Mompreneurs are the best at multitasking and getting things done We manage our households, raise our children, and build businesses. We can do it all and too often try to do it all. I call this RMS or Restless Mom Syndrome, the psychological condition that makes mothers feel that if we aren’t doing something, we aren’t being productive; often times used this to value our self worth. The busier we are, the more productive we are, the more worthy we feel.
From personal experience, RMS has caused me to stress more, suffer from anxiety and overwhelm, and eventually burn out. Well I am sick and tired of it! Aren’t you?
What if you could get more done this summer and earn more in the long run by doing less work? Imagine actually enjoying your summer while your business runs on autopilot?
Summer time should be about having more fun, enjoying being lazy and relaxing in the sun, and creating memories with our families. Who wants to spend it working like a slave? Not I! So I’ve compiled a list of some of the things I do and will start doing to help me work less while still getting more done because let’s be real, I am mom not a machine.
- Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle. I bet you didn’t see this one coming, but tracking and understanding your menstrual cycle can help you understand when you are the most productive throughout the month. This can be a blog post on it’s own, so I will try to sum it up as simply as possible. There are four phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle that line up perfectly with the four seasons of the year.
- When you are actually menstruating that is your Winter. This is when you have the lowest energy. Good news, your brain is the most cross connected, meaning you have the best insight, intuition, ideas, and ability to evaluate what’s going on in your business.
- The pre-ovulation phase, also known as your Spring. Just like your body, your brain is wired for new beginnings. You are more social, playful, and creative. Your brain is energized for planning, brainstorming, and initiating.
- Ovulation is your Summer. This when you are most magnetic! This is a great time to be bold. Record that podcast, go to that networking event, say yes to things that you usually would be hesitant about.
- And lastly, the days before your menstruation is your Fall. In this phase you are most wired for details. You are very inward and still. This is another great time to come up with ideas for your business and assert yourself.
Based on the four phases of your cycle, Fall and Winter are best for planning, coming up with ideas, and evaluating what is working or not working. Your Spring and Summer are best for creativity and execution. So if you plan your summer months based off this idea, you would have two weeks of low energy work and thinking, and two weeks of going hard and achieving the most.
2. Streamline Your To Do List: Let me know if this sounds familiar…you create this huge to do list with everything from business tasks to household tasks to wish list projects every week, get overwhelmed just by looking at it, then scroll Instagram to avoid your to do list?
I’ve got caught doing this so many times and I’ve learned that if I put less on my plate, I actually get most of my to do list accomplished! Start by creating a weekly to-do list instead of a daily to do list. This gives you a lot of wiggle room to get things done in a week instead of stressing to get it all done in a day.
When creating your list, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Does this really need to be done this week?
2) Does this really need to be done by me? Is this something you can outsource? Or another family member can take care of ?
3) Does it need to be done right now? If it doesn’t need to be done this week, then it does not belong on your to-do list at all.
These three questions are very important to ask yourself. Too often, I would put everything on my list and instead of doing the business related tasks that increase my income, I would end up doing the admin tasks, or household tasks or even projects just to say I was able to cross some things off my list. But I wouldn’t do any of the income driving work. Simply put if you want to get more done, put less on your plate.
3. Stop multitasking. Moms we pride ourselves on being great multitaskers, because let’s be real we are better at it than our male counterparts, but there is no such thing as productive multitasking. It’s a myth. Studies have shown that people have an attention span to focus on work for only 4 hours during the day. That’s it. And in those 4 hours, we should break it up and focus on only one or two tasks at a time. It is best to set a timer for an hour or two and commit to one task. Then reset the clock to commit to the second or third task on your list. If you have really young babies and cannot work in a span of 4 hours at a time, then break it up. Do an hour in the morning, two in the afternoon, and two in the evening. However you decide to get it done, really commit to doing the one task you set out to do. Do not try to write a blog post, while doing laundry and listening to a podcast at the same time. Multitasking makes our brain split it’s attention and focus and this results in mistakes, which will just have to be redone or corrected anyway.
A little trick you can do is track your energy levels over the next 30 days to see at what time during the day do you have the most energy. Is it first thing in the morning or late in the evening? After tracking, you can plan to do the most taxing tasks during the time of the day you have the most energy and save the tasks that need less energy or less brain power for your lowest energy time. And be flexible. Understand that working all night like you did in college probably won’t work now that you have children and a household to care for. Be kind to yourself.
4. Outsource. This is a huge one! If you want to enjoy your summer, start thinking about outsourcing some of the work that you do not want to do anymore or a task that you may not be an expert in and can hire an actual expert to take the load off your shoulders. Your job is to do what you are great at and focus on the tasks that results in an income increase, like creating content if you are a blogger, podcaster, or youtuber. Or making those sales calls if you are in sales. Every other task should be outsourced such as the admin tasks, SEO, social media management and design if you are not a designer. Trying to be a solopreneur and doing every task yourself will eat up so much of your time that it you will never (or very slowly) see an increase in your income.
You can even and should outsource some household tasks. As a work from home mother, I always wish someone else would take care of the laundry and household chores. Now that I am expecting my second child, I decided there is not time than the present to outsource the household chores and some of my business tasks. I will be hiring a house cleaner and a virtual assistant to help do the things that I won’t have as much time to do with a newborn and a toddler. This was a hard decision to make because I struggle with supermom syndrome, you know where you think you can do it all by yourself, but I finally decided I just can’t and frankly do not even want to try. I encourage you to outsource just one of your household tasks and you will see a world of difference in how much time you have for your business and how much time you have for yourself.
5. Automate your distribution: Using an automation site such as Hootsuite or Buffer to automatically schedule your posts, tweets, updates, etc. will save you so much time so you can enjoy your summer. In order to do this successfully, you will need to know what you want to post or write about ahead of time, so creating a content calendar for the month prior is a must. I like to create 3 month content calendars, so I have an idea of the topics and type of social media and blog posts three months in advance. Since this blog post is coming out in the summer, I am currently working on Fall content and even early winter content, since winter comes fast for the northern states.
If you run a blog, set up a RSS-driven email campaign to automatically send your subscribers the new blog post. Mailchimp is free and easy to use for beginners. Automating how your message gets spread, whether via social media posts or email is a great way to free up your time, allowing you to get more done by working less.
6. Embrace the 80/20 Rule. Saving the best for last. Learn to master and embrace the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 Rule states that 20% of efforts you invest in your business will produce and contribute to 80% of the results. This means, identifying which areas in your business will produce the most income for you and do that the most over and over again. Make your time work for you by doing that activity 20% of the time. This is where your to do list will come in handy. Do the most important activities first with no distractions (remember no multitasking) so your business will grow and you will be able to work less and enjoy your summer.
Being a mother is hard. Being a mother trying to work from home or running a business is even harder but it is not impossible. So many women are doing it and doing it successfully. You can too! For next steps, I’d like you to take a few minutes this week and write down the top 5 activities that you must do every week for your business and income to grow. Write it down on a post it or a white board and keep it where you work, so it is in your face and you can see it when it is time to be productive. If you start with those five tasks first and implement the other tips in this post, you will be less stressed knowing you are still getting work done while enjoying your summer.
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