Time management is a crucial skill for small business owners. Yes, you are customising your work life and that is great :-). Now work on making all of your life and the time it involves work for you. Challenge the traditional notions of doing things when everyone else does, instead find a pattern/routine that works best for you.
In winter I often prepare our dinner while serving the kids breakfast. This means, regardless of when hubby gets home, there is hot nutritious food to feed everyone. It also ensures the kids get to have a lovely long play in the bath after they have done their ablutions and we head to that awkward witching hour (5 pm-ish) super chilled and non-stressed.
In summer, Hubby and I try to sneak in an hour or two of fishing before dinner (weather and tide dependent). The kids love these outings and watching the sun start to set on the bay is simply breathtaking. The fishing trips mean we eat dinner later and the kids get a bigger snack for afternoon tea, and get to partake in some pre-packed munchies while we are fishing. Once home, we often chose to BBQ the meat and fish if it has been a successful trip while the kids enjoy a play in the yard and I throw the salad together. The extra 30-50 mins the kids get to stay up doesn’t cause negative effects the following day, instead it becomes an adventure and special family memory. It does however bite into the time that hubby and I use after dinner and bedtime routines to complete chores and work… like writing articles for a certain blog ;-).
Can you see that I am letting you know that once fishing session is full on again, you will have to wait until later in the day to get your fix ;-).
The key is to making life easy and streamlined for you and your family and you and your business. For me I often get a great streak of productivity around 7-11pm each evening. I can power through a lot of work in this block of time so generally leave tasks that require a good amount of attention and focus to this time slot.
A good tip to start thinking about how to personalise your day for the best result is to create a day calendar. For the first one, make it on real paper/ cardboard and use markers to figure out and then highlight blocks of times. Once you have made the first chart, it is easy to transfer the ideas to your Outlook calendar and/or to internalise it.
The first step is to pop in all the ‘must do at a certain times’. For example, school runs and bed-times, and business appointments/making money. Next, sit down and start factoring in the ‘needs to be dones’. For example, meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, and strategic business time. Also ensure that you give yourself some leisure time each day, especially important when you are a parent… the family trips to the playground, beach, and skate-park is what your children will remember from their childhood 🙂 Plan even more family and leisure times for weekends. Block out 2-3 hours for your family at a time. Be fully engaged with them during that time, even go as far as turning your cell onto silent. Once you are all home again, and the kids are settled into their next activity you will be able to sneak five minutes to come up to the state of play. You will be surprised about how much you can achieve when you are working with your and your family’s natural rhythms.
Below are links to good time management resources: