5 Steps to Schedule Your Way to Sanity and Abundance

Secretary arranging an appointment You create an uncomfortable values-gap when your daily actions don’t reflect your priorities – like your family, or growing your business, or self-care. Fortunately, getting back into alignment can be as simple as tweaking your schedule.

All moms must navigate working around everyone else’s schedule. Mom entrepreneurs carry the additional pressure of fitting in time for your business. Often a flawed schedule is the root of feeling frazzled, flustered, and unproductive.

Here are 5 simple scheduling tips for mom entrepreneurs to create your path to sanity and abundance:

Step 1: Review Your Schedule Seasonally

Activities change with each season; you and your business evolves; and kids have developing needs. When you don’t update your calendar, it’s easy to get into the new season with non-workable routine and conflicting commitments.

Create a spreadsheet or template you can fill out by hand, that will allow you to log in your anticipated daily routine, sometimes in as small as 15-minute increments.

Step 2: Plug In and Tweak Activities

Insert your activities into your schedule grid like this one. If you want to get fancy you can color code activities. Green could represent revenue generating activities. Yellow could be family activities. Orange could represent recharge time for you. At a glance, this visual could see if you are neglecting or overemphasizing any area. The visual can make it obvious why your plans are or are not working for you.

Step 3: Pray and Trim Your Schedules

Take the schedule conflicts to prayer and begin the trimming process. Your first stab at scheduling confronts you with schedule clashes, overscheduling problems, lack of personal care time, neglect of legitimate family needs and conflicts. It forces you to make choices that you often won’t make when you wing it without a plan. Look to your values to help you trim your commitments. Make sure your schedule incorporates transition times and does not neglect any critical area.

Step 4: Implement and Experiment

Give your schedule a shot. Here’s where you will discover instances where you over or under estimate the time it will take to complete activities. Acting on your plan will also illuminate when your planned activities are not in sync with your biorhythms.

Step 5: Tweak

Trying your new schedule for a week or two reveals its flaws. Identify and analyze what isn’t working so you can make adjustments to your template. For example, planning to work on something that requires concentration in the early afternoon when you are drowsy likely won’t work. I switched doing my to do list for the next day from the end of my day to the beginning of the next day when I was more mentally fresh. At night I write key “to do” notes I will want to include in my full schedule in the morning. I was also underestimating the amount of time to check my email daily or forgetting to schedule looking at them at all, which always threw off all my other planned activities, usually the high pay off activities.

Spending the time looking at your schedule allows you to better listen and understand God’s will and make the tough choices that will ensure you are in alignment with your values.

Catholic Mompreneurs Biz and Life Tips: Don’t underestimate how designing the right schedule can be a deal breaker in whether you are successful in your business and personal life. If yours isn’t up to snuff, invest an hour to modify it by using these simple scheduling tips for mompreneurs.

 

High Payoff Activities

Chinese Business woman giving presentation. On a recent visit, I sat with my sister-in-law sharing notes our summers.

I expressed my frustration with my stop-and-start summer schedule. I planned on having three kids riding bikes to swim team and weight lifting, leaving me most of the morning to work. I ended up with a routine of taking some kids somewhere almost every 90 minutes during the most productive hours of my day.

In the midst of the stressful summer schedule, I was grieving my dad’s sudden death and coping with his hospitalizations and post-mortem affairs. I felt even more overwhelmed and disorganized.

I explained that in my business when work time gets cut short, the things that get cut out are time for those business-building and revenue-growing activities. Just fulfilling the regular have-to-do task eats up available work time. The sacrificed activities are the “high pay-off actions” coaches advocate you do first thing every day.

When I short on time and not focusing well on the critical tasks, I get to look forward to my flow of clients slowing down. And this means slow cash flow.

That’s no fun!

So what are your high pay-off activities?

It varies based on your industry. For me creating a speaker sheet and contacting groups to give talks fit the bill, as does contacting a joint venture partner, or creating and promoting a teleseminar to bring new prospects into the fold.

So why wouldn’t people do high pay-off actions and do them the first part of the day?

High pay-off activities are actions that make you squirm just a little. They require you to step it up a notch, and perhaps have greater visibility. Sometimes there’s a learning curve, as you’ve never or infrequently tackled those projects.

Other times, the action has good and bad consequences you may or may not have worked through. For example, if you put yourself out there as a potential national speaker, you may unconsciously fear how needed travel might clash with your family life.

Sometimes time management problems prevent the execution of high pay-off activities. You may not be at the productivity level to complete your business maintenance activities, serving your customers, while engaging in high pay-off activities.  You may not be allocating enough time in your schedule to make room for those challenging activities that takes you and your business to new levels.

Or you just may have had a life event that makes it impossible for you to do it all.

That’s real. Life happens.

Be reasonable with yourself. But don’t give yourself too much time off the saddle of prioritizing those top three high pay-off activities.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip:  Take three “high pay-off” actions first thing every day.

Take a Summer Break with a Taste of Real Romance

When Calls The Heart

“When Calls the Heart” Photo from IMDB

This Type A biz mom has fully embraced the concept of regular recreation and downtime to fuel excellence in my business. I need no convincing that the quality time—away from work and with my family and friends— charge my creative juices for optimal business results.

So finally,

  • the kids are down,
  • the house is picked up,
  •  I’ve taken a hot bath,
  •  the lights are dimmed,
  • hubby’s on the couch,
  • I’ve got my blanket and hot tea,
  •  and we are ready to mentally escape to a movie.

With discouragement as we scroll through Netflix we’re bombarded with girl-and-a-gun  films or flicks glamourizing the gay or casual sex lifestyle. We’ve tied to give movies hinting promise of quality a chance.  But when we got it wrong, it feels like putting brown sludge in our veins. Many times mid-film we admitted defeat, conceded the film was a loser, and agreed to turn it off mid-stream to head to bed.

