Although I’m a new mom, I’m not new to working from home and all the distractions that come from not having a lot of separation between “work and life”.
When you add in a newborn (or an older child!) it just increases the complexity of your life and it makes it that much harder to carve out some time to get meaningful work done.
So this is my best “time management for moms who work from home” advice… And some recommendations for taking your productivity to new heights, if you know you need some help in that department.
Time Management vs. Energy Management
When it comes to “getting more of the right things done” there are two key elements that you need plenty of: time and energy.
If you’ve got plenty of time, but you’re feeling frazzled and sleep deprived… you’re better off taking a nap than trying to work on an important project. (Been there, and this results in half-baked ideas and mediocre results!)
On the other hand, if you’ve got a good energy groove but you can’t step away from your baby because you’re nursing, or they’re crying and they need to be taken care of… you won’t get a lot done either.
Before I became a mom, I used to prefer working in 45–60 minute time chunks because it allowed me to really “go deep” on a particular project.
These days, I have a harder time finding these longer chunks of time (because fitting in a shower and eating something healthy usually fills up a baby’s nap time pretty quick!)… but I have found other ways to reduce the amount of “context switching” that zaps my momentum.
This is a concept I learned from Todd Herman, creator of the 90 Day Year program, called Time Blocking.
What many of us end up doing in an effort to get more done is to start a bunch of different tasks or projects… But each time we move onto another task without finishing the one we started, we’re losing the efforts we’ve already put in and delaying any one thing from getting done.
Todd explains this beautifully in this video right here.
Instead of flitting from project to project, each time you have a time block to dedicate to your work… pick up where you left off until you’ve finished a deliverable. This means it can go out into the world and “work for you” while you move onto the next thing.
This is huge, and if you only did this one thing as a mom trying to work from home… you’d be miles ahead of the pack!
You can even keep thinking about your “one thing” while you do other things around the house, and you might even come up with more amazing ideas between work sessions that you would have missed if you were still context switching.
Starting With The Right Expectations: What Stage Of Business Are You In?
With any goal setting plans, it’s important to get clear on what your biggest priorities are… and you can’t do that unless you take a level headed look at your business as it stands right now.
Todd Herman shares this “5 stages of business growth” framework to help you evaluate where your business is at right now:
Dream Up: This stage of business is all about choosing the right idea and making sure there’s an eager market for it. You’re not building your product or offering yet, you’re seeing if it will take off first.
Start Up: At this point in your business, you have some sales coming in but you haven’t fully found your “groove” yet… maybe the sales take a lot of work on your part, and they’re not as consistent as you’d like.
Ramp Up: Now you’ve got steady sales coming in regularly, but you’re working a whole lot because you haven’t built in the foundations for your business to operate without you.
Scale Up: At the scaling stage, your role is to attract the best team members you can to help you keep growing and running the business you’ve always envisioned.
Leader Up: Your business is at the top of its game, you’re the recognized leader in your field and it’s time to start thinking beyond the business you started… it’s key to spot trends and adjust your sails!
In my case, I find myself oscillating between Ramp Up and Scale Up and I’ve found that a lot of my time after baby has been to focus on training my team and systematizing the business even further.
Goal Setting: Good, Better, Best
I love a good goal! Who doesn’t? But sometimes setting goals can set you up to fail… especially if you choose big goals that are too far out into the future.
That’s one of the reasons the 90 Day Year is such a successful program, because it teaches you how to break down bigger goals into 90 day achievable ones. Then it further teaches you how to break these big initiatives down into 2-week sprints, which is something that I first learned from the software development space in school. (Super effective!)
Another way that moms who work from home might benefit from re-thinking how they set goals is to set 3 different levels of goals…
For example, let’s say that you’re focused on building your email list. Your “good goal” might be to add 5 new subscribers to your email list per day, your “better goal” might be to add 10 per day, and your “best goal” might be to average 20 new subscribers per day.
When you set goals this way, you’re practically guaranteed to succeed, instead of stopping yourself from getting started because the “20 per day” feels too intimidating or impossible.
Similarly, you might not get all of the tasks on your to-do list done every day, but if you set yourself a “good, better, best” goal for how much you can get done then you’ll still feel accomplished when your head hits the pillow at night.
Time Management For Moms
At the end of the day, as moms we only have so many hours that we can dedicate to our businesses or careers.
So you better be sure that what you’re working on is absolutely going to move the needle in your business. For instance, you could spend your first hour online checking your emails… Or you could spend that time working on a marketing piece, delegating something to a team member, or crafting a presentation that will help you make sales.
If you’re not sure what you should be working on next, I love using the “Goal Tournament” concept that Todd Herman teaches in the 90 Day Year to get clarity on what will bring you biggest return on time invested.
There are also simple systems that you can develop at home to help you save time.
