Last week my sweet friend Natalia wrote about fighting the mom funk + I found myself totally relating to what she was saying. It’s so easy to get into a mode where it becomes difficult to move forward with your day, to get out of those sweats, get dressed and get out of the house. I’m totally guilty of it too. On days that aren’t my “dedicated work days” I’m always tempted to stay in my sweats, avoid leaving the house and find myself bribing my kids with snuggles and movie time so we don’t have to go anywhere. But you know what I’m learning? It’s important to be actively engaged and purposeful about my time during the day.
This week I’m teaming up with some amazing ladies: Alison, Hillary, Aimee + Natalia and we’re sharing different ways we manage our time to avoid the mom funk. Since I work from home + I’m always creating posts for my blog, it’s important that I find ways to stay focused during my day so I can maximize my time. I’m one of those people who easily get’s in that funk when my to do list becomes so long that I don’t know where to start + I haven’t managed my time well. Here are some of my tips for organizing my business day.
Have a Calendar
I know I’m about to sound crazy, but I keep 2 calendars. One is an editorial calendar where I keep track of the posts I will write for the month on the month-at-a-glance section and then in the weekly section I keep track of my daily page views, where my traffic is coming from and what posts they are going to. This has really helped me to determine what my readers really want to see when they come to my blog. Then I have a second calendar where I keep track of daily meetings, play dates, preschool events and my to do’s. I’ll talk more about this in a minute, but I put my to do’s in between my meetings so it helps me get done what I need to each day.
Make a plan for your day
For me, making a plan is so important to help me stay focused during my day. I tend to be spaghetti brained during the day and any number of things will distract me (twitter, Facebook, Instagram!), so my game plan helps me with that. Since I’m only in the office from 8am – 4pm Monday, Wednesday + Friday, all blog posts, biz calls, meetings and proposals I work on need to be done on those days. Then on Tuesdays + Thursdays I work during my kids nap times and after they go to bed in the evening. It’s not my favorite to work after bedtime, but since I divide my time between Pollinate Media + Rags to Stitches, there are times when I need to wrap up my day after the kids go to bed.
So, for example, here’s what a day like today looked like for me:
7:00am – Wake up, check emails. Spend 10-15 minutes answering urgent emails
7:15am – Wake kids up for preschool, get ready while they eat breakfast
8:15am – Leave for Preschool
8:30am – Preschool drop off
9:00-10:00am – answer emails for 30 minutes, start working on blog post
10:00am – Client Call
10:45 – 11:15am – continue working on blog post, check Twitter, Instagram + Facebook
11:15am – Leave for Preschool pick up
11:30am – Pick up from preschool
12:00pm – Call with VA
1:00pm – Client Call
1:30pm – Finish Blog post, start client proposal
2:00pm – Client call
3:00pm – Begin working on schedule for tomorrow, check off to do items
3:30pm – Client Call
4:00pm – Babysitter leaves, get kids snack, spend some time playing, homework, puzzles
8:00pm – Put kids to bed, answer any final emails
9:00pm – Spend time with hubby catching up on our days
12:00am – Bed time!
Does every day look like this? No, but if I’m not intentional about what I need to get done and stay organized with a calendar, it’s very easy for me to forget things I need to get done.
Stay on Track
It’s very easy for me to be distracted during the work day so I’ve had to do 2 things. 1.) I have turned all my alerts off. So if people tweet me, FB message me or even text me, I’m not immediately getting it and loosing focus on what I’m doing. Did you know that if you’re focused on something and you allow yourself to be distracted by incoming alerts, it can take almost 15 minutes to get refocused? I’m the perfect example of this. Another thing I do to stay on track during the day is I cross things off as I go in the order of their importance. Anything I know I can move to the next day if I’m finding other tasks are taking longer than anticipated, I move to the next day on the calendar. I’ve spend far too much time stressing about what doesn’t get crossed off. Figure out what has to get done now + what you can work on later.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I know this is easier said than done, but not every day is going to go exactly as you planned. I’ve had to learn that I’m not going to benefit from stressing about what doesn’t get done. I need to focus on all the things I was able to get accomplished and make a plan for the next day. Be kind to yourself, you’re only one person. If you find that you’re still overwhelmed by some of the small things that need to get done, I highly recommend hiring a Virtual Assistant. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She takes some of the tasks that I can do, but don’t have time to do in my day and get’s them done quicker and more efficiently that I could, because my brain is thinking about all the other things I need to get done.
Trust me when I say that this working plan I have didn’t happen overnight! In fact, there are still days when I forget to write stuff down or I’m not good at staying off social media and I don’t get everything I need to done. But you know what? If you can focus on finding a plan that works for you 90% of the time, it’ll make that 10% when not everything goes the way you planned, so much easier to manage.
Do you have any tips you can share for how you organize your business day?