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I remember searching for time-saving hacks on Google when I first became an entrepreneur, and all of the tips and tricks were geared towards young professionals who worked a 9-to-5, were single, and had no children. As much as I wanted those tips to work for me, they just wouldn’t, and it was because of the fact that they weren’t geared towards me. I’m a young mompreneur with a toddler, so I know the struggle of trying to balance and do it all. However, just because we’re always going, that doesn’t mean we’re always productive. So here are my favorite time-saving hacks that will help you manage your time as a mompreneur better, and help you feel like you’re kicking ass, even if it’s been a hell of a day.
Stop Checking Your Email Constantly
Seriously. Checking your email multiple times a day is a huge waste of time, especially if you manage more than one email account (for reference, I have 5). I was getting so overwhelmed with constantly checking and replying to emails that one day I just decided to stop. Now, I still check my email twice a day. Once at the start of my work day and once a few hours after lunch. I’ve found that this works best for me. If you still find yourself checking emails even when you don’t want to, install Boomerang (if you’re using Gmail). You can pause your emails and Boomerang will only send them to you at a certain time. It’s been a life-saver for me!
Have Two Separate Emails
This is a great tip that I learned from a client of mine. She has one email for business related emails, and one junk/personal email. She checks her business email every day, but her personal email only gets checked once a week. It keeps her from being tempted to online shop, sign up for yet another course, and saves time in her day from filtering through important and unimportant emails. I’ve started doing this for myself too, and I’ve fallen in love with it. I get A LOT of personal emails, mainly because I follow so many incredible bloggers and influencers. However, it’s nice to only have to check my personal email once. I check it every Saturday so I can catch up on some reading for fun.
Have A FAQs page
If you’re a service based mompreneur, or if you’ve recently branched out into memberships, courses, etc, you may be wasting a lot of time answering emails that ask the same question. Instead of responding back with the same answers over and over, create a FAQs page. Then, you can set up an auto response that points directly to the page, or you can make it front and center for your clients and customers. This will not only save you time, but will also keep everything professional, polite, and cohesive.
Use Canned Responses
I use canned responses for just about everything. Invoicing? Canned responses. Follow-ups for writing or service gigs? Canned responses. FAQs? Got that covered too. Using canned responses, I’m able to save time and energy. I no longer have to sit for a few minutes thinking of a response, and another few minutes typing it. Now I just update a canned response with the recipients name and send it off.
Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking doesn’t help you save time. In fact, it could be costing you hours. I’ve learned that I can’t juggle a million things at once AND juggle them well. While there are some instances where multi-tasking is okay (like listening to an audiobook while doing the dishes), you shouldn’t rely on multi-tasking to help you accomplish your to-do list in less time. Instead, focus on one task at a time, finish your top to-do’s first, and then finish the rest when you have time. You can also try a technique like the Pomodoro technique, it’s been a game changer for me!
Take Social Media Off Of Your Phone
I hate social media, and not for the reasons that people may think. The main reason that I hate social media is because it just takes too much time away from you. I’ve had clients believe that they just didn’t have enough time in their day, only to realize that they DID have the time, but it was wasted on social media! One of my clients tracked her hours for a day and realized she spent over three hours on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat! In three hours, I could:
Finish Client Work
Complete 2 loads of laundry (folding and putting away included)
Read through a book
Play a game with my daughter
Write a blog post
All in three hours. The best way to ensure that you won’t be constantly scrolling through social media is to take it off of your phone. We already spend too much time on our phones, let’s not waste even more time because of mindless scrolling.
Simple Meal Prep
I love being in the kitchen. I used to be the type of person who would happily spend 2+ hours in the kitchen cooking an elaborate meal. Now? I keep it simple, and I meal prep. I will roast sweet potatoes, prep some brown rice, pre-chop veggies and fruits, and pre-cook beans and lentils to use in our lunches and dinners all week long.
While I’m not a meal prepping expert, I can still get a lot done in an hour (I try not to go longer than that). It also helps that I don’t meal prep full meals, just the basics that I know we use for almost every meal. Getting items prepped and out of the way at the beginning of the week makes my job SO much easier when it comes time to make lunch and dinner for my family.
Plan A Month Ahead
I know this may be hard for some families, but planning a month ahead has saved my sanity as a mompreneur. On the last day of every month, I’ll write down my family’s budget for the next month, write down any important dates, call whoever I need to call to make appointments and meetings, and the like.
This has saved me a lot of hassle and headache, plus it keeps me from stressing myself over the “last minute” visits or trips. The people in my circle have come to understand that if they don’t tell us ahead of time, most likely we can’t come. It’s not because we don’t want to, it’s just that we respect our time and hope that they will to.
I’ve told my email list all about batching, but I want to mention it here as well. Batching saves me hours every single month. For example, I tracked how long it took me to complete tasks in January, February, and March of this year. In January, when I didn’t batch, I spent 30-ish hours completing JUST my tasks for my blog. In March, I halved that number. Sure, 15 hours saved a month may not seem like much, but if you save 15 hours a month for 12 months, that’s a whole week that you’ve saved. What could you do with an extra week of your life every year?
