Here are several Mompreneur tips to help you save time and work smarter, not harder,
running your business while being a mom!
Whether it’s your side hustle or your full-time gig, running a business while being a parent is no easy feat. Juggling kids’ activity schedules, relationships, home stuff, and work, etc., is tough! The number one thing that allows me to operate the best I can as a lifestylist, blogger, and full-time stay-at-home mom is being ahead of the game, planned out, and scheduled. This doesn’t mean we don’t have any fun – in fact, we can have more!
#1: Plan Ahead
I spend about six hours a week just organizing our schedule. Take a look at everything that is coming up, including work and family life, and get to scheduling and list-making. I figure out which days we’ll need childcare, I meal plan (and write our grocery lists), and I take a look at projects coming up (and what needs to happen beforehand). This way, when I’m headed out on errand days, I’m as efficient as I can be, getting stuff done. Six hours for scheduling may sound like a big commitment, but being planned out has allowed us way more room for spontaneity and flexibility because we aim to be so efficient on the regular.
#2: Structure Your Days of the Week
We function best when we designate specific days for certain tasks. For example, Mondays are our day to run errands and go to appointments. I try not to schedule any other doctors, dentists, bank appointments, etc. outside of Mondays unless absolutely necessary. With other days of the week set for other things, it would make life too scrambly to attempt this outside of Monday. Not only that, Mondays are typically quiet at the grocery store, doctor’s offices, etc., so it makes things that much quicker and even enjoyable for us. I also aim to be out and about before 4:00pm to avoid rush hour. The hours after Wyatt’s nap (3:30 – into the evening) are spent at home making dinner, hanging out, walking Moses, and avoiding being stuck in traffic!
#3: Free Day
If your schedule allows, try to designate one day of your week a free day. On purpose, we make Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday our commitment-filled days with preschool, swimming, and other activities. Our week is bookended by an errands day on Monday and a free day on Friday. On Fridays, Wyatt and I may go do running around or we may stay in our jammies and build Hot Wheels tracks. The point is, there’s no plan!
Ryan and Wyatt get their Daddy/Son time on what we call Dadurday! I get to fit in a full day of work while the two of them get to be together and do whatever they want (I try not to ask questions). I like to hit a local coffee shop to work on these days, to avoid being distracted by house stuff while working from home. Our schedule doesn’t always allow for Dadurdays, but we try to make them as frequent as possible!
#5: Create When You’re Fresh
It’s important to find times of the day to create when you are at your best, and those times will be different for everyone. When I first starting blogging, my whole plan was to work after we put Wyatt to bed. At 7:45pm I was going to dive right into creating, researching, and writing. I quickly learned this was not the best course of action! Parent or not, at this age at that time of the day, my brain is done, jammies are on, and I’m searching for what to watch on TV. Find times to squeeze in work when you’re the freshest.
For me, I use the time when Wyatt naps, or is at pre-school, to write when my creative juices are flowing. I now save the easier tasks for the evenings. Things like promoting blog posts on social media, responding to emails (I write them out but send them in the morning), editing photos, and planning schedules, etc.
#6: Try to Avoid The Parent Hand-Off
You’re out the door before your spouse’s shoes are even off – we all know the parenting hand-off. Sometimes, it can’t be avoided, but we quickly learned the time my husband Ryan was home in between jobs was best spent together connecting as a family. I used to look at that two or three-hour block as a time to accomplish a whack load of things. From photo shoots to errands to workouts, I tried to cram it all into this time and was often (literally) running from thing to thing. But, we were missing that daily connect. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes there will still be photoshoots and errands during that time, but we try to avoid it. I moved workouts to the mornings and started scheduling errands on Mondays or the weekend.
#7: Hire A Cleaner
This is the best money you’ll ever spend (next to a baby sleep trainer, of course)! Before we hired a cleaner, I’d spend around six hours a week cleaning our house. That was time that, in my mind, could be better spent accomplishing other things. We invested in a cleaner, and I now use that six hours to plan our schedule (while somebody does a way better job than I would have, cleaning our place!). Coming home to a freshly cleaned house is so satisfying. It’s good for your mental health. Not only that, it may be a write-off if you’re running a home-based business!
Get creative to work this into your budget (maybe skip ordering in or one of the nights out with the girls to cover the cost). Or, if you have older children, delegate the cleaning tasks to them. Idea being – take it off your plate!
#8: Access Resources
Seek out tools and resources that will help you out! There needed to be another pocket of time for me to work during the day, outside of naps and preschool. I did a bit of googling and discovered childcare is free at some City of Edmonton rec facilities, for up to 2.5 hours a day (you’re required to remain at the facility) with your annual family membership. I go work in the coffee shop at the rec centre while Wyatt socializes with his buddies at daycare…FOR FREE!
On busy weeks, when cooking dinner every night isn’t in the cards, we use meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh. It’s nice to have one significant thing automatically handled. I try to book these deliveries for the day after we return home from vacation.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
As mompreneurs, our work time can be limited. I always try to look for ways to maximize content with what I already have, instead of creating more work. For example, this blog post! I’m using the tips I covered in a speech to the Ace Class’s Babes Who Brunch event (a full recap on that event coming on Thursday!). The speech was written, but I’ve repurposed the material here, using photos from a few different photos shoots including my partnership with Edmonton Made from this past holiday season. I’m sure you’re already thinking of ways you can do this in your business! It all comes back to being organized and planning out ahead of time.
I would love to hear the ways you save time with your family schedule and work! Share your tips below!
Don’t forget to pin this to your Mom Boss and Scheduling Tips boards and follow me on Pinterest here!
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Rhonda Abbott says
Hi Kari. I had attended the Babes Who Brunch event which you spoke at and loved all of it!! I was telling a friend and then started looking on the internet for the next even and there are none! Do you know if there will be any more Babes Who Brunch events coming up?
Hi Rhonda! I’m so glad you loved it! I’m totally with ya! From what I understand they are looking for someone to plan and run the event right now so there won’t be any more until that’s figured out.