When a mother decides to open a business at home, it won't be very long until the need to organize in a hurry presents itself. This is especially true for the free-spirit type of mother who does not normally organize her life. Easy tips for working moms to regain control is a must for the hectic pace of entrepreneur motherhood.
The answer to combating stress and making sure that both the family and the business are thriving is to get organized. Keeping organization as simple as possible will also help to ensure that it doesn't fall prey to procrastination.
Simple Tips For Working Moms to Get Organized
Keep the desk clutter-free.
One of the easiest ways to become overwhelmed and stressed is to allow the desk to become disorganized. Simply following a process of filing, cleaning the desktop, and using a set schedule to deal with the clutter will help keep the stress level down.
Begin by using a simple filing system. File mail away into priorities, from urgent to waste basket. Only deal with necessities and urgent matters rather than getting lost in bunny trails such as the coupon mailers.
Have your desk pretty clutter-free by using your wall space. Hang a cork board to pin urgent or non-urgent reminders where you can see them - but off the desk. Use a wall calendar rather than a desk top calendar. Aim for Spartan and make use of shelves and a filing cabinet system.
Put chores into a list of high and low priority.
Keeping a clean house is always a priority for certain mothers. This is more a function of personality than necessity in many cases. Getting everything done in a day is not always possible, but the crushing stress of feeling like you're neglecting housekeeping is a nagging reminder that something has to be done.
Rather than ignore chores, keep a short list of "urgent" and "can wait" or "scheduled" tasks that you must adhere to. For example, spills on the carpet are rather urgent before a stain sets. Cleaning dishes, however, can wait until after work.
Make a list of those chores that can wait until after work is done. Have a schedule for tasks like laundry day, mopping days, etc. The benefit is that more work can then be accomplished without some sense of nagging guilt that you are getting "nothing done."
Keep a running list of daily and weekly goals, professional and domestic.
Plan to succeed or plan to fail, as the saying goes. Without a directed schedule for your business, nothing will really get accomplished. Having a goal for the day will help to direct your focus and will give you a sense of accomplishment as the tasks are completed.
The same holds true for domestic issues, such as deep-cleaning the carpets before family arrives for their vacation. Having a schedule for both the professional and private side of your life is going to help keep the focus where it needs to be.
Make a realistic schedule for the children.
Having a schedule is one of the most common tips for working moms, but is also great for the kids as well. Getting the children to nap a certain time of day, and to focus on set tasks throughout the day ("recess" for example) will benefit both mother and child, as well as the productivity of the business.
By "realistic schedule," the meaning is simply to know your children well enough that you can design a schedule that makes sense for their ages, temperaments and needs. After lunch is a great time for a nap in most toddler's lives. Some mothers never harness this "golden hour" but in the case of a home-based business, this is too precious to ignore.
Once you understand the natural needs of your children, making their schedule should be more intuitive. Keep it realistic, however, and make sure that the schedule includes mommy time.
Plan your work schedule to fit their schedule so that nap time is when you can have those precious moments to dedicate to work tasks demanding uninterrupted focus. These tips for working moms are geared for the mother entrepreneur, but can be applied to most families struggling with disorganization.