Scheduling for the Spontaneous Work at Home Mom

from Alice Seba 

Here??s a little advice, based on the article you would have found in Kelly McCausey??s December issue of that WC.

If you??re anything like I am, you hate schedules and living by a clock or calendar. However, as a busy work at home mom, you know that some planning and scheduling are required in order to get everything done we need to. So, let??s talk about how we spontaneous moms can have our cake and eat it too.

Like I said before I used to despise schedules, alarm clocks, to-do lists, anything that meant I had to have a plan for my days (and I still don??t use alarm clocks I find them too jarring!). Don??t ask me how I managed to make it through college and my first few jobs, but I did. It wasn??t until I started working for myself from home that I realized that my lack of being prepared was ruining parts of my life.

Sure, I could hold my business together and I did a good job of spending quality time with the kids, but other important areas of my life were lacking??big time. The house looked as though a tornado had blown threw, my health was slowly fading, not to mention the fact that my husband probably wondered who I was and what I??d done with the sexy, smiling and happy mama he once knew. We won??t even go into all the other parts of my life that were slack to say the least.

So, how was this non-scheduling mama going to find a way to make it all work? I wasn??t sure, but I knew I had to do something and quick. I hear from other moms in business how they just wish for once they could have a clean house, a business that wasn??t behind on deadlines, kids who knew more of them than the back of their heads, etc. but they don??t know how to get to that point.

First, let me tell you this??it CAN be done. It??s not effortless and yes, if you fight tooth and nail to avoid schedules it won??t be something that happens overnight without a bit of inner resistance from your former self. But, with a bit of patience and reminding that it??s all worth it in the end to get to the happy mama you once were, it is possible and here are a few of my very own tips to help get you there.

First you have to PLAN Here are some ideas to make things simple:

  1. Set up a yearly calendar you can view at a glance. Enter all your project deadlines and other major business obligations. This is not going to be hugely detailed, but helps you ensure you??re on track for your business goals. I keep my calendar up on my office wall.
  2. Set up a calendar 1 month in advance that has important business and personal obligations. This will have more detail than the yearly planner, but won??t be as task-oriented as your weekly/daily plan.
  3. Each week, plan what you need to do each day. Do this on the weekend and list all the tasks you need to do each day business and personal. You can put your business and personal in different colored pens, so it??s easier to view.

Next,it??s time to SCHEDULE No groaning allowed ladies??it??s not as hard as you might think.

The night before, always create a detailed schedule of what you need to do. Include driving the kids to school, picking up groceries, dry cleaning, all your business tasks (and exactly when you??ll do them), exercise, hair appointments, picking up the kids, cooking, etc. The more detail the better, but the key is not overloading yourself. Give yourself a little more time than you think you need to get everything done. Scheduling is absolutely not equal to OVERSHEDULING.

And lastly, DELEGATE That??s right??you don??t have to do it all!

Make a delegation plan. Get a chore schedule for your family. If your kids are older, you might also get them involved in business tasks. Think of people you could work on projects with whether you do a profit share or hire them on an hourly basis. Just start delegating.

For stuff the family is involved in, write a list of chores and post them to your fridge or another high-traffic area. Then schedule those chores into the family calendar, so everyone can see them.

Ok, now take some time in the next few days to sit down and actually do these things. Try it for a month, or even a week, and see the difference it makes. Then tweak your system to make it work best for you!

As I mentioned, December??s WC had a much more detailed explanation of the process. Hopefully you??ve already got your subscription to the WC magazine and can read the rest of my ideas there. What??you don??t get the WC? Grab your subscription here.

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