6 Realistic Strategies To Be More Productive In Your Business as a Parent
Let’s face it being productive with little ones around can be extremely hard. Especially if they are young. We have to constantly stop what we’re doing to help our children. But that is why we are doing this – both in business and at home, to help our children and raise them as a stay at home parent.
The problem is its hard being productive at home with children. I often hear people ask others how they get so much done and I’ve read tons of articles on this subject. It seems that most of the advice comes from people who are already working online full time or do not have kids and the advice isn’t realistic for a someone who stays at home with their children…you. My favorite is to block off hours at a time, then tell everyone that you are working and not to disturb you unless it is an emergency.
How does this type of advice work for you?
As a single mother, this does not work for me. My son is now almost seven and a half (gulp), but he still comes in and talks with me constantly. When he was younger, he depended on my to provide for his needs, so blocking off 6 hours to finish a product or write a blog post was not possible.
I am slowly learning how to be more productive and here are some ways I’ve found work for me.
6 Productivity Tips That You Can Use Immediately
1. Use Your Time Wisely. Sometimes we only have 5 minutes while waiting for the doctor and your child is napping or maybe you are in line waiting for school to get out. The point is when you are an entrepreneur with kids you’ve got to find the time to get things done.
I don’t know about you, but my brain runs 100 miles an hour regardless of where I am at. I ALWAYS have a notebook with me, but recently I’ve started using Evernote and downloaded it onto my phone. I know I’m not using the app to its full potential, but I use it to make notes about projects I’m working on, write wording down that I’ve thought of that will work perfectly for something or make note of a website that I’ve come across that I want to remember.
2. Work On the Go. This might mean downloading apps on your phone that will help you be more productive or this is a weird concept, go old school. What do I mean? Get a notebook and carry it around with you. Jot down ideas or anything else that comes to mind when you’re out running errands.
3. Write Down Your Goals. Knowing what you want will help you get there. Zig Ziglar has a great quote that addresses this “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” I often heard that you can’t reach a goal if you don’t know what it is and keeping it in your head isn’t the same as writing it down.
I’ve written down so many goals, but lately there is one specific goal that is propelling me to be better, accomplish more and be more productive. You’ve got to figure out what you want and write it down, then set a deadline.
4. Join a Challenge and Get An Accountability Buddy. You can find a challenge for almost everything. If you work better during a challenge find one or make your own. Last month I wanted to get back in shape or start working out. When I was younger I exercised regularly. I moved and not sure why, but I stopped exercising regularly and almost all together.
I always had the impression that I was in shape and could easily get back into it. Well both of those were a lie. So I created my own challenge with a friend. I call it the Mindful Movement Challenge. We actually both have a little bit different rules. She isn’t able to workout daily, but when she does she gets in about an hour or more. Whereas me that doesn’t work for me. I like bit size. So I made mine 20 minutes of mindful movement daily. We check in daily. It has helped me for 2 reasons.
I am accountable and have to explain why I haven’t done it and I get to chat with a friend daily that I would normally only talk with every month or so.
5. Get Up Early or Go To Bed Later. I understand how hard this one can be. Figure out the best time you are the most productive and creative and then slowly adjust to working during those times. Go slow. If it is only 10 minutes that works! That is 10 minutes more that you didn’t have. Be consistent.
6. Know Your Most Important Action (MIA). Some days you’ll get more down in your business then others, but one way to know you’ve been productive is to set up a MIA for yourself. Then make sure before the end of the day that task is complete. Also make sure that you don’t set an unrealistic MIA for yourself.
When working for yourself with children you are going to have to take the time you get. This could be somewhere between errands and naps. But you’ll be able to get some work done.
Remember to end on a high note. What does that mean? I know when I am working on a project and it is going extremely good, I don’t stop until there is something I don’t understand, then I get frustrated and don’t want to work on it for awhile. Instead of doing that, stop when you feel the project is going great. Also, write a note of where you are at in your project. That way when you come back you’ll know instead of having to remember, which takes extra time.