Side note: If you haven’t signed up for my email list, you’re missing out! I talk a lot about productivity, time management, workflow strategies, and more!
If there is only one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love automating everything in my business. From my social media to my correspondence with potential clients and customers, I make a point to automate as much as I can. I don’t like wasting time that could be better spent doing more important tasks, so automating menial (but time-consuming) tasks like social media makes my life easier, and still keeps my business running smoothly.
If you find yourself doing everything manually, find ways to automate it. Instead of creating and sending an invoice every month, have an invoice automatically generate based on the work you’ve done. There are so many ways to automate your business and save you time!
Shorten Your Routines
My daughter used to have really long morning, nap, and night routines. I would try to do everything, only to realize that it didn’t really make a difference if I didn’t do some things all of the time. For example, I would give her a bath or shower every single day, even if she did absolutely nothing. Now, I only give her a shower or bath once every other day. The only time she’ll get a bath everyday is if she spends a lot of time outside, or if she’s sick.
The same goes for my routines. I used to try to fight with my curly hair every single morning, typically taking 30 minutes just to do it. Now I will pull it into a bun or ponytail unless I need to have it down and looking decent. If I plan on working in the house and not seeing someone all day, there’s no need for me to spend an extra 30 minutes fixing it up.
Order Your Groceries
I was a skeptic when it came to ordering my groceries online and then picking them up or having them delivered. I’m picky when it comes to my fruits and vegetables, and I don’t like taking the chance of my favorite items being out of stock. I also try to use natural products, and those typically aren’t available through online ordering.
However, I’ve used online grocery shopping quite a few times, and I’m impressed! It’s saved me quite a bit of time because I usually know what I want or need, it keeps me from running into a crowded store, and I can use that time to work or be with my daughter instead. I still grocery shop once every few weeks or so, but I’ve cut down my shopping time from two hours every week to just 20 minutes!
Listen To Your Books
I love reading. In fact, back in high school I read the whole Harry Potter series in one week (it was also my third time reading the series). Now that I’m a mom and business owner, it’s become a bit harder for me to find the time to read all of my books.
While I still read physical books, I’ve come to love listening to audiobooks. I can listen to them while working, cleaning, or even when I’m running errands. I will usually buy two audiobooks a month, one fiction and one nonfiction, and I try to get through them before the month ends. It’s been a breeze so far, and I’ve been able to double my “read” books the last few months.
Work During Wait Times
There are going to be times where you have to wait. Doctor’s appointments, your kid’s basketball practice, or even just waiting in line to pick up groceries (unless you online shop). So why not get some work done? Reply to a few emails, draft up a new blog post (I love using Evernote to do this, because it syncs my phone and computer), or even do some social media work if you’re so inclined. By taking these wait times and using them to your advantage, you’ll be able to get more done in less time.
I’ve had to learn this the hard way. As a Type-A with serious control issues, I find it hard to delegate and allow someone to help me. I want things to be done a certain way, and I’ve found that I can be highly critical and sometimes downright blunt and rude, even when I don’t mean to be. These traits have made it incredibly hard for me to trust others, but I’ve learned that I HAVE to trust people in order to grow my business. As much as I’d love to do everything myself, I just can’t.
Although I don’t have any full-time employees, I do rely on help from my husband and my part-time virtual assistant. There’s still a lot for me to get done in one day, but it feels so good to know that I now have two people who have my back and will help me check off a few to-do’s from my to-do list.
You don’t have to have any employees or contractors to delegate your tasks. Instead, enlist the help of your significant other, family, friends, or even your kids. You already do so much for them, what’s wrong with them helping you? Stop cleaning the kids’ rooms if they’re old enough to do it themselves. Have your significant other pack lunches or vacuum the carpets. Barter with friends and have weekly watch nights where one friend watches the kids so the others can have a night off. Do whatever it is you need to do to delegate and get all of those extra tasks off your plate.
Stop Buying Things
The less you own, the less you have to keep track of. This not only goes for items in your personal life, but your business life as well. It’s harder to keep track of 4 social media schedulers than it is to keep track of one. It’s easier to find your favorite spatula when you’re not searching through a drawer of 50+ utensils. Stop buying things that are just cluttering up your space and mind, and instead, invest in the items that make your life easier and happier.
For example, as much as I love coffee, I dare not have a full coffee station. It would take too much time to get through everything just to make a cup of Joe. Instead, I have one French press, a bag of coffee, and some coffee creamer. If I want something fancy, I’ll go out, but I won’t clutter my home just because I like drinking coffee in the mornings. By living more simply, and not buying a bunch of random items, I’m able to spend my time doing the things I actually love.
There you have it, my top time-saving hacks for busy mompreneurs. I’ve used all of these time-saving hacks myself, and they’ve shaved off so much time in my daily and weekly life. Now I feel so much lighter and free, and I can’t believe how much time I wasted over the years. If you’re feeling like you just don’t have enough time in the day, try these tips! You may be surprised to see that you have more time than you think!