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Time Management For WAHMS

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:10 am

Time Management For Women and WAHMs

Time Management For Women and WAHMs
By Nikki Backshall

What are you all moaning about? It’s easy being a WAHM!!

Well, let’s face it, most people assume that it’s easy and they couldn’t be more wrong….. All you have to do is take care of the children, walk the dog, school pick-ups, shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking and of course there is your business to run! It’s no easy task but there are a few things that you can implement to make life a little easier on yourself!

Procrastination is a WAHMs worst enemy, when there is so much to do – it’s easy to do everything but what it is you’re supposed to be doing. How many times have you checked your email today? Have you got so distracted that an hour has flown by and you’ve achieved zilch? If that’s the case then you are making life much harder on yourself, so the first thing to do to make life easier for yourself and get a planner or a bloomin’ great big diary!

Your family comes first – it has to, or everything else will all go to pot! After all, your family is one of the reasons that you are doing all of this. Schedule your family time in then schedule in the hours that you intend to work. If you are working sporadically throughout the day, then this is probably not helping you to accomplish very much. Once you have scheduled your work hours try to stay focused on them and treat this as your job – because it is!

I used to cram throughout the day and to be honest, you’ll still find me doing it at times but I get so much more done, now that I have made some changes. I work 3-4 nights a week, plus some time on the weekend and that means that as soon as my husband comes home from work I go to my office (bedroom or quiet place, whatever is the most productive for you) and I work from about 7pm until 11pm. This enables me to get my youngest into bed before I settle down. If I had to go out of the door to work then I couldn’t be harangued with pleas of ‘muuuuum, purleease can I have…..or What’s for dinner tonight?’ and I have asked my family to respect this and give me the space I need to work and to respect my job and treat it as such. My husband will normally cook for himself (or us) on those nights if I haven’t already prepared a dish (one that can be easily plonked in the oven – like Cottage Pie).

It might work better for you to work one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, just stick with something that suits. Obviously life is never straight forward and there will always be a time when you need to re-schedule but that is the beauty of the planner. You DO re-schedule! You cross something out on the planner and you schedule your work back in.

If your business is requiring you to answer a lot of emails, phone calls or add website updates then you could perhaps consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. This comes at a cost but if you weigh it up, your time spent on the crux of your business whilst someone else oversees all of the admin, may prove to be more profitable to you in the long run.

Once you have your planner, make sure that you it in a place where all of your family have access to it. Encourage them to write all important dates into it and to be aware of the times when you are working.

Try breaking your week up into blocks of time ie.
Monday morning – 3hr block, jobs to be accomplished; food shopping, laundry and toddler group. You could be really geeky and colour code it too! Pink for pleasure and leisure, green for scheduled work, orange for chores and errands etc

Just by writing this onto your schedule will make it far more achievable, the power of the written word is undeniable!

Another great tip is to write a shopping list. It’s just the best thing to do to save you time and money. A well written list will have you scooting round the supermarket and heading out with a trolley full of groceries to see you through most of the week. If you schedule your meals (roughly – I don’t want to come across as all ‘Stepford Wifey’ here….) then you will make life so much easier.

We all know the scenario when you go to the fridge and wonder whether you can whip up a family dinner from 2 parsnips, a carrot and some forlorn looking cheese. You then have to make a mad dash for the shops to get dinner in before you have to pick your kids up from some club they are at…..oh but first, you just need to send that email off… after you’ve finished reading about Why Britney has lost favour with the Hollywood scene this month! (you know you do it)

When you’re finally at the shops, you grab the nearest thing and whatever else takes your fancy, only to go through the checkout and be asked for £42.78 when all you have is that nights dinner and a couple of other items!

If you’d written a list at the beginning of the week for all of the dinners you’ve ‘scheduled’ to cook, you won’t have that stress and you will save a packet! For example, if you are cooking a cottage pie, you will undoubtedly have some minced beef in stock with some added vegetables. Then of course you’ll add the mashed potato on the top and cook it in the oven. Well, why not double up on the minced beef and freeze half or put in the fridge for another night. It’s so versatile that you can use it as a base for bolognaise (add some tinned tomatoes, garlic, puree, basil and some wine) or a quick chilli (add some chilli, kidney beans, puree) and then you just need to cook some pasta or rice! Most supermarkets have good deals on products like minced beef where you can get two for the price of one! Great meals, cheap prices and no stress!!

At the end of the day, these tips are here to make life easier for you but that doesn’t mean to say it will be easy. It’s a huge task to take on a job when you are already a mum/mom. Being a mum is a full time job in itself so it’s never going to be easy but there are many, many WAHMs who are achieving great things and you are too – just don’t make it tougher than it needs to be!

So let’s break this down;

• Buy a really decent planner, family calendar or diary. Preferably one that has the hours throughout the day.

• Schedule your family time first

• Schedule your working hours

• Ask your family to respect your working hours and to not harass you when you are working in your ‘office’.

• Make the diary accessible to all of your family

• Consider hiring a VA to cover admin tasks if your business is booming and it’s crucial to you taking your business forward.

• Write a shopping list and plan your family meals in advance

• Double up when cooking and freeze half for further meals

• Break your week up into blocks of time and schedule chores and errands in accordingly – with geeky colour codes if you wish!

• Take a Break – you earned it!

For more articles like this one, visit Nikkis website for women at – where you can fill out your own profile and meet like-minded women for social and business networking.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! If there’s anything I need to work on, it’s time management!

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  2. […] telecommuting group and blog daily.  She’s a writer and inspires me.  Her recent post on time management is […]

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