. He called these Daily Dos, which have become a core aspect of the organization missions in my coaching program.
One of my other tools is the Wunderlist app that I use as my To Do List. It makes a satisfying little ding when you mark an item completed. I added my Daily Dos to this app.
I found it was best to knock these out in the morning before the day got away from me, just like with the Monday cleaning routine.
Once I figured out the Have Tos, I had a better idea of where I could fit in all the projects and little jobs I had been putting off when I worked full-time.
Identify the Want-Tos
This was the funner, but still challenging part of my time management dilemma. There was so much I wanted to do!
Volunteer in my oldest’s classroom and with the PTO.
Declutter all the crap that had accumulated since we moved the previous year.
Do Pre-K lessons throughout the week with my four-year-old.
Read more, especially about owning a business, but also some entertaining fiction.
Explore fun things in the city.
Healthier and cheaper meal planning and prep now that I had more time to spend on less convenient meals.
Try making homemade household items, like cleaning supplies, because we were down to one income and on a tight budget.
Meet new people and make friends.
Volunteer in the community.
Start exercising regularly, again.
Plan fun craft activities for the boys.
At first, I tried to do it all, but quickly realized that it just wasn’t possible. My plate was too full and nothing was getting accomplished. I was overwhelmed and frustrated!
Money and time helped me narrow it down. I had to choose the Want Tos that I had time for and that would fit into our budget.
Once I prioritized the Want Tos, I started to schedule them into my week, too.
To meet friends and also keep the 4 year-old occupied, we scheduled play dates that also allowed us to explore the city some more. We also started going to reading time at our local library branch.
I made sure to schedule these things around the Have Tos, so I wouldn’t get out of those habits. I really had to make sure I held myself accountable since no one else was around to do that for me.
It was hard at first. There were plenty of days that my youngest and I were in our pajamas most of the day. Now, over a year later, I’ve been able to stay organized both at home and in my business.
Contact me today to get organized!
Thanks for taking the time,
Amanda Campbell, MS LMHC is a licensed counselor and life coach in Indianapolis. She helps busy moms find balance with online coaching services. In her counseling practice, she helps worry warts find peace of mind and reconnects distant couples. Contact Amanda today to get started on the path to a happier, healthier you!