Time management has not always been my strong suit as a Mom and direct sales business owner. I like to sleep, don’t like doing laundry, and I can be a procrastinator. Each of those poor qualities are not exactly the hallmark of a successful business owner. Becoming a sponsor with LuLaRoe made me realize I needed to refine my practices and set out to find ways to do so.
The most frequent question that I have encountered as a homeschool and small business owner is, “How do you manage your time!?”
Six months ago, I was not able to answer this question. Many times I winged it. However, when I began to sponsor teammates, I quickly realized that I needed better methods. I spent time doing research, watching videos on time management, and listening to others with more experience.
Now, there are 4 simple things that I do to stay focused and manage my time.
We have always had a schedule to follow in our house, but it hasn’t always been a priority. Using good time management practices means that family and work schedules are essential to have and keep! I want my kids to be successful in school AND to complete my daily business tasks, so I need to have a schedule! Our family schedule includes chore days, laundry days, sports activities, and our schooling. My work schedule consists of weekly tasks that are necessary to run my business, such as paperwork, party, and team tasks. Except on party days or paperwork days that require more time, I daily carve out 3 hours to focus on my LuLaRoe business. I rarely deviate from my schedule, because I like order – not chaos.
Not having a designated work space is one mistake I made when I began my business. My paperwork was always spread out all over our dining room table, or couch, or living room floor. Now, all paperwork gets done in my office behind a closed door (on Tuesdays). My husband has the patience of a Saint and has never once complained about my work anywhere attitude. However, he suggested that we make an office so I could focus on my business when I needed to. He is a genius! It has helped me so much to have a dedicated space to work in! As a LuLaRoe consultant, I carry a large inventory. I have a room in our house just for my inventory – this keeps us all sane and keeps my “job” out of my face all the time.
3. Organized files
Stacks of paper on tables and floors is not the way to effectively school at home or conduct a business! My focus and my children’s ability to complete tasks since reorganizing my office and our schoolroom has increased exponentially! Grading work is no longer overwhelming at the end of each day and having places for all of my LuLaRoe files has been like focus magic. I have binders for everything. One for a copy of my invoices, one for tax receipts etc.., binders for school work, binders for important family documents. I am the binder queen. Another alternative is simply creating well-organized file folders on your computer. I also have a file folder system on my desktop for graphics and other photographs I use a lot! Organization will save you time and a headache.
4. Airplane mode
It is easy to get distracted by all the marvelous technology at our fingertips, particularly mobile phones. If I have a task I am trying to complete, my phone is either in another room or on airplane mode. It cuts out a distraction and keeps me focused on my task at hand. The only exception is when my husband is on a deployment (military life!). I keep the phone (and kids) handy during those times so that he is not waiting for me to answer his calls and we don’t miss precious moments with him. Other than that, this is the rule. NO PHONES during work time OR family time. If I have set aside time to knit with my daughter or play UNO with my boys, my phone not in view. I work hard to stay home with my children so being present with them is important to me.
This rule goes for Facebook too. No opening the Facebook browser during work hours, unless work is on Facebook!! It is too easy to get distracted, so eliminating that distraction is the best way to combat it.
Living in Europe means that we try to travel as often as we can. Right now I am sitting on a plane headed home from Rome! Here is a bonus time management tip: use downtime to get things done if you are behind or have something extra to do. I took four days off to take my kids to Rome, so the airplane ride home turned into my office. Nights in the hotel also gave me time to do things like making graphics and contacting hostesses. Productivity in a slump? Put down the television remote or Facebook and focus on one or two tasks that you need to complete for 30 minutes. You will feel like a winner! A kitchen timer might just be your new best friend!
Enjoy these tips, implement them, and then come back and let me know how your time management has improved!