For example, we’ve got a routine going with our 3-month old where we change her diaper and potty her before and after each feeding. We rotate between 5 baby outfits, which means there’s no time wasted trying to figure out which clothes she’ll wear that day.
For breakfast, we’ve got it down to a science… We steam sweet potatoes and greens while the eggs boil, and the whole thing takes about 12 minutes, tops. We eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but we vary the green vegetables and it’s extremely satisfying to have a simple “go to” meal that we don’t need to second guess.
Although we never quite know what the day will bring, we’ve got some things that we can always depend on.
I start the laundry first thing in the morning so that we’ve got cloth diapers ready for the afternoon. It takes a few minutes to start the process, but when the timer goes off I know exactly what to do next.
This saves a lot of mental effort and time trying to organize everything, and as a result this energy can be put toward work and business tasks, instead.
90 Day Year Review
Now you might be wondering why I keep bringing up Todd Herman, who is not a mom (but he is a dad!) trying to balance building a business while raising babies at home. It’s because his insights on business and leverage are exactly the tools that can help moms make a bigger impact, without feeling pulled in so many directions.
I first met Todd Herman in 2012 at an event where he was speaking, and I instantly connected with his message. He wasn’t in the online space because he was working with high level athletes in his private practice, and honing his skills.
Since then, he’s taken the online world by storm and taken everything he learned from his private sports clients and put it into The 90 Day Year.
This is a comprehensive “doing” program, and it doesn’t have hours and hours of video to keep you distracted from achieving your goals. And as a busy mom, that’s good news!
I signed up for the 90 Day Year in the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy, at a time when I knew that I’d be slowing down work for awhile once the baby arrived. But really diving into the program gave me a new lens for evaluating our projects and making sure that my team would thrive while I was away.
One of my favorite parts of the program is how it blends both the “creative minded” side of things and the super clear “numbers matter” side. Todd has a great way of making everyone who is participating feel taken care of, going so far as to personally call members on the phone to coach them out of the blue.
Plus, the caliber of 90 Day Year students is absolutely top notch. I found myself among many of my already successful business owner peers, along with fresh faces who made just as much headway in the course of their 90 day run through of the program.
The best part is that the program teaches you skills that you can keep using, every 90 days, to set goals and achieve them.
Between the in-depth workbooks and execution plans, the strategy, and the focus on moving forward in your business… anyone who is serious about their business growth will benefit from enrolling in the 90 Day Year.
There’s a reason that this program works: it’s based on the science of winners (both in sports and business!) and it’s taught in a straightforward and masterful way, that cuts out all the excuses.
I really wish I would have had the opportunity to learn the 90 Day Year strategies earlier in my business career, because it would have given me a much better framework for time management and getting meaningful stuff done… Not to mention that I’d be even further along than I am now.
Results You Can Expect + Bonuses
I’m not the only person who has benefited from the 90 day year program. Todd Herman has tapped into his work with Olympians and Billionaires, and he’s helped many a working Mom perform at her best, too.
One my favorite things about The 90 Day Year is that it’s not about “specific how-to” advice… because you can have all the information in the world, but if you’re not taking action on it then it won’t do you or your business any good.
Instead, the program really helps you DO. It helps you get moving, break things down into manageable chunks, and most importantly keep the “main thing the main thing”.
Now, if you ARE looking for specific how-to training to help you grow your business, you’re in luck.
When you sign up for The 90 Day Year through my affiliate link, you’ll receive 6 months of my Heartquarters training program worth over $500. As a Heartquarters member, you’ll have access to my best digital trainings to complement your 90 Day Year execution for:
- Growing your list using profitable Facebook ads
- Starting a successful podcast and getting lots of listeners
- Leveraging content marketing and social media
- Ramping up your search engine optimization, easily
- Successfully building affiliate marketing into your business
- And so much more!
I never recommend anything that I haven’t personally benefitted from, and this program has gone above and beyond and transformed the businesses of many moms I know personally, including my own.
Registration for The 90 Day Year opens June 16th and closes June 23rd at midnight Pacific time.
Here’s To Moms Getting More Done, Minus The Guilt
One thing that I’ve seen so many moms struggle with when it comes to building a business and working from home, is the guilt.
It’s tough balancing your time between baby and business (especially when it feels like both of them are your babies!)… But unless you can get your business to the point where it fully supports you and the lifestyle you want, it’ll be hard to enjoy stress-free time with your little ones.
I try my best to be fully present with my daughter when I’m spending time with her, and to be fully engaged in growing my business when I’m working.
Anything less means I’m only half as effective at parenting and working… I try to keep the guilt at bay, because it just robs me of the enjoyment I get from being in any one place.
Now, I’d love to know what time management for moms who work from home tips you might have learned… Leave a comment below and let me know!