Hi, I’m one of Susie’s customers. I have a few ways to deal with mom duties, business duties, and everything else. My children are 11, 9 and 7 months. It certainly helps that the older two are in school during the day – which “helps” increase my productivity. But, as most of us know, building a successful business (let alone building 2) with an infant can be difficult to say the least (we won’t even get into the toddler years!!) So, yes, time management is an absolute MUST!
Let me preface the following by saying that I live by my planner! Without it I would be absolutely lost. I use the Busy Woman’s Daily Planner and it’s worked soooo well for me! First, the whole concept behind the planner (and the company) is that it’s personality based. Each of us has a different personality – personally, I’m very organized, and have been for many years, so it’s been an easy thing for me to adjust to using a planner. However, I know women that aren’t naturally organized and have a very hard time adjusting to using a planner…..this planner/company will HELP you determine your personality and then start using your planner – I think that is one of the MAJOR things that sets the Busy Woman’s Daily Planner apart from all the others!
This is how I manage to maintain my productivity and “make time” for everything that I need to do.
1. First, I use the monthly/weekly/and daily goal pages – so that I have a clear outline of what steps need to be done every day/week/month.
2. I prioritize EVERYTHING (this has been difficult at times – initially, everything was high priority….it took time for me to get it through my head that EVERYTHING can’t be the highest priority every day).
3. Next, I use two pages for every day (this can be tough at times – and I know, through speaking with other women and the owner of The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner, this is too much for many people) – I use Appointment pages AND regular daily pages. In the appointment pages, I literally block out time periods to work on various projects.
4. I keep my planner on my desk – right in front of me (I have one that will detach from my purse – so I can easily attach it when I’m going out of the house and always have it with me) – and make sure I stick to the time blocks that I set up.
5. I ALSO use a program on my computer that will sound an alarm at certain times throughout the day. This helps me from watching the clock – I simply focus on work and when the alarm sounds, I check my planner and move on to the next task.
6. I block all my time in 2.5 hour segments – with a 1/2 hour break in between. Not only does this help me focus (on average, people will get more done in short blocks of time than longer blocks of time – 2.5 hour segments work really well for me, but I’ve known people who chose 1.5 hour time blocks with 15 minute breaks in between), but this also helps me “build in” time for any “urgent” needs of my kids (for example, the baby isn’t very good about following MY time lines….she seems to think if she’s hungry, she’s hungry NOW!).
7. Finally, I make sure that I block some time EVERY DAY with all the kids individually and together – this helps them feel like I’m not ignoring them and cuts down on interruptions (at least with the older ones). I’ve done that since my children were toddlers – and it’s almost always worked.
8. I also make sure I take “me” time every morning and “planner” time every evening (right before bed) – this helps me feel better…AND keeps me on track with what I have in my planner. : )
Susie, the owner of The Busy Woman is a real gem, and is very good at figuring out what will work best for people and walking them through managing their time.
I would highly recommend going straight to the source, so to speak, and speak with Susie. You can reach her at The Busy Woman Facebook page.
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