Wednesday, July 11, 2012

EveVenture is THE Summer Time Management Answer for Moms

Summertime is a great reminder for me of just how much I love working from home with EveVenture! Scheduling business appointments around family summer fun is such a huge blessing.

It's especially important for Work At Home Moms to have clear, focused business goals and a daily action plan during the summer so that September doesn't roll around and leave you feeling guilty and puzzled at where the time actually went.

I think it helps to visualize that your work at home business is very much like a traditional brick & mortar business such as a donut shop, hair salon, dry cleaner, or ice cream shop. That helps to put in perspective that consistent work hours are what keeps any business open and profitable.

Here are the top 4 tips that have helped me with summer time management:
1.   Personally communicate the priority of your business to each family member individually.
When you work at home, you are sacrificing family time right in front of your children. They need to know why you are doing that in order to support you. How you communicate this obviously varies based on the age of your kids. Here are some ideas:
a.   Future goals…Share your vision of what your work from home is going to create for your children in the long-term. Is it a trip to Disney? Is it a solid college fund? I believe we need to share our dreams and goals with our kids & family and help them learn how to dream and set goals as well.
b.   The Now…Do your kids know about the immediate benefits of your work at home as well? Examples that even very little children understand include the lights, the A/C, food, toys, etc. "We are able to have these things because Mommy works from home."
c.   Rewards… Can you build in rewards for your kids when you reach your goals in your work at home business? These could be daily, weekly or monthly goals. Working from home is a family effort, so why shouldn't the whole family reap rewards for each milestone of success? 

2.  Set hours and stick to them as if your life depended on it.
Established, consistent business hours are the difference between a work at home hobby and a work at home career. Determine the activities that are most critical for your success and get them on your daily calendar. Be sure not to let your feelings dictate your hours. 

And, b
e sure that you honor your hours the way you want your family to. I find in my family that consistent rules are MUCH more easily enforced (i.e., we go to the pool each day at 2pm when mommy wraps her her business calls, etc.). When your hours are haphazard, you can inadvertently create a situation where your kids are hoping for your appointments not to show up just so they can get you to the swimming pool faster. Help give your kiddos clues that success is a good thing! We all need to be routing for successful, effective appointments throughout the work day.

3.  Schedule Everything.
Taking a shower, giving the kids a snack, handling mail and bills, spending time with your spouse, conducting business calls, etc. wear so many hats throughout just one day! When you work from home, in order to figure out how things will actually fit into your day, you've got to schedule it all in and actually write things down in your calendar that you may have never considered scheduling before.

4.  Clearly define your non-negotiables.
What needs to happen in your day for you to feel like you are really living? What are the things that absolutely must happen?
a.   Is it spiritual growth? (like the concepts presented in the book Ordering Your Private World)
b. Is it family dinner time or bedtime stories with the kids?
c. Is it working out?
d. Is it a weekly date night with your spouse?
I love the concept of the "Big Rocks of Life" by Stephen Covey. This concept helps your prioritize and schedule the most important things to you.

-Mary Lee