How to juggle without dropping the baby!

Busy mums everywhere know the juggling act that is working and keeping a home whilst raising a small family. Fortunately at the Time Management Mum blog, my Guest Bloggers and I are (hopefully!) providing some great time management tips and observations, embedded in some humour and at the very least, provide you with some affinity! (Did you read my blog post about the eyebrows and the bikini wax?)

So
this post from America made me smile. Well, actually before I smiled I sat up straighter and felt I was being told off - and I never even have the TV on!

Modern business mums have enough to do, and this writer says that we are maybe spending too much time on personal calls or personal errands in ‘work time’. However as you ‘Mumpreneurs’ know, work time is personal time and personal time is work time. Look at Guest Blogger Sarah Ainslie’s
recent post - her title has it spot on! For a lot of us, we became business mums so we’d have some flexibility over our schedule so technically, whilst it may be between the hours of 9am and 5pm, I might nip to the supermarket or put a wash load on. Otherwise, it won’t get done!
So what advice can business mums out there take, which recognises their actual real life circumstances? here’s the lowdown on how to juggle without dropping the baby!


MOST IMPORTANT: First, take care of you. You are the kingpin upon which the whole family revolves. If you don’t do a lot of the tasks, they usually won’t get done. Be sure to allocate some ‘me’ time into your day

Multitask like crazy! When you are doing a ‘mindless’ task like sorting the washing or cooking dinner, use that time to engage your brain too by having a conversation with the kids and catching up on their day. Do only one thing at a time when it is essential that you are focused. If the task you are doing is not rocket science, then do several ‘easy’ tasks at the same time.

When you are sitting down to your work, minimise distractions. Divert your telephone to a
Virtual Receptionist, check the emails only once or twice and make sure your desk or work area is clear of everything that you don’t immediately need. Clutter just drains you.

Don’t put off any large projects thinking that you’ll clear the smaller stuff then get round to it. That’s just procrastination! Start the big task, allocate an hour to it then see if you want to continue. Often ‘little and often’ is the only way to get something big done.

If you do have a big task that you could become engrossed in and you need to pick the kids up at a certain time or put the jacket potatoes on for dinner, set an alarm to go off at the time you need to set off or put the oven on. This way you can immerse yourself in the task without worrying that you’ll forget the thing you have to do. Having an alarm on my mobile phone has helped me get out of lots of situations where I’m stuck at a place where it seems impolite to just leave, so the reminder to pick the kids up is a great audible way to let others know I have to go!

Batch tasks together to do ’similar’ activities in one go, such as returning phone calls. Or if you have to go out to pick something up, try to knock two or three errands off your ‘To do’ list whilst you are out. To help with this, I tend to keep a list in my personal organiser which is of things I need to do but don’t (yet) have a deadline, such as drop dry cleaning, go to Staples and pick up a new ringbinder or get nappies at Costco! (I buy in bulk - it’s cheaper and saves time, there’s another tip right there!) By batching up my tasks I can eliminate as much ‘dead time’ and ensure I don’t repeat my actions just a few days later!

So working mums, are you just watching the telly?! …And even if you are, don’t beat yourself up about it! A bit of Jeremy Kyle first thing on a morning never hurt anyone!

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