Finding realistic tips for time management as an entrepreneur who is also a mom can feel impossible. It feels like we are doing a million things at once and not doing any of them well.
Today’s episode focuses on helping you find the balance between being a successful mom and a successful business owner.
IE 236: Realistic Tips for Time Management for Mom Entrepreneurs with Melissa Rodgers
You will walk away with tips on establishing your time capacity, doing a time audit of your week, time blocking your workload, and a guide to help you as you become a high-performing woman.
As an online business coach, Melissa Rodgers focuses on moms who are building their businesses from home or are in the beginning stages of trying to come home and be self-employed.
Her business focus is on helping moms start and scale service-based businesses and then growing into the digital product space. Her goal is to help moms do what they can with the time they have.
Forced to Find Flexibility
Melissa has a background in project management and program development. When she gave birth to her first son, she had every intention of going back to work, but her three younger siblings unexpectedly came to live with her and her husband. Melissa and her husband now had an infant, a 10-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 16-year-old.
Melissa approached her employer to request some flexibility as they parented four kids attending different schools and daycares, and was denied the help.
From Facebook Live to Full-Time Coaching
Melissa had been blogging and freelancing for a small amount of time, so when it became apparent that she wouldn’t be going back to her job, she jumped into the online space: copywriting, building websites, and building online brands.
Melissa began to receive questions from other moms, wondering how she was growing her business and still focusing on her kids. Melissa began to see one of the common threads was women who didn’t view their businesses as real businesses.
Going live on Facebook, Melissa shared what she was learning about being a business owner and mama. Things exploded from there, leading to a full-time coaching practice.
Establishing Your Time Capacity
As women and mothers who are growing businesses, we have to manage our time well. So how do we do that?
One of the first ways is to have a good mindset. You have to establish your realistic capacity.
There are two types of people: those who decide they have no time to do anything or those who take on way too much with not enough time.
You can avoid that entirely by establishing what your time capacity actually is.
Taking a Time Audit
Melissa accomplishes this by doing a time audit. It is as simple as using a 12×14 grid, with each square representing an hour of your week.
Melissa goes in and crosses out each hour she spends “sleeping” (as much as she can with a 4-year-old and 1-year-old) and then all the hours she is active with her kids with no work happening. She tries to be solely focused on her kids while her husband is working.
If you don’t know what you do every hour of every day, keep your grid on your fridge. Set a reminder on your phone for every 2-3 hours, and then you can fill out the squares with what you were doing in those hours.
Setting Your Hours and Boundaries
Once you complete your grid, you will find that you have pockets of time that you are not using to accomplish your goal.
You might be spending 6 hours a day on Instagram or 3 hours at night watching Netflix. Now, those things aren’t bad. You shouldn’t feel shame or guilt for those things.
They are mental buffering activities that are necessary sometimes, especially as a mom in a pandemic. But, if you only ever spend your time on these things, you will not accomplish your goals.
You can run a 6-figure business on 20 hours a week. People who work 8-hour business days are typically only successful for 2.25 hours of that day. So if you can carve out 2.25 hours out of each day, you can be successful.
When you know what your capacity is, you can set your boundaries. This way, you will know and be able to communicate to others what to expect.
Understand Your Filters
As a mom who is an entrepreneur, you have to be aware of where you are looking for business advice.
If you, as a mom are looking to a middle-aged man for advice, it might not work the same way for you. Or if you are a middle to a lower-class family, it won’t be helpful to take advice from someone making 7-figures a year. There will be disconnects there.
Getting up at 4 a.m. and working a full-time job while your kids are at daycare, and then burning the midnight oil to try and grow your business is very different than someone who is only working 2-5 hours a day and has the ability to outsource any tasks they aren’t capable of completing themselves.
You can obviously listen to advice from people in different scenarios than the one you are in, but you need to be able to filter it in order to not feel inadequate.
There are people who are successful now that were once in your exact same position and it’s helpful to see their growth and also know that they have been where you are.
Acknowledge your situation and figure out how to make it work. Don’t feel like you can’t run a successful business just because someone else’s advice doesn’t work for you or align with your life.
Planning Your Weeks and Days
Once you have done your time audit, you have to systematize your time management.
Melissa separates everything into departments. You can implement this really easily on a piece of paper. Write down four columns: marketing, sales, delivery, admin.
Look at everything you need to do in a week for your business and categorize them into those four columns. This will allow you to set aside chunks of time dedicated to these different categories.
Your marketing needs to be your number one priority, followed by delivery and sales. It is important to time block, especially when it comes to admin tasks. You can get lost responding to emails and working on other menial tasks for 6 hours if you aren’t paying attention to your time.
Schedule lots of blank time, especially if you have young kids. Leaving this open space in your day will help you to achieve your goals for the day while still being able to pivot when necessary.
The 8 Essential Habits of High Performing Women
Melissa’s guide, “The 8 Essential Habits of High Performing Women,” was born out of her own personal development.
She has consumed tons of personal development content over the years, and the main theme has been that you cannot create amazing results and perform at an optimal level if you are not conditioning or treating yourself at an optimal level.
At the beginning of her business journey, Melissa ran herself into the ground. She was not eating well, not exercising, and neglecting her mental health. She suffered a string of miscarriages because of her health issues.
The miscarriages really helped her see that her health was not where it needed to be, and she started researching how to address the issues.
She started eating better, moving her body, and building habits into her day that would set her up for success. Things started shifting dramatically. As she became healthier, happier, and more balanced, she was able to take efficient action towards what she wanted for her business.
This is where the guide steps in. It is written for moms specifically, but any woman can benefit from it. If you are being pulled in 100 different directions a day but also have big goals and want to optimize yourself to be successful, this guide is for you.
You can connect with Melissa on Instagram in the DMs, on her website, or by listening to her podcast.
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