How to beat the 7 Biggest Productivity Killers for Work at Home Mums!
The hardest thing about being a work at home Mum? Actually getting sh*t done! You can have ideas coming out your ears but unless you can be productive about getting those ideas out of your head and into the real World, they're of no use to you whatsoever! (About as much use as a chocolate teapot in actual fact!)
In my new workbook (available for FREE, exclusively for members of The Badass BusinessMum's Club) I explore a tonne of ideas on how to invest your time in the things that matter, streamline your business and plan for maximum productivity
The Productivity Workbook is for you if need help:
Believing your business can be a success with the time constraints you have
Planning your workload
Learning how to prioritise
Using your time effectively
Running your business efficiently using systems and automation
There are four sections to the Productivity Planner, concentrating on:
Avoiding Productivity Killers and finding your Badass Business Attitude
Creating a plan of action to prioritise and focus on what matters for your Business
Finding time for your Business
Streamlining your Business to save time
By completing this workbook (actually printing out and using the worksheets and implementing the advice!) you will:
Turn your ideas and hopes for your business into actionable goals
Create action plans to focus on what is important
Begin to plan and implement systems for running your business more efficiently
This blog post is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of 'Focus. Plan. Streamline: The Ultimate Productivity Workbook for Work at Home Mums'. All you have to do to get the rest of this FREE resource (that is 69 pages long and contains 27 worksheets to help you maximise your productivity!) is Join us in The Badass BusinessMum's Club. (<< Click that link or the image below to get your workbook)
The 7 biggest Productivity killers for work at home Mums
- Trying to do too much
- Unrealistic goals
- Lack of focus
- Not enough planning
- No contingency plan
- Too much focusing on perfection not just doing
- Self doubt and loneliness
1. Don't try to do too much
You can only do one thing at a time
Are you trying to do a full time job on part time hours? Reality check - You’re not going to fit into your 15 or 20 hour working week what a full time business owner can do in a 40+ hour week.
Don’t make your ‘to do’ list too long. You’ll get overwhelmed and depressed when you never get to the end of it! There is nothing more motivating than crossing things off that list.
2. Don't set yourself unrealistic goals
Set goals based on your circumstances
Don’t set yourself unrealistic business goals based on benchmarks you find online or what other people are doing.
Your favourite blogger’s 30 day challenge to do whatever? Give yourself 60 days or only do some of it. Beware of the ‘How I tripled my blog traffic in 30 days’ type blog posts too. They might have spent 5 hours every day on Pinterest to manage it and you just haven’t got the time for that! Anything that mentions a timescale assume it’s based on full time hours (unless specified of course) and adjust your expectations for yourself accordingly.
Start small! Challenge yourself to find 15 minutes a day to work on your business. No, you won't get a lot done in 15 minutes a day (but over a week that's an hour and 45 mins!) but you'll start a daily habit for yourself. And some days you'll beat that goal and that will make you realise you are making progress. Which will make you feel super smiley inside (and outside I'd imagine!) The more times you beat those little goals, the easier it will be to set and achieve bigger goals!
The word ‘Focus’ in in the Productivity Workbook A LOT!
"Focus is crucial to save you time and maximise your productivity"
You have to have a focus and be focused! Focus is what will stop you wasting time on the things that don’t matter and that won’t help your business grow and succeed.
Focus will help you:
- Choose the right social media for your business instead of barely scratching the surface on all of them
- Create a brand your customers will love
- Create products or services your customers will love
- Set goals based on a tangible end result
- Create action plans and to do lists to get to where you want to be
- Get results!
4. Always have a plan
"A Dream without a Plan is just a Wish"
If you don’t have a goal to work towards and a plan on how to get there you’ll just end up doing three things at once and do nothing properly. Or you'll flit from one thing to the next and never get anything finished. Or you'll just not know where to start because trying to do everything is just overwhelming!
