I wasted so much time when I was childless.
Seriously, what was I thinking? Now, things like Netflix binges seem like such a luxury on some days. Oh well, you live and learn, right?
Now that I’m a full-time mompreneur I have time management down to a science. I can get what used to take me 8 hours, done in 3 hours. In the past I would end my day feeling scatter-brained and anxious … like I was missing something. Now I end my day confident, proud, and secure in the actions I take each day.
So, what’s my secret? Laser focus.
1. Get crystal clear on daily to-dos
Make a to-do list with every single thing you need to accomplish the night before. Take a good, hard look at that list and pick out your top three tasks. Make those non-negotiables. You absolutely, without a doubt, have to get these three things done that day.
2. Tackle your day with power hours
I love power hours. Everyone’s power hour looks a little different, but this is what mine looks like. I do my power hour for the first hour I sit down every morning. I divide that hour up into 10-minute sections and each section has an assigned task that moves my business forward.
Things like responding to email (i.e. I hate doing this, so I get it done and out of the way first), responding to Facebook messages, checking-in with clients, reaching out and following-up with former clients, posting in my Facebook community, etc. These are the nuts and bolts of my business that helps to move my business forward
3. Schedule your downtime and self care
I call this margin. I actually block out time for this, color code it in red, in my Google Calendar. I allow myself breaks during the day to either catch-up on something that needed some more time, or actually take a break.
I find this is a crucial part of my work day. I need downtime. I crave downtime. Giving myself that freedom really works for me. These three ideas are the basis of how I schedule my business, daily.
As far as I’m concerned though, your productivity is also determined what you do outside of your work day. If you sit down to do work and you feel stressed, anxious, or drained, your productivity is going to suffer.
Outside of your work day you need to do something that helps you to refresh. I call this self-care. Self-care is one of the most vital parts of being an entrepreneur, but probably the easiest thing to let fall to the wayside.
Self-care is doing something that serves you and only you. Something as simple as fitness or reading is self-care. Oftentimes, we over think what our self-care routine looks like. Self-care items are things that benefit you and only you. These activities make you feel like yourself again.
Our businesses can drain us, especially when we’re grinding day in and day out, like many of us are. We need time to refresh and reboot. In short, you need to “turn it off” at the end of the day.
You can implement all of the tips that I previously mentioned, but at the end of the day, it depends on how you approach your work day. You determine your own success, so invest in yourself through self-care, and everything else will follow.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Allison Hardy is a certified personal trainer and a Self-Care and Business Coach for mompreneurs. She is passionate about helping mompreneurs raise their business and their babies through developing a thriving self-care routine. In July of 2015 Allison walked away from teaching college-level studio art to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams, and hasn’t looked back since. She currently resides in Chesapeake, VA.