Implementing time blocking when you have little kids at home is a heck of a lot harder than time blocking in an office all day.
If you follow me at all, you know that I am ALL about time blocking. I believe it to be the single most effective way to increase productivity when it is done correctly.
However, I also know that implementing time blocking when you have little kids at home is a heck of a lot harder than time blocking in an office all day. When I first started implementing time blocking, I was in an office 8 – 10 hours a day and focused all day long on my job. Time blocking was easy because I was in one role all day long … employee.
Years later when I became a mom and then an entrepreneur, time blocking wasn’t quite as easy. You see, I was no longer “employee” all day long. I switched from business owner to mom to wife back to business owner to parent … All. Day. Long. Gone were the days of focusing on one role for 8 hours straight.
Over the years, I have learned some tips and tricks that allow me to still be highly productive while juggling all the roles I play throughout the day.
Here are 5 strategies to help you find blocks of time with littles at home:
1. If you have young kids that are not in school (think 1 – 5 years), your work time blocks will need to be short (30 minutes at most) and you will need to schedule them around your child’s schedule unless you have a 3 year old that is happy to entertain themselves for 2 hours straight. (Did you just laugh out loud at that one??)
2. Schedule a work time block immediately AFTER an activity / time where you are giving your focus to your children. For example, you may go to the park for an hour and play together then come home and have your 30 minute work block while your child has 30 minutes of “entertain yourself time.” I used to set a timer for my daughter in her playroom for 30 minutes twice a day where she had to play alone.
3. Nap time is your friend! Don’t waste it on non-important tasks. If you are working to build a business, you will need the self-discipline to use nap time to your advantage. It is so tempting to use nap time as your personal down-time, but that is likely the longest stretch of time you will have to get focused work done.
4. Wake up either 1 hour earlier or dedicate 1 hour in the evening for a time block of work. If you are a morning person, then try getting up 45 – 60 minutes earlier and start the day with a time block for your business. If you are a night owl, then create a time block in the evening.
5. Find ways for your kids to help with household chores / errands. YES it is so much easier to get chores done when your kids are sleeping or entertained, but THAT is the best time for you to get work done. Get your kids to help with chores such as laundry and dusting. When Grace was younger, we had a 30 minute chunk of time every day together doing a household chore. She loved the attention and working together. I got things crossed off my list with her “help” and then she could have a 30 minute block of time to herself while I had a work block.
My last tip is so important… don’t beat yourself up when nothing goes as planned. Building a business with young kids at home isn’t easy, but it IS doable if you are intentional with the time you set aside for work. Make sure you have a PLAN and know what you need to spend your time working on. Then when you have that time, don’t waste it on the things that don’t grow your business!