With the film “When Calls the Heart:  Lost and Found,” you won’t need to hit the hay early.

And you won’t have to shield “adult content” in the film from your kids.

While the movie might move a little slow for kids, some might like it if they haven’t already been used to watching to fast-paced, low-developing entertainment. You can have this series on in the family room without embarrassment of compromising scenes.

The backdrop of the story is a 19th century coal town. “When Calls the Heart” is a story of hope, character, and romance.  A teacher, daughter of a wealthy and renowned East Coast businessman, walks away from high society to head west to teach in a small community. She fully invests in her new home, even as she learned that almost all of her students were fatherless due to a mining accident, and the mothers were in a fight for their life to keep their community and families strong amidst calamity.

Woven into the story was a young, attractive, and a bit arrogant Constable assigned in a quasi-sheriff role in the community. Sparks, tensions, connecting, and ultimate appreciation fly between the two characters for a delightful and satisfying insight into the old fashioned process of courtship where people’s characters were valued and evaluated in earnest.

You, too, I’m guessing will be refreshed like I was to see the slow, steady, character development and glimpses of healthy, pure romance, rather than the traditional cart before the horse approached that is highlighted as the norm in popular movies.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Guide to Biz and Life Tips:  Spend 15 minutes a week finding and obtaining the right kinds of entertainment and recommended TV series to watch for you and your family, so you can feel recharged, stimulated, and inspired, like I did after watching “When Calls the Heart”.

Fusing Faith, Family, Fun, and Finances

cathfamfun You don’t have to miss out on Catholic family fun this summer, just because you are busy mompreneur.

Successful Catholic mompreneurs know how to “be” with their families. They can cut loose when not working, which allows them to pour on the creative and energy into their work when it’s time to get to business. The art of balancing work and play distinguishes happy, revenue generating mom business owner from one who’s burned out, overwhelmed, pulled everywhere and feeling successful no where.

Biz moms want the business, but they most importantly want to bond with their kids and raise solid Catholics and great citizens both on earth and in heaven.

A tool to help you fuse fun into your family this summer is Sarah Reinhard’s “Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless”. Help your kids get out of the electronics, the screen time, and other cultural prescriptions for a good time, and have some real fun.

Sarah came up with kid-engaging play ideas easy to find and implement in this dot-to-dot Catholic fun manual. She cross-categorizes the activities by cost, time duration, and prep time. At a glance you can pick out what you have the time and money for and plug it into your schedule and know your kids will get quality play time with you.

Keep Sarah’s book in the kitchen for easy access. It can become your go-to resource for getting out of the entertainment rut. The first pass through the book the “Be Crazy” caught my eye for a simple unexpected silly treat for my kids. “Be Crazy” simply go out and run around as a family uninhibited. Sarah provides a number of variations to keep things fresh.

The second pass through I easily visualized our family playing “Silly Stories” and “Joke Night”. You can’t beat belly laughter for ramping up family closeness.

Most of the activities have instructions on how to incorporate a Catholic twist.

It’s easy to get distracted with work and neglect the needs of your family for playfulness and spontaneity. It’s also easy to do the same entertainment that may or may not be satisfying or properly feeding the mind and soul of your family.

Sarah puts everything together so you can share premium connecting time with your kids and spouse. The time you devote with your family is fruitful. You effectively guide your kids where you want them to go-heaven-while leaving you in peak performance with energy to invest in your business.

Catholic Mompreneurs Guide Biz and Life Tips: The best way to influence and connect with your kids, while still having time and energy for your business, is to talk with them in their language – play. Get “Catholic Family Fun” and let Sarah show you how.

 

What’s Your Specialty?

business endurance The morning of my first ever outdoor training session I ran into an old acquaintance. She’s a delightful woman who hosted a Kids 4 Jesus club at a neighboring parish for her daughter and friends several years ago.

We talked about how we signed up for the training group and our history with triathlons. I mentioned that although this would be my first outdoor triathlon, I had done about 10 indoor triathlons.

She asked my specialty – run, swim, or bike?

I paused.

I almost said “swim”, but hesitated. I recalled my disappointing swim at the indoor triathlon I competed last month. I learned a new flip turn and completely botched it numerous times, adding an extra minute to my swim time.

It was good I didn’t say, “swim”.

My friend and I shared a lane for the workout. Despite looking not too athletic, she sped past me with her graceful stroke. Apparently, she was a high school swimmer.

Run…no I knew it wasn’t the run. I endure running because I like biking and swimming. I had recently learned a better running form so my knee didn’t hurt.

So was it the bike? I thought it might be, until I recollected our bike time trail in the last training group. I was last to finish, even behind the normally slower girl.

Okay I’m embarrassed, just answer her!

“My specialty is that I can get through all of them.”

She said, “Oh, endurance”, and she pushed off the wall like a sleek dolphin for her first set.

I dialoged with myself during my swim workout.

  • Yes, “endurance”.
  • That’s right.
  • I am mentally tough.
  • I finish what I start.
  • I am prudent to go at my pace so I complete the race.
  •  It’s “endurance” and “commitment”.
  • Those ARE my specialties!
  •  I see it through the end.
  • When I set my mind to something I am committed.

Aren’t those the exact qualities you need to be a successful mompreneur!  It’s

  • working smart,
  • constantly learning, and
  • developing business endurance

that gets you where you want to go.

It’s all good. I’m in the right place.

And by the time I pulled myself out of the pool, I let my shame drizzle down the drain. I stood up, pulled in my abdomen, moved my shoulders back, and proudly head to the showers.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip:  Put your inadequacies aside and build on your strengths, so you can have the business and family life of your dreams.