If you work for yourself, chances are you work from home. And if you’re a woman and a mother, that means there are a million things to do in and around the home on top of running the business. I know that sounds stereotypical, but it is a reality for many of us mompreneurs. Unless you have support staff including a chef and a house-cleaning and laundry service, you can relate.
The day starts, and it’s off to the races. Getting the kids ready, breakfast, driving kids to wherever they are going or seeing them off at the bus stop, taking the dog out for a 5-minute walk, and then maybe, just maybe making yourself a coffee. Your head spins because there it is, the daunting to-do list. And there isn’t just one! There’s the work to-do, the house to-do, the social to-do, etc. How in the name of everything holy are you going to get things done when you feel like you’re an ant trying to eat an elephant?
Start with work: In order of importance, list the 1,2, and 3 things that need to get done, TODAY. For example: Sending that email, calling that person, writing that blog post. After those three things are done, and ONLY after, take fifteen minutes to do something else. Now this is important: SET A TIMER! Use your smart phone to actually set fifteen minutes and make sure the alarm sound is on maximum volume. Choose a tone/sound that annoys you so that you’ll be motivated to turn that shit off. And then go for it: put in that load of laundry, figure out what you’re going to make for dinner, go make the beds (because Lord knows you didn’t have time for that in the morning), send out the invites to your kid’s birthday party and oh yeah, order the cake!!! Give your dog some attention as you whiz by her to vacuum up her hair and then, yes, go on social media. Wish your “friends” happy birthday, check out the latest news, post something, and there it is. The alarm!!! Close Facebook. Close it now. If you need it for business, fit it into the 1,2,3 things that need to get done, knowing the social/fun stuff can wait until the fifteen. Now back to business. What are the next 3 most important things that need to get done TODAY? Rinse and repeat. Still have groceries to do or a business errand to run? Head out on your way to picking up the kiddos, or let them tag along as an after-school activity.
As you end your day, see if you can make that last “fifteen” about you. What? Yes, you. Need a shower? How about sitting quietly with eyes closed listening to a guided meditation, or just enjoying some utter silencio? Maybe a couple rounds of sun salutation would ease the pain in your back; or a walk in fresh air with that neglected dog…
After a few weeks of implementing the 1,2,3, fifteen strategy, chances are you’ll feel less like an ant and more like the elephant. Instead of trying to chew away uselessly, you’ll be striding confidently, saying “I got this”.
Start tonight. Make your list of 1,2,3’s for tomorrow’s day. Let me know how it goes! May the force be with you!