How do you do it? That's Probably the most asked question I get and have gotten for the last 12 years of being an entrepreneur. And my basic answer in my mind is, survival. I didn't really have the choice NOT to. I was a single mom before I married my husband. And I knew when I had my first baby 9 years ago that I wanted to be home with her full time. I was not willing to let her go, not even for a little bit. On top of that, child care is insanely expensive! So owning my own business was the option that made the most sense. And since I started doing hair and make up in high school, it was a no brainier just to continue that "full time". Thankfully, doing hair and make up held me over and helped us survive. But it wasn't without a ton of experiences that taught me many valuable lessons. One of which is time management.
As my family has grown, not only has my "available time" adjusted, but my passions have as well. When my kids were little and not in school, being away on weekends didn't bother me because I had all week with them. But as they grew up, and started school, I realized how much time I was missing out by being at events all weekend. Not only that, but I was exhausted. So enter in the Blog + ECourse. I love sharing, but I love being home even more.
Regardless of WHAT your actual business is, here are a few tips that helped me accomplish more, stay on track and run my business from home.
Write it down // Anything in my brain gets written down. Anything that I have to accomplish has to be physically written down on a paper so that I remember to actually do it and so I can cross it off once its done. Some people prefer lists or some like to schedule it in their calendar. I prefer to Time Block my weeks out. (Want to know more? Check out my Ecourse!)
Schedule tasks out in advance // Anything important needs to be scheduled. I personally schedule everything and time block most of my days. This helps me balance my time better, by not dedicating too much time to work tasks but also making sure I actually get them done.
Treat work "tasks" as if you are clocking into work (and a boss is watching you). // Even though you are running your own business, it doesn't mean that you don't work or you work less. It means that you have the freedom to allow family time to be prioritized over a dictated work schedule....sort of. Say you are a blogger...it does't mean that you write during your spare time. You should set aside a certain amount of hours per week to WORK your business. What you get out of your business depends on how much work you are willing to put in it. So if you truly want to succeed as an entrepreneur...work your business. This is especially tricky for moms who decide to "stay home" but also work from home. Most people don't realize how much dedication and self control it takes to set aside time to work while having constant distractions of dishes, kids or endless demands on the home front.
Give yourself deadlines // If you don't give yourself deadlines, nothing will ever get done. At least not in a timely manner. Make sure you set yourself REALISTIC deadlines as well. There is nothing more disappointing then either rushing through a project or not meeting a deadline.
Honor your commitments by following through // This is SO important. If you say you are going to email someone back, do it. And do it on time. If you say you are going to have a contract over to them, or a product to them by a certain date, follow through. By letting "home stuff" get in the way of your business, you are failing your business. This quickest way to drive your business down the drain. Honor what you say and DO IT. Whatever IT is.
How I do this all comes down to TWO things....#1 The Grace of God - He has given me talents to share and the ability to manage them. And #2 My Schedule. I have learned the importance of scheduling my days so that my business gets ran and my kids get fed. I have learned to let go of tasks that cannot be completed that day and need to be pushed to the next day. I am constantly learning to let go of perfectionism, knowing that I (and my schedule) am a constant work in progress.
If you are someone who needs help in these areas, check out my ECourse, friends. Total shameless plug, but it will help show you how to manage your time, prioritize your commitments and learn to be present in each area of your day.