Since becoming a mother, if I had to choose one lesson that I have learned that has had the most impact on my life, it would be that time is my most valuable asset.
Very early into motherhood, I learned that time was a resource that I no longer had the luxury of wasting.
Born premature at 33 weeks, I heard the nurses refer to my twin daughters, Hope and Faith, as the number of weeks they had been on the outside more than their actual names. The time that they had been here was more important than their names because it was crucial to their survival.
Now that they are 8, time is still crucial for their survival and I am reminded of this every time I see their eyes light up when I go with them on a field trip or shuffle them to tennis or gymnastics practice.
But when I first started my business 6 years ago, the reminders of how precious my time with them was were not so sweet.
Those reminders came to me as painful jabs as I watched their identical faces fall when I had to tell them “not right now, baby” because mommy had to work.
Little by little, they asked me for my time less and less.
Little by little, I wasted a little bit more of the time I had to really watch them grow up.
It was my daughters that made me reevaluate the way my business was structured and how my time was spent.
Doing everything myself was not only doing a disservice to my business, but my kids were suffering emotionally because I wasn’t there.
By year 3 in business, I was fed up and knew something needed to change. I did not start a business to stretch myself so thin that there was nothing left of me to give my children.
My children needed their mother, and I knew I had to change the way I operated in my business if I wanted to spend more time with my kids.
I was sick of all-nighters, DIYing any and everything, and spending all of my time working in my business. It was time for me to reevaluate some things.
Here are 3 “harsh truths” that I learned about investing my time during my reevaluation:
1. If I gotta do it once, why do it twice?
Servicing a lot of clients requires a lot of repetitive busywork.
Sending quotes and invoices, sending out emails, and responding to customer issues is a never-ending to-do list.
I found that the bulk of my day was spent on these repetitive tasks, and it was a poor use of my very limited time for two reasons:
- Working in my business wasn’t allowing me the space to work on my business so that it could grow
- These repetitive tasks were stealing time from my family. Why waste time doing the same thing over and over again when I can do it once and automate the process?
To learn more about how I automate my business, click here for my FREE Earn More, Work Less guide.
2. Being busy and being productive are NOT the same thing.
As a mom with a business, having a todo list as long as my forearm is not uncommon. However, was anything really getting done, or did I just appear to be busy?
To evaluate this, I started to cross anything off of my todo list that didn’t directly contribute to my family’s success or my business’s bottom line.
I was left with way shorter todo lists and started eliminating or outsourcing the fluff.
3. Boundaries are a mompreneur’s BEST friend.
Both personally and professionally, not having boundaries will zap my time.
Without boundaries in my business, I found myself answering emails and phone calls all night long, working holidays and weekends, and overall a very miserable mommy and business owner.
However, I couldn’t blame my clients. It was my fault because I had neglected to set boundaries for myself and my time.
Setting boundaries in my business meant having hours of operation, SOPS, and ground rules. I also had to be consistent and stick to them with little room for exception.
That meant holding myself accountable by resisting the urge to answer emails in the middle of the night or allowing customers to abuse my boundaries by giving them special treatment.
Hopefully, by reading this article you are able to identify some areas in your life/business that are opportunities for better time management.
Maybe you are spending too much time doing the same tasks over and over again. It might be that you are wasting time because you have no boundaries in your business.
It’s tough being a business owner and it’s tough being a mom. However, I have found with a little bit of balance, it is possible to find success both at home AND in your business.
What are some tasks you can eliminate or outsource in your business?
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