Time Management Tips for the Work at Home Parent
Time management is an extremely important skill when managing business and home. I am one busy momma with an extremely active and clingy 2 and a half year old son. Plus, I run, write, design and market this blog and an Etsy shop. I am the social media management for a local business. On top of all this I keep a clean house and cook dinner nightly.
If it were not for some of the systems I created and put in place nothing would ever get done. I use a bullet journal, spreadsheets, and notebooks to keep my brain in check. I check them and use them daily.
While my husband helps a lot with our toddler and even a little with my businesses, he’s got his own things going on. Honestly, I’m such a control freak when it comes to my businesses that it’s hard for me to let go of things. Especially when it comes to the marketing of them.
There are a few things I do to help manage my time. I am sharing my tips and tricks with you today so you can manage your time as well.
Getting your Toddler to Behave While You Work
The absolute biggest problem most work at home parents have is getting their toddler to behave while they are trying to get work done. Getting a toddler to independent play while you work is almost impossible.
Let Your Parenting Instincts Kick In
If you want to get something done and it’s going to take longer than 15 minutes. Learn to ignore your child.
Now you aren’t actually ignoring your child. In fact while I write this I am actively paying attention to what my child is doing. It’s letting them play however they want, telling them no or not right now when they demand your attention. But always keeping your ears open to what they are doing.
Those eyes in the back of your head, yea practicing this technique will open those eyes up. I can tell right now exactly where my son is without actually leaving my desk or looking that way.
The parent instincts work, so let them work so you can get some work done.
Give Them a Task
For tasks that take 10 minutes or less try giving your toddler a job. Give them a coloring book and crayons and let them have it while you complete your task.
You can do impromptu scavenger hunts. Tell them to clean their room. Turn on their favorite movie or show.
I’ve given my child a snack as a way to get a 10 minute task done. Whatever it is their attention will be occupied for just enough time that you can complete a task.
Work While They Sleep
This does not mean you should push off all your work till when they finally sleep. It can be almost impossible to get your work done this way. Most of the time by the time they go to bed as parents we are ready for bed ourselves.
What I mean by work while they sleep is do all the small tasks that don’t take a lot of concentration while they are awake. Do larger tasks that need more concentration while they are napping or in bed for the night.
While they are awake comment on blog posts or handle your marketing. I will gladly clean while my son is awake. I give him a dry rag to wipe bottom shelves or walls. He even helps me unload the dishwasher by handing me plastic items to put away.
If you find your child is playing quietly by themselves take that time to start a bigger task. If you have to pause it’s ok write a quick note to yourself so you can pick up right where you left off.
I find this method works very well for me in accomplishing everything I need to accomplish in a day.
Put Time Management Systems In Place
In order to better manage your time you need to have systems in place. These systems should work well for you and your schedule. Furthermore, it is important that you try your systems and if they do not work well for you than you must switch it up.
There are a few systems I have tried that have worked well for me. Try them for yourself. If they do not work well for you than look for other time management systems that will.
Schedule and Plan Out Your Social Media
With most work from home businesses such as blogging or online shops, social media is a valuable tool to market our products. As I’m sure you have figured out by now we spend so much time on social media we barely have time to create the products or write blog posts.
This is why you need a social media marketing system in place. I do not pay for any type of service because I can do it all myself with free tools. It might not be as nice as some of the paid products out there but it gets the job done.
Identify where your core audience is. For me it’s Pinterest. I use a spreadsheet to plan out my pins to all the group boards I am apart of. I have 3 months worth of pinning already planned out.
That 3 month time period extends even longer since I am posting new content three times a week. Each post has a minimum of 3 Pinterest images to use. When a new post is written I add my pins to group boards moving any pins necessary to start marketing my new post.
Everyday I know exactly what to pin, I don’t repeat the same pins in a day, the group boards stay clean, and my traffic grows daily. I have minimized the work I need to put into my biggest driver of traffic. This allows me to focus on driving more traffic from other avenues and other social media channels.
Do the Same Thing on the Same Days
I post three times a week to my blog. On Thursdays I order and set up the drop shipping of my Etsy orders. Meanwhile, on Wednesdays and Thursdays I write for this blog.
Setting up a routine worked well for me. I know what I am doing on most days and feel more organized to accomplish everything I need to in a day.
Once you get used to your routine it just comes naturally. Plus it helps you to keep track of the days as they sometimes blur when you are a work from home mom.
Schedule a Day Off
It is important to take a day off from time to time. Even with manual pinning and social media marketing. I promise if you are doing things right your traffic will not dip much and you may actually see an increase in traffic the very next day.
Days off are important to your sanity when running a business while raising children. You need a day or two here and there to relax, unwind, and recharge.
By taking a day off you can clear your mind to handle things in your business more efficiently. Have a hobby that does not make you money and do it from time to time.
Do small amounts of cleaning throughout the week. Load the dishwasher at night start a load of laundry in the morning. Freezer cooking is a great way to minimize dishes and free up hours worth of time every month.
I use a bullet journal to plan out my days and weeks. I use it to track the progress of my blog and keep me on track with my goals. Somedays I seriously feel like my bullet journal is the only thing that keeps me sane.
Setting up systems for your business and for your life keeps you sane during an extremely busy time in your life. It’s important to try out different systems or tweak systems to make them work for you. Do not force yourself to stick to a system that doesn’t feel natural.
If you have systems that work well for you please leave a comment below. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your organization and business boards.