“Mommy, can you help me with my school work please?”, my son asked. “Mommy, is the food ready yet?”, my daughter asked a few minutes after. “RIIINNGGGGGG”, my client is calling me on Zoom while I’m helping my get my family under control. My kids have just started school online and I’m going crazy managing my family and business.
Before COVID, I get to run my business while my kids are at school without interruption every five minutes. I can focus on any sales calls, coaching calls and doing my videos without background noises or interference. Now because of COVID my kids have schools online.
I have less time to work on my coaching business because I have to help them with their school work. There have been many times when my kids asked for my help during my calls or videos. It seems that my work-load to-do list has significantly increased up and I can’t seem to find the time for anything.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) there were 23.5 million employed women with children under the age of 18 and nearly two-thirds worked full-time. The National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017. So women play significant roles in the workforce (https://www.nawbo.org/resources/women-business-owner-statistics).
So I asked myself, “How can I get results the easiest way possible? How can I be highly productive with the limited time that I have?”. I started to test various ideas to see what works best for me.
Here are my top 5 ways to get results the easiest way possible while making family and business life work.
I would batch my schedule so that I get to focus on one thing at a time. For example, I would block my schedule from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. everyday for my kids school. I also block my schedule from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for cooking and eating lunch. My clients are not able to book or access me during those family times as my schedule is blocked out. The rest of the time is dedicated for my business and that’s when they are able to reach out to me.
#2: Let Them Know
Of course batching isn’t going to work if I don’t communicate with my family and clients. All experts agreed that communication is the key to success in relationships, careers and family. So I tell my kids that this time is Mommy’s time to help you and this time is when Mommy’s working. Do my kids still hang out with me during my calls and videos- totally and that’s okay too. Though if they need help with school work, they have to be patient while Mommy works.
With my clients, when I block my time in my calendar, it will make those slots unavailable in my scheduler. So they won’t be able to reach me then. I also put my working hours on my website. During family time, I would completely log off social media, emails and zoom so that I can focus on my family.
#3: Doubled Up
It’s impossible for me to cook everyday for lunch and dinner. Obvious since everybody is home, the kids are always hungry. I would plan my meals two weeks in advance so that I don’t have to think all the time “What am I going to cook today?”. I schedule the days that I cook and on the day that I cook I just execute the plan.
The easiest way to make sure we have enough food is to double up on my cooking. What this means is I would double up on the ingredients so that we would always have leftovers for the next day. For example, I cook on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and my husband will cook on Sunday. We always have enough for the next day as I have doubled up on the ingredients which makes the food last longer. Sometimes we have left overs after the second day and I would freeze them and use it on my “lazy” day.
#4 They Can Do It
When I tried to do everything, I messed up and got exhausted. I let go of the idea of the “perfect” mom, wife and business owner. I encouraged my kids to do as many things for themselves as possible.
For example, when my daughter is having recess from school, I told her to set the timer on Alexa so that she knows when she needs to log back onto zoom for her next session. We created a little study space for my kids so that they have what they need with school work without having to ask Mommy all the time. My kids also rises their own plates after food and put them in the dishwasher.
My secrets of not feeling guilty is to let go of any perfect mom, wife and businesswoman expectations and to allow them to be successful.
I had to transform my business model because my pre-covid business plan doesn’t apply now due to my new circumstances. One of the things that I implemented was automation. For example, for my videos, training or masterclass, I would pre-record them at a time that is convenient for me. Then I will set things up on my software so that it can run at a particular time for my audience. I wanted to create a business that can run without me and one that I can step away from.
I’ve got a few softwares that helps me to run things on automation like mailing list, videos, social media posting. Now no matter what happens in my life, I know that the work is being done and I can step back and enjoy my family. A great software that I use to schedules my videos in advance in social media is https://www.livereacting.com.
I hope that’ll give doable ideas for working moms to easily manage their career, business while taking care of their family. So when you work you can focus on it and when you’re with your family you can enjoy them too.
Dr Izdihar Jamil, Ph.D. is a Business Coach and the #1 International Bestselling Author of “Yes I Can!”. Join her FREE 3 day Course- to learn how to book speaking gigs, media & TED talk here: https://bit.ly/2zGCROT