A plan will keep you moving forwards in the right direction. It will tell you what to do first, and then every step after that until you’re finished (yay, another box ticked on that to do list). And the very process of sitting down and making the plan will mean you are so much more efficient at executing it.
5. Always have a plan B!
You have to be prepared for things to go wrong!
You have children, it’s going to happen (I've found they're a wee bit unpredictable!) – they’re going to get ill, have a bad day, go through a phase of not sleeping.... And when they’re having a hard time, they want their Mum. (Which is fine - always remember you are building your business to work around your family not trying to get your family to work around your business)
You’ll have days when no work gets done, sometimes you might have a week when no work gets done! It can be really really disheartening – believe me, I have moments at least once a week where I wonder why I bother, I never get anything done, why on earth did I think I could have children and run a business and I’m going to jack it all in for an easy life!
But I get over it, because this business is my passion. And you will too. If you wanted easy, you wouldn’t have a started a business or had children! (Doing both at the same time – that’s just crazy Badass!) Plan for the life blips to make it less stressful on yourself.
Every month (or every week) plan in a day for catching up. The more you fall behind your schedule, the less chance you have of catching up and the higher the chance of you giving up altogether. By leaving a day empty you are giving yourself breathing space for when things do go wrong.
6. Done is better than perfect
Are you putting off starting your business, re-designing your website, launching that new product because ‘it’s not the right time’ or ‘it’s not quite perfect’?
Instead of focusing on what you want to achieve to get everything ‘perfect’, focus on what you've done to get as far as you have. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect time’ to start or do anything – but there is always Now!
If you've read every blog post you can find about starting a business, listened to hours of podcasts and watched multiple feature film’s worth of video you've done enough research! In fact you've done enough research if you've found 5-10 bloggers or companies who’s information is helpful and makes sense to you and your business goals. Follow them on social media, absorb all the free resources they provide and sign up to their engaging and informative newsletter and you’re doing enough research!
There is such a thing as too much information. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with conflicting advice and pile on the pressure to do everything ‘right’ from the moment you start. There’s all this information telling you what to do, you need to remember the best way to learn is by doing. And doing things yourself, not doing the things everyone else is doing!
Make your business truly unique by being genuine and authentic which you can only do if you’re following your own thought processes. Read the information, let it soak in and then use it to develop your own way of doing things!
"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great"
7. Find a BBF (Best Business Friend)
It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re working on your own the whole time, with no one to bounce ideas off of, or to share successes with. Running a business from home can get lonely and I'm guessing your toddlers are like mine and they've not quite grasped the concept of moral support!
Even if your friends and family are very supportive it’s quite likely they don’t understand what you’re on about half the time and they’re not going to be as keen on discussing the relative merits of Facebook and Instagram for small business promotion as you are!
Working on your own means you can listen to those voices in your head that make you think you're not good enough, or not doing enough, or not doing it right and all the other lies those voices tell. I find the best ways too get rid of them (or at least make them quieter) is to find a like minded support network full of ladies that will either be having the same doubts as you or have got over them and can help you do the same.
Find yourself some like minded lunatics, umm, I mean Business Mums. In real life or online. Connect with like minded people through social media and join a Twitter chat or a Facebook group. Comment on the blogs you read and enjoy and start making connections.
Chatting with like minded BusinessMums and other women business owners will teach you loads, give you motivation, encouragement and feedback on your ideas but most important you’ll get a whole bunch of lovely ladies that just ‘get you’ and your situation.
Time to Take Action! This blog post is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of 'Focus. Plan. Streamline: The Ultimate Productivity Workbook for Work at Home Mums'. All you have to do to get the rest of this FREE resource (that is 69 pages long and contains 27 worksheets to help you maximise your productivity!) is:
Join us in The Badass BusinessMum's Club. You get access to the exclusive Badass Biz Lesson archive of blogging and small business resources and weekly actionable Bitesize Badass Biz Lessons delivered direct to your inbox.