Showing posts with label Tips & Tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips & Tricks. Show all posts

Friday, March 22, 2024

Juggling Kids & an Online Biz? Conquer Both with 11 Proven Time-Saving Hacks

To all parents out there, kudos. Juggling between parenting and running an online business is not for the faint-hearted.

While the internet has created opportunities for various online businesses, allowing many people to work from the comfort of their homes, it is a tough gig. And when you add parenting (another tough gig) to the mix, it can be challenging.

The never-ending duties and responsibilities can consume your physical, mental, and spiritual resources, leaving you running on empty.

Are there solutions to make the gig less tough? The trick is working smarter, not harder. In this article, let's explore proven time-saving hacks to help you along the way.

Back in the day when the kids were small and I was trying to do everything all at once. I made it work, yes, but it wasn't a good idea! I was stressed out all the time!

1. Set daily/weekly/monthly and yearly goals

Setting goals saves you time since it showcases what you must achieve and do at a specific time. Without goals, you run the risk of drifting along without focus.

Jot down your big 3 to 5 daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Analyze them and break them into small steps achievable daily and build up monthly until you achieve your yearly goals.

With these goals down, you gain clear objectives that push you to create more time since you know what to tackle daily. It also minimizes jumping between different and unnecessary tasks.

2. Batch, anchor, and block schedules

Batching your time, anchoring various habits, and blocking schedules is a series of productivity hacks that enable you to juggle your online work and parenting.

Anchoring is where you tie two important tasks together. So, you do one while doing another.

For example, I can anchor drinking water and checking my email. Yes, I don't like having my inbox/Viber/Messenger all open and my notifications are off. The ping of new messages distracts me from work! So I set a time for checking email and when I do, I drink water, too. This ensures I stay hydrated while staying updated. 

Batching your time allows you to concentrate on similar tasks within a dedicated time and without interruptions. This means organizing similar tasks and concentrating all your energy in a specific time setting. Block scheduling means setting aside a specific time to perform a specific task.

For example, I try to block schedule my afternoon for the specific tasks of meetings. That way, I can get writing and researching tasks done in the morning and I can just focus on my meetings after. 
3. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!

What is most important to you? Does this task or activity get you closer to achieving your goals? If yes, then that is a priority; focus your energy on it.

Embracing prioritization and categorizing tasks according to their urgency allows you to focus on what is needed now while moving non-urgent and less important tasks for later.

4. Set a timer

When you schedule a task, set a timer. Setting a timer keeps you focused on the task at hand by concentrating your efforts to finish before time is up.

You can also try the Pomodoro method to increase your focus and productivity. My friend Mommy Ginger gave a talk on this in one of our Lean In Manila Circle Sessions! The pomodoro technique works as follows:

- Pick a task you need to work on.
- Work on it for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break
- Do 4 sessions of pomodoro, and then take a longer break

The pomodoro technique has been proven to increase focus, and productivity and help you beat procrastination.
5. Let everyone chip in

Chores are not simply the purview of one parent working from home. You cannot tackle every single chore by yourself, while running an online business and parenting. Divvy up the tasks and chores fairly. Do not become the family martyr.

If you have older children, create an age-appropriate chart and divide simpler chores for them to do. Letting your kids help with various chores gives them a sense of responsibility and allows them to develop life skills.

This is also something I learned from our recent Lean In Circle Session, "Reclaim Your Time." Involve the family, make them realize that everyone contributes to everyone's success. It's a team effort always!

6. Embrace a morning routine

A morning routine sets up your day for success. Embracing a morning routine enables you to structure the day, keeps you organized, and allows you to tackle more challenging tasks while you are still fresh. 

My weekday mornings go like this:
6-6:30 - Drink water, prepare breakfast and baon
6:30-7 - Wake the kids (I should get them to do this on their own actually), drink coffee while the kids eat breakfast
7-7:30 - Kids leave for school, I shower and get ready for work
7:30-8 - Check messages (personal and freelance work) while on commute
8-8:30 - Put on makeup while I check my work email, then jot down my tasks for the day.

7. Have a weekly cleaning schedule

A clean home is a comfortable working environment and a safe playing ground for kids. Cleaning, when not well planned for, can become hectic and tiresome. Plan to do light duties at certain times, while for deep cleaning, you can opt for it once per week, thus keeping the house clutter-free.

Here's a sample list of basic cleaning that can be done daily:
Make beds
Tidy up and pick up any clutter
Clean the kitchen surfaces and any food prep areas

Laundry, deep-clean of bathrooms, grocery, batch cooking - these can be done on weekends.

8. Use auto-pay systems

Paying bills can be a hectic, but easily forgotten chore. Whether these are your household or business bills, it pays to remember and settle them on time.

You can avoid penalties and inconveniences by setting up automatic payments.

Autopay allows you to pay bills online without remembering the due dates or checking your emails and mail all the time. It's an excellent hack for parents to save, reduce stress, ease bill pressure, and increase your credit score.

9. Embrace meal planning

Create a weekly menu, make a grocery list, and then order your groceries online. I use Metro Mart, but not often, only when I'm super busy. I still like going to the grocery and planning what I'll cook based on what I find.

Knowing the kind of dinner to prepare each night and buying groceries in advance saves time and, of course, money and cooking stress.

Additionally, you can embrace batch cooking and batch prepping. On weekends, make a large pot of stew, curry, casseroles, or other easy-to-freeze food. Freeze it in smaller batches, and defrost and make meals as needed.

You can use online meal planning apps like AnyList, Mealine, or Pepper Plate, or make one yourself and store favorite recipes, thus making it easy to plan which meal for which day.

Alternatively, try meal delivery services such as HelloFresh, to make meal prep time a little easier.

There is no one size fits all, do one, two, or all the above meal prep ideas, as it suits your family and your schedule.

10. Have a regular bedtime routine

A constant bedtime routine enables you to get enough rest and embrace the next day in a relaxed and calm manner. Some bedtime routine ideas may include taking a bath, picking the next day's clothes, packing lunches, and meditation.

I used to have a hard time getting to bed but now I just set my watch to remind me it's 10 pm, time for bed! I write down things I need to do for the next day, do a face massage while praying, then I'm asleep! 

11. Embrace professional help

Nothing beats a little help. This is the one tip I haven't been able to do! But I think moms shouldn't; be shamed for asking for and hiring help. If your budget allows it, embrace babysitters, cleaners, and other home help as needed.

Additionally, consider a digital marketing agency to help take your business to the next level. They can assist with your social media, web design, PPC, SEO, and other essential marketing tasks for an online business.
Juggling kids and an online business is not easy at all. Life pulls us in different directions, but the most enjoyable one for any parent is earning a living while being able to take care of their little ones. The hassles of working and parenting can take a toll on any parent. Try some of the above hacks to save time, improve focus, and increase productivity.

Liked any of my tips? I hope you did! I'm planning to write a book on how to juggle everything and still be happy. I don't know if I can write it yet, though. I don't have the time haha! But if you encourage me and promise to buy the book, I'll do it!!!