Here I sit...prepping for week 6 of quarantined mompreneur life. And, for the first time since this “new normal” started, I actually feel pretty good heading into the week.
So here I sit…prepping for week 6 of quarantined mompreneur life. And, for the first time since this “new normal” started, I actually feel pretty good heading into the week. For the first time, I am not dreading home school, I am not worried about how to keep my businesses going, and I am not worried about how the heck I am going to say sane.
To be perfectly clear, I AM human. I am quite confident that I will want to strangle someone and will lose my cool at various points during the week. BUT….I am at least stepping in to the week with a good plan and some tools in my tool box that I know are helping. Tools I wish I had 6 weeks ago when all of this started!
Now that I know they are working well for me and several of my clients, I wanted to put them together to help you, too.
Tool #1: The Daily Schedule
You KNEW that would be first, right? In all seriousness, this is a requirement right now if you are juggling home school and running your business. You simply can’t “wing it” and be successful. The daily schedule needs to include not only what you are doing but when you are doing it. It also needs to include when your kids are doing their school work vs. free time.
This schedule needs to sit front and center every day. I put ours on the fridge every night for the next day.
Tool #2: Establish a consistent activity for each day of the week.
Our days are a blur right now. It is so hard to remember if it is Monday or Thursday. All of the usual after school activities, meetings, etc are gone so we have lost our rhythm. Kids LOVE routine and structure (even though they act like they don’t). I encourage you to establish some unique activity for each day of the week to help bring the sense of routine back. For example, Monday might be “field trip day” where you find an on-line field trip for your kids to go on. Tuesday could be “cooking class” where they make something simple in the kitchen, etc. Customize this for your family.
Tool #3: Engage your kids in a task before you start yours.
I recently learned this from the amazing Rachel Bailey. Total. Game changer. I used to give my daughter instructions for her next 30 minute task and then walk away to my desk. Every single time, she would be knocking on my office door (ok…I’ll be honest…she just walked right in) and started to interrupt.
Now, I sit down with her, review instructions, and help her get started on the activity to make sure she is fully engaged. THEN, I walk away to my desk. The interruptions during that time are practically gone now!
Tool #4: Reality check, friends.
If there is one thing I can’t stress enough (other than the daily schedule), it is this. You need to check your OLD expectations of yourself at the door. Times are different. You simply can’t do all the things you used to do with your business AND home life right now. And that is ok. The sooner you accept this and re-set your expectations of yourself, the better off you will be. You will need to “release” some tasks from your list…and you will also need to “release” some expectations as a mom, too. My house isn’t as clean as usual. Some of my meals are made from a box in 5 minutes. It is ok.
Tool #5: Your “DND” Sign.
You need to create a visual queue for your entire family that lets them know when you are doing a work task that requires your full attention (meaning NO interruptions). It can be a door closed, a sign on your chair, headphones on, etc. Whatever works for you. Let your family know that when the sign is up (or the door is closed), there are NO interruptions.
There is a catch here…you can’t use the sign for 8 straight hours even though you are dying to. I promised my family I will never have the door closed for more than 45 minutes. And I only do it two or three times a day so it is not overused. I save my “brain intensive” tasks for those times when I really need to get in the zone to get those specific tasks done.