Of the estimated 4 million mompreneurs (that is, moms who are also entrepreneurs), more than two-thirds serve as their family's primary childcare provider.
Because they often fit work around their young associates' schedules, more than half—55%—end up spending less than eight hours a day on their business. This means that they need to be extra productive and focused when working to succeed.
Mompreneurs who have it figured out offer the following seven productivity hacks designed to help you get more from the time you have available to devote to growing your business.
1. Plan for the week ahead on Sunday
Whether it's planning and shopping for the week's meals, prioritizing upcoming work tasks, or reviewing the family calendar, productive mompreneurs use some of their Sunday time to get organized for the week.
BodyBrite spa franchise owner Elena Duque's two daughters select their school outfits for the week and put each in a different zipper bag labeled with the day of the week.
Success coach Belinda Gintner doesn't limit her advance work to Sundays, though. Every evening, she takes 30 minutes to review her calendar for the next day, pack lunches, and check backpacks. "Mornings are usually the hardest on working moms, so if you can do as much as you can the night before, your tomorrows are mostly productive, chaos-free, and joyful," Gintner says.
2. Get up early—really early
You might be surprised at how much you can get done when the house is quiet.
Katrine Strickland, creator of a journaling app that helps people easily capture and catalog milestones and memories, does her most important work before her husband and two children get up. "The uninterrupted time to focus is the 'golden hour' in your workday," she says.
Ra'keyia Collins of Formulas and Me uses everyone-else-is-sleeping time to exercise, saying it gets her into the right mindset while giving her more energy throughout the day.
3. Figure out what works best for you
Are you a morning person or a night owl? If you don't know, find out, because that's when you will do your best work.
Jen Brady of Green Baby Deals used to work at night after her kids were in bed until she flipped her schedule to work early in the morning instead. "It turns out I truly am a morning person. I accomplish more in two hours now than I ever did with four at night," she says.
4. Skip the multitasking
According to the American Psychological Association, multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%.
That's why Crystal Paschal of Feminist Books for Kids sets a timer for 20 minutes and then works on a single task. "It's amazing how quickly I can get things done when I just focus," she says. "Often, things I think will take over an hour take less than 30 minutes when I give them all my focus."
Your time has value, so make the most of it. Have groceries delivered. Pay for some housekeeping help. Get skilled assistance on legal issues. For example, Strickland used an online service to trademark her app's logo.
Consider hiring a virtual assistant, or VA, too. "Let's say you bill your clients $100 an hour. If you can find a VA for $25 an hour and hand off less specialized tasks or the things you hate doing, that opens up more hours for you to work with your clients at a higher rate or frees up more time to spend with your family," says freelance nutrition consultant and writer Chrissy Carroll.
6. Take breaks
According to a study by The Muse, the most productive 10% of its users work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. Many mompreneurs swear by the Pomodoro Technique, which involves setting a timer for half that length of time—25 minutes—and working uninterrupted on a single task before taking a short break. After four pomodoro rounds, you can take a longer break.
Lucy Harris, CEO of Hello Baby Bump, walks around and stretches every 20 minutes. "These breaks have been vital to maintaining my concentration through tasks," she says.
7. If you can't beat them, let them join you
Jen Greenlees' office for her kids' clothing retailer Sydney So Sweet includes desks for her two daughters. "Their pretend play usually involves them creating and running their own make-believe businesses," she says.
Her workplace includes a kid-friendly lounge, a fridge with snacks, and a couple of scooters to ride in the warehouse. "I am more productive, knowing I'm not missing all the summer fun," Greenlees adds.
Even if you include some version of all seven of these mompreneur productivity hacks, you still only have 24 hours in a day to be both a mom and an entrepreneur. Let these tips from savvy mompreneurs help you work smarter while contributing to the work-life balance you need.
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