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3 Time Managment Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs

A while ago, a picture of a multi-armed mother doing a different task with each arm went viral. This picture has gained popularity in the community of entrepreneurs mothers, you can imagine why! In short, it reflected reality and a feeling that is difficult to describe.  

When an entrepreneur is also a mother, balancing work, home, and family becomes a complex business.  However, women’s goals are fueled by passion, love and giving to their families, community and making the world a better place. 
The challenges of managing career and family life may seem insurmountable, but implementing these few practices can make it exponentially easier.  It is as much about time management as it is about self management. 
Here are the three vital aspects of self-management for entrepreneurial mothers who are driven by the great goal of making a positive impact. 

1. Time management mentality

2. Personal management system

3. Commitment to work 

Here are some things you can try for yourself right now.

Time Management Mindset: 

Before I start talking about time management strategies, there are mental shifts that will help you manage your time.  Start changing the way you think about your time and tasks. 

1.  Make your feeling of achievement outweigh your thoughts of work as a burden. You are a mother and an entrepreneur and your service to your family and to your community is something to be proud of. 

2.  Make Your Expectations Realistic. We have long to-do lists with unrealistic expectations of how much we can actually accomplish in a day. One of the ways I’ve been able to combat this is to have only the three most important things to do every day. 

3.  Choose to believe that you have enough time and you can control it. If we had the mindset that there was never enough time, that’s how we would feel and that would be where we come from when we run our day.  But if we start from a place where we believe that there is enough time to do what we need. Believe that ” time does not happen to me but is under my control, because I decide how I spend it.”  This positivity will last throughout your day and you will feel so much lighter at what you do. 

Personal Management System 

Everyone needs a personal management system to keep track of their choices.  Everything is listed in a table, and nothing should be lost.  When it’s time to make a decision, go back to the schedule.  Planning is the key to every entrepreneur. 
Here are some tips to manage your week: 

1.  Your to-do list.

Write down your to-do list.  This step is so essential that many people underestimate its importance.  Get your to-do list out of your head, and free up precious mental space for more important ideas, such as how to accomplish your tasks. 

2.  Prioritize your tasks.

Choose which tasks are more important, put them in order, start with the most important, and attach the timing and duration of each task to be completed.

3.  Plan your week in advance.

If you want to have a great and productive week, then you should spend some time actually planning what you want to achieve in the coming days. Select a day (the weekend for example) to plan for the next week. Start writing down appointments in advance, such as a business meetings, doctor’s appointment, or perhaps you want to go to the hair dresser, and consult your husband if there are any family appointments to start planning for the week in advance. 

It’s time for those tasks you’ve put on the list above to take its place over the days of the week. This gives you the advantage of perspective, relieving some of the stress you may be feeling.  It also saves productive work time in the rest of the week for implementation.  You can use apps, a planner, online tools, or a pen and paper. 
If you spend some time on the weekend planning and preparing meals like grocery shopping, you will save indecision time every morning to work on other tasks related to eating those cooked meals. 
Every family has different circumstances, so don’t forget to allocate in this weekly planner all your priorities, such as specific time to help the kids with homework, or time to exercise.

Commitment to work

It’s easy to just write what you want to do.  The real challenge is actually doing it. If you’re unable to stick to that schedule, it’s probably because you don’t feel deep down that the items you listed are actually things you need to do. So, I think the important thing is not to turn your to-do list into a list of things you wish to get done.  Be more realistic and think of activities that you can actually see yourself doing.  Be very specific in the activities you write – you may want to make a wishlist and put it aside to come back to it later.  What I want to say is that the to-do list is really just an organizational tool and you should use it as such.  Do not write any idea that comes to your mind.  If you plan and think carefully when creating the list, you will find it much easier to stick to it. 

There are a few things that will help you stick to the work 

1.  Start early.

There will always be other tasks to do and distractions that make you put off work.  The earlier you start;  Your chances of completion are better. 

2.  Deal with challenges first.

We usually put off difficult tasks. Challenge yourself to handle the hard work first.  This gives you as much time as possible to complete the task and provides a sense of accomplishment that moves your day forward. 

3.  Give yourself deadlines and stick to them.

Set a deadline for each task and stick to it even if it is for five minutes.  If the task is not completed, this is fine too. You can move the task to another day. Be a little flexible and do not scold yourself or your children if you cannot accomplish it. This is normal because something may occure to change the schedule. Our lives are not really programmed, so be flexible! 

4.  Take a rest.

Do not forget to put in your schedule a short break after every working hour. 

5.  Celebrate.

Reward yourself for the achievement. The best way to form new habits is to train your brain to repeat the activity, and the human brain is diligent in seeking pleasure.  Rewarding yourself for successes, no matter how small, encourages this pattern. 

6.  Keep learning and share your experiences.

Inspiration is a powerful motivator.  Learning about other people’s projects can inspire you.  You will also feel more motivated if you see your work as part of a larger entity.  Talking about your work successes, struggles, and goals helps your brain remember and learn from these experiences.  Incorporating other people into your plans as a coach or business partner also makes you accountable. 

7.  Relaxation and family time.

Definitely you need to implement relaxation and family time on weekends.  It is very important that you find quality time with your loved ones and time for yourself.  Spending time together as a family is a must!

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. 

Stephen R. Covey

I hope that these tips will help you in your entrepreneurial journey. Being successful in business as an mom entrepreneur is a multifaceted challenge.  Every mother’s goal is unique and makes the world a better place.  However, balancing work and family can be a 24 hour job in itself!

By: Manal Irshaid 11/08/2021