finish your to-do list

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It’s hard out here for a mompreneur. Between watching your kid(s) and trying to finish your to-do list, you might be feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and just downright exhausted. It’s taken me over 3 years to get my act together. Now I finally have a system down to help me be productive, check off items on my to-do list, AND take care of my kiddos. So how do I do it?

Plan Around My Work Schedule

Even as a full-time entrepreneur, I still have a (mainly) set work schedule. I typically try to work between 8:00 am-3:00 pm. While this doesn’t always happen, I make sure to at least stay within these hours. Why? Well, I’m my most productive during this time. So why not get most of my to-do list completed and out of the way?

In order to finish your to-do list, you have to have set times to complete it. If you know you have a ton of chores to complete, why not do them when your children are still sleeping? If you need to get work done, pop in your kid’s favorite movie, or give them a stress-free activity like coloring or play-doh. This will keep your child entertained while also giving you some much needed time to get things done.

Certain Tasks For Nap Time

 I am blessed enough to have my husband home most of the time during the day to help me with chores. But on the days that he works I try to complete my tasks as fast as I can during nap time. 

If I don’t have any chores or errands to run, I will work on recurring business tasks during this time as well. For example, on Monday’s I schedule pins for Pinterest*, Tuesday’s I take photos or find photos that will go with my posts, Wednesday’s I plan and create content, and so on.

If you are trying to finish your to-do list in a time frame this short, pump yourself up! Grab a cup of coffee, throw on some music or cleaning videos on YouTube, and get to work. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour or two.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Which brings me to my next point, working smarter, not harder. Now, I am a perfectionist AND a procrastinator.Weird, but true. I hate when anything I create isn’t perfect. I get frustrated if my products or services aren’t up to my standard, and I will work on something over and over until I get it just right.

But I also thrive under pressure from deadlines. I will wait until the very last minute to get something done, and somehow it normally works out for me. So how do I accomplish everything I need to do?

Well, I work smarter. Why would I sit down and write a 1500 word article, when I can write it on my phone while on a car ride? Why would I edit each picture I post, when I can edit a batch at one time? Everything I do, I try to balance between my perfectionist side and my lazy side. 

Delegate

I’m going to be completely honest with you, I don’t do everything myself *GASPS LOUDLY*Now, I only have one contractor, and she only works for me a few hours a month. However, I have an amazing support system that recognizes and supports my dreams to become an entrepreneur.

If I have a few items on my to-do list that don’t HAVE to be completed by me, I ask a wonderful person from my system for help. For example, if I ask my husband to clean the bathroom for me, he does it without hesitation. 

This is not an excuse to delegate your entire to-do list. But you should also understand that it is OKAY to ask for help. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you can’t expect for your business or home to be absolutely perfect with just you working on them.

Take A Break

Self-care is extremely important, especially as a mompreneur. You can always finish your to-do list later. We always do so much for everyone else. But we can’t take care of others if our body, mind, and soul are suffering. It has taken me a long time to realize that self-care is THE most important thing when it comes to balancing work and life.

One day, your kids will leave. If all you do is invest all of your time into them, you are going to feel sad and fragile (cue empty nest syndrome). However, if you do things for yourself, and make sure you are a priority too, you may not feel the sting as much when they decide to explore life on their own. You don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money or spend a week in the mountains, but take an hour or two every week to relax and do something that you want to do all by yourself. 

Early Mornings, Late Nights

I think this is one of those tips that you hear of but never really get around to trying out. Let me tell you, waking up early or going to bed late will change your life.

First, decide on whether you are a night owl or early bird. For me, I am used to waking up at 6:30 am every morning, since I’ve been doing it since high school.  I still wake up at that time to have an extra 2 ½ hours to myself while my daughter is sleeping.

With that extra time, I can clean, workout, or even work a bit on my business. I can answer emails, schedule social media, or work on projects that I have. It has been so nice to have a few of my to do’s checked off before the sun is even up.

Limit Distractions

I can not tell you how many times I have let social media or the TV distract me. I don’t even have cable and I still find myself “catching up” on my show’s. Surprisingly, I am not the only person who is easily distracted by these things. Every mom I speak with has issues of wanting to catch up on the things they are missing throughout the week.

Try not to make it a daily habit to spend half of your child’s nap time browsing social media. Turn everything off and work diligently on what you need to finish while you can.

Keep A Running To Do List

If you panic at trying to finish your to-do list, skip over this step. For someone like me, I know that my work will never be finished. There will always be something I want to work on, improve, or create. That is where a running to-do list comes in handy.

I have two separate to-do lists. I have my daily list and my running to-do list, which is more of a brain dump. Do I want to start a podcast? Add it to my running list. Am I interested in re-branding my site eventually? Add it to the running list.

I use this list to hold me accountable for things I want to do in the future, but don’t really have time to accomplish in one day. I even add items like deep cleaning my kitchen or selling my daughter’s clothes*. If they don’t have to be done within the next few hours, on the running to-do list they go.

Sometimes I’ll pull out this list and try to create smaller to do’s to accomplish for the day. It has been a huge help. I’ve already ticked off a few of my larger items and tasks from my running to do list.

 

So there you have it, all of my tips and tricks to help you finish your to-do list! From one mother to another, you totally rock, and I encourage you to keep pushing towards your goal of entrepreneurship. In what ways have you used nap time to your advantage?