Business vs Motherhood | Time Management Tips

Joanne & Gang time management juggling a family and a business

Running a business around a growing family is never easy BUT when you chuck school holidays into the mix it can be nuts! Why is it as soon as the children are settled in to a routine, you’ve finally stopped procrastinating and making some headway on your to do list it ANOTHER school holiday. Then the process starts all over again!

I try as much as humanly possible to bring my working days down to a bare minimum. An hour or 2 in the evening or a full day at the weekend if Daddy Moo doesn’t mind a bike ride and we’ve no set plans. Although sometimes I just too tired to even think about work. I also plan and book activities for the children weeks and weeks in advance as this a) spreads money a bit further if everything is paid upfront especially as I’m not working my normal hours and b) means the days fly by faster AND the children are much more amenable to compromise if they have an exciting day/activities coming up!

Keeping your small business on track during the holiday : 

Here are a few suggestions to help you keep your small business ticking over while the children are home.

  • First of all relax! : If you’re stressed and tense then the children will be too and well quite frankly that’s not going to help anyone.  
  • Be upfront : Let customers and clients know your current situation. It’s much easier to be understanding when you know why rather than wondering why no-one is home when you call or takes days to answer emails.  I always tell clients a project will take a least a week longer during the summer that way I give myself plenty of time as never underestimate how tired you will be after a full day parenting! *school we owe you so much*
  • Schedule, schedule, schedule : Scheduling daily Facebook updates will keep your interaction going. This is also one less thing to think about if you schedule in a week or two of posts you don’t have to worry about being out all day.  I use a plugin for Twitter – Revive Old Posts to keep automating my Twitter content, but you could use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule content. Also try and write in advance blog content too, I aim to schedule one or two over the holiday period so my stats don’t plummet.
  • Reintroduce old content : I’ve been blogging for years and have a vast amount of evergreen content that I can whip out during the school holidays and schedule in as social media updates. Some of your content will never lose it’s appeal, for me it’s juggling children and a business posts (like this one!), email organisation, working from home tips and de-cluttering your home office which are all relevant every school holiday. Reintroducing old content is also a great way to engage new readers, increase social sharing and comments on old blogs.
  • Email organisation : Never underestimate an organised inbox, utilising the 4D’s technique (Do, Delete, Defer, Delegate) not only as a super time management tool it can help reduce stress over the holidays. Also consider using an auto-responder on your emails stating that “My children are on summer holidays and your daylight hours are now limited 😉 I will be back at dawn!”

Sadly YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN!! You never can and never will be able to do it all!! Unless of course you borrowed Professor Dumbledore’s Time Turner thingys to go back in time and be in two places at once.  So why stress yourself out trying!!

Joanne Dewberry and family

Further Reading : Juggling children and a business :

If you have any top tips that work for you please do let me know AND remember a work life balance means something different for everyone. What works for me may not work for you these are tips/suggestions they aren’t a full proof plan. Your children will differ to mine and I in turn differ to you.

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  1. August 5, 2013 / 10:12 am

    This is really helpful, thanks Joanne. Great tips. My two are a bit little at the moment to do activity weeks, but will remember that for the future! My little boy still has a short nap when me and my daughter sometimes do some painting together (me some work painting and her, her own creations) which I love. Apart from that, we are enjoying not rushing about in the mornings to get to pre school on time! Apart from that, I do most of my stuff in the evenings and when Daddy’s around too!

    • August 5, 2013 / 10:29 am

      Just to clarify as mine don’t go to childcare based clubs I am always them – what I meant by activities were events in the local community, bouncy castle play, Moors Valley’s free nuts about nature events, fun days, film clubs at the church, sports events etc.

  2. September 26, 2013 / 1:26 pm

    It surely is a tough job to maintain time and take care of the family, especially while having a baby and I know it as I am a mom too.

    But still, I manage creating lists of to-do priorities and going with it. I make sure to finish this list first thing every day and this helps me finish off the most important tasks early in the day. Also, the tools that I use help me in getting things done as planned. They are Replicon and Google Calender.