Kids + Fall = Back To School

{image: vintage apple print by joystclaire}

What does that mean for all you creative mompreneurs out there? Time to get busy, that’s what!

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, wondering what I could contribute that would be beneficial, encouraging, & above all, helpful! I have two toddlers that are with me full time & another little one due in December. I homeschool my kiddos & I’m trying to run a coaching biz & an Etsy shop, so staying on top of things is a big deal around my house.

As fall approaches, the lazy days of summer pass, the holidays are coming quick, & we tend to get this boost of energy & motivation to get it together & kick our businesses into high gear.

Whether you work a job outside of the home while your kids go to school & you run a creative business on the side, or you are a stay-at-home-mom trying to run your business full-time & keep up with your family – time management, organization, & productivity are your 3 keys to success!

So let’s take a look at each of these & I’ll show you how I use them to help me in my life & business.

First we’ll look at the definitions of time management, organization, & productivity so we’re clear on what each word means.

  • Time Management – the analysis of how working hours are spent & the prioritization of tasks in order to maximize personal efficiency in the workplace.
  • Organization – to systematize {to arrange in or according to a system}.
  • Productivity – the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods &/or services.

So, our goal is to be organized in order to manage our time wisely so we can be productive. Sound like a plan?

Where to begin? Let’s start with organization.

You first need to know what must get done during each day apart from your business. For me, that includes preparing meals, cleaning, & homeschooling. These are basic things that I need to stay on top of every day in order for my life to run smoothly. We have to eat, I can’t live in a pig-pen, & my kid needs to learn something!

In order for me to get these things done I have to be organized in each area.

  • I plan my meals for the week the day before I go to the grocery store & yes, that goes into my planner as one of my to-dos for that day. When it’s time to make dinner, I know exactly what to make because it’s written down on the fridge & I have all the ingredients on hand.
  • I use a cleaning schedule that I downloaded off the internet to help me keep up with daily cleaning. Cleaning time is also written down in my planner every day.
  • I’m organized when it comes to the kids school work. All of their work is in one area & we do “school” at the same time each day so it’s easy to remember.

I know exactly what I’m supposed to do each day so I’m not overwhelmed or stressed because I’m running behind or haven’t gotten these things done. I’ve scheduled those “to-dos” into my planner & it’s now a part of my day. I’m organized & ready to start marking tasks off as I complete them which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in itself!

Next let’s talk about being productive with our businesses.

Remember the definition of productivity? In order to be productive we have to accomplish our goals. In order to accomplish goals we need to have them. Here’s what I do.

I set down at the end of each month with my planner & I make a list of things I need/want to accomplish during the coming month. I get specific too. Sometimes I have 10-15 goals for each month. Some simple & some not so simple.

Next I make a list of steps I need to take in order to accomplish each goal. Now I have a lot of little bit-sized to-dos that I can plug into the coming weeks. I start with the first week of the month & I write down 4-5 of my bit-sized to-dos each day of the week. By the end of the week I may have already accomplished 3 of my monthly goals or I may have only scratched the surface of 6 of them. Either way, I know I’m well on my way to getting everything done that I needed too for that month.

Wanna see an example of what I’m talking about? Read my post “How To Accomplish Your Monthly Goals Easily” on my blog MeaganVisser.com.

Lastly, be realistic!

Time is our most expendable resource. You only have 24 hours in a day & yes, you do need sleep. Make your time count.

Work when you have the time to work…when all of your other daily musts are out of the way & you can focus. Do you work best in the morning? Then get up early. Are you a night-owl? Stay up late instead.

Be realistic with your goals & your time. Don’t schedule too much & get overwhelmed. Use a timer so you can stay on schedule. It’s better to finish what you planned & have extra time then it is to work, work, work & not accomplish all you wanted to. It’s so easy to get addicted to being busy, but that busy-ness can only last for so long before you start feeling burnt out. It’s best to pace yourself!

Also, if you’re having one of those days where nothing is going right & you’re not feeling motivated at all…STOP! Take a break. Do something fun for yourself or with your family. Find some motivation somewhere & don’t forget that it’s okay to have an “off day”. We all do!

Remember, be organized in daily non-business tasks, set goals in order to be productive, & manage your time wisely. Don’t do too much!

8 comments

  1. Apolline says:

    Aha! A cleaning schedule! That’s another great idea, thank you!!!

    I also love your post about Monthly Goals and am definitely working on mine tonight!

    So when do you work best? early morning or late at night? ( i am a night owl myself and never able to get up before my early-riser son!)

  2. Lisa S says:

    I struggle with this all the time! I should have more time, with my oldest in school, but I haven’t adjusted the “schedule” yet. And I’m having an awful time in the mornings.. I’m not used to it and dread it..I’m going to print this article right now… 🙂

  3. Meagan says:

    Glad this was helpful ladies!

    Apolline – I tend to work better earlier during the day although I do not wake up early. I get a lot done during nap times & after they go to bed at night…although many times I’m too tired to work too much with being pregnant & all!

  4. Ms Muffin says:

    Loved this post!
    Especially the bit about pacing yourself! It is SO true!
    I know I have to get so much better in all that organization stuff … but I am learning! 🙂
    I am usually not bad at organizing and planning. But when kids are involved a little cold can throw all your plans aboard … It is hard to plan for all those things that CAN happen when you have little kids! 🙂

  5. Meagan says:

    You all are so right! It’s hard to stay organized & on schedule when you throw kiddos into the mix. They’re so unpredictable! The key is to stay flexible. If you have to abandon the schedule one day, no problem! There’s always tomorrow! Thanks for your comments!

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