Sunday, September 7, 2008
O.K. mom so you thought you had it all together and then your little ones are back to school or in my case starting school for the first time. I have been running my business since my 5 year old was a newborn. I thought I had it all together and then BAM! kindergarten. She has more going on in a week than I ever imagined. So now I have had to step back and re-evaualte how to do it all and keep my head above water. If you have been reading my blog then you know I am a big proponent of help. And help in any form you can find it. But I also want to be involved. This time in my girls' lives is so exciting to me and I really want to be there, but I also run a large business and the two can often conflict. First things first; prioritize! I can't be everywhere all the time. I had to make a list of everything going on and then number their importance. After I put them in order of priority I then had to look at how realistic they were. Did they conflict with other important items and if so I had to choose. After I had my list then I pulled out my planner. Let's just get this straight; if you want to get your time managed you CAN NOT do it with out a planner. This planner needs to be suited for your idividual needs and must be with you all of the time. I suggest Franklin Covey because they have so many options and you can customize your planner. Next I would suggest color code. I use red for the times I have scheduled for my kids. I want to make sure it catches my eye and that I don't overlook a practice or event. After that I use blue for work and even that is further color coded (since I run business in multiple states). I also believe in time blocks and multi-tasking. And I have had to delegate responsibilities to others. You can't do it alone! If I find something coming up I look at my time blocks and decide if I can borrow time out of that block or if I will have to add time to the end of my day. I am very protective of my time. I answer e-mails twice a day. I never answer unknown phone calls. If it is important they will leave a message. I have a great traveling file system. This helps when I am in carpool line and need to return phone calls or write checks, etc. I can go into further details about that in another blog. It saved my life!! Everyone should have a traveling file. And when I am with my children,I am with my children. I suffer from the same guilt all working mothers do, but I try to ease that guilt by making the time I have with them quality time. I don't want them to feel as if I have one foot back in the office when its their turn. And lastly some things had to be removed from the list. There are some things that I wanted to happen, but after a hard look at my schedule I had to let them go and put them on a future ideas list. Sometimes it's tough but after you let go you can better enjoy yourself and the things that you are doing. Good luck and happy scheduling! I am here if you need help deciding how to make time work for you.