7 Tips to Remove the Crazy in Your Mompreneur Life
If you are a “Mompreneur” struggling to handle all of your responsibilities, finding yourself feeling crazy overwhelmed, or even if you are just looking for a few more tips to help you manage your life; then keep reading. You crazy, beautiful momma, this post is for you.
Removing the crazy in your Mompreneur life? There must be some mistake in that statement. Is this even possible? When people ask me, “Hey Holly, how’s it going”, I used to automatically respond, “Crazy.” with a sigh then a thought of the millions of things I needed to accomplish at that very moment then I would send a look that shouted “Please rescue my poor innocent soul!”
“Please rescue my poor innocent soul!”
I regret to say that I haven’t come up with an amazing formula nor have I created a free services to remove all your burdens. The truth is, being a mom is hard work and adding Entrepreneurship into the mix adds a ginormous lump of crazy. Then what should we Mompreneurs do to at least tame the beast we have so affectionately named Crazy?
Here are 5 tips I have used to tame the beast:
1. Recognize the Origin
Getting overwhelmed, anxious, and worried is part of our human nature. We have all been at fault of one or all of these at one point in time. The Devil knows my weakness is getting overwhelmed with my workload to the point I want to curl up in a ball and binge watch Netflix. I recognize that the Devil will use this tool because he wants me to focus my attention on worrying. If I am worrying then I am not being productive and I am not trusting in God. There is a reason God tells us in Phillipians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything…” Anxious= “experiencing worry“.
“Do not be anxious about anything…”
2. Give it all up to God
The rest of that amazing verse goes like this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Starting my day in the Word and in prayer refocuses my attention. It channels my priorities. I take my burdens, everything from the six loads of laundry that need washed to the 3,000 wedding photos that need sorted and edited, and I give them up to my Father. He gave me these desires, He is in control, He knows how much I can handle, He is the one who gave me the talent to complete these tasks, and He has the perfect plan for my life. And He will help me to stay strong, to not faint in the times of adversity so that I may reap the benefits He has set for me.
3. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
That verse says, by prayer with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. God gave us our amazing lives, right? He blessed us with a talent we could use to bless others. He gave us a way to be moms, express our individuality, and contribute to our income. Ladies, this is something to be thankful for. We need to remind each other to focus on the good in our lives. Like the sweet little ones who turned us into moms. Laurel, Owner of The Cleaning Ladies, says,
“It (the craziness beast) will always be there in one way or another and the best way to handle it is with an attitude of gratitude. I thank God daily for the craziness in my life”
4. Make a List
I once read an study that discussed how moms are always tired. Their reasoning, beyond the obvious, was that our minds never stop running with a “to-do” and “don’t forget that” list. Everything we do tends to remind us of something else we need to do. I have a planner that I love. It starts with a series of list pages including a list for your dreams, your ideas, the life you want to live, and your goals. Before I had this planner I kept a List Journal. In that journal I kept similar lists that the journal includes. I added Prayer requests, things to be thankful for, and of course things I need to do. Putting your list down on paper takes it out of your mind. It relieves you of the stress that you might be forgetting something. And it relieves you of the revolving door of to-dos in your mind.
5. Schedule Like a Boss
This sounds meticulous, time consuming, and restricting. Believe me, I know. I was reluctant to start scheduling my life. I’m have an artistic and expressive soul. I want to be free and live spontaneously. Despite my original disbelief, this is exactly what scheduling has enabled me to do. I have been able to live my life more on purpose now than ever before. When you schedule you are forced to think about and write down what you want to spend you time on, what you have to spend your time on and what you really should spend you time on. Think of it as time budgeting.
The best way I have found to schedule my life is through Google Calendars. It’s easy, versatile, and shareable. Here’s how I schedule my life in order to stay efficient.
First – Prioritize the list you made from Step 4. This is key. We need to get our work done, but family time will always be more important and unfortunately it is always easier to push aside for a project. Putting family time into your daily calendar will help you to not push it aside.
Second – Create multiple calendars. For example I have calendars labelled: Fivefivephotos-Weddings, Fivefivephotos-Sessions, Fivefivephotos-Meetings, Fivefivephotos-In Office, Family, Homeschool Scheduling, Chores, Meal Planning, task management, Birthdays, and Holidays, Why don’t I just have one calendar and color code all those categories differently? Because all those categories means that my calendar is overwhelmingly full. By having separate calendars I am able to turn off the ones I am not interested in referencing at that moment. For instance, all I want to do is glance at my calendar and see what upcoming weddings I have, I will then turn off every calendar except Fivefivephotos-Weddings. Likewise, I may want to view what social commitments we have made on our family calendar, but I don’t need to see our Meal planning calendar so I turn off the meal planning calendar. This has worked like a charm for me. I have every aspect of my life organized in one place. Having separate calendars also allows me to add specific people to the specific calendars they need to know about. Matt is on our Family, Birthdays, Fivefivephotos-Weddings, Fivefivephotos-Sessions, and Fivefivephotos-Meetings. But he doesn’t need his calendar crowded with all of my other schedules. Side note: When I have all my Google Calendars turned on, my month looks like a unicorn vomited on it.
Third – Start big and work your way down. I go through the year and add in the big “Do Not Plan Anything” dates into my calendar. These include mostly Weddings and Events that are officially booked for our photography services. Then I add in birthdays, holidays, vacations, and parties. Then I get down to the quarterly to develop my blog posts, promotions, and accounting. Then I dive into my monthly and daily schedules. Starting with the big picture first helps you to account extra time for those special days and weeks that you will need to focus more attention towards specific responsibilities.
Fourth – Be sure to schedule fun time. Here is were you can still be creative and spontaneous. I try to schedule one “out” day a week with the kids. Sometimes I have a surprise planned and sometimes I let the kids choose what we do. But it is always a good time that we likely wouldn’t have fit into our schedule if I hadn’t slotted time for it in the beginning. See, you get your priorities down!
Fifth – Don’t get discouraged. Scheduling is a daunting task at first. Then it takes a while to get used to sticking to it. If you are anything like me, you will likely get behind in one way or another and just about give up on the schedule… Scheduling is a great tool but it helps to also be flexible with your schedule. It’s supposed to free your mind from the millions of things you need to remember, not tie you down to a rigid timeline.
6. Multitask & Work Efficiently
One of my daily prayers is, “Lord, for your glory, help me to be focused and efficient with my work today.” I don’t want to be waisting my minimally allotted time doing things I do not need to do. I also want to be sure that I am working quickly so that I have more time to spend blessing my wonderful husband and beautiful children.
One way I have found to be super efficient is having my laptop up with one project and my desktop with another. As one project is taking 15-20 minutes to upload, I can focus on a smaller less time consuming project on the other computer. (Right now I have a film exporting on the desktop while I proof and edit this post.) I have also learned that I can get a lot more photos edited in a consecutive 3 hours than I can in 3 separate hours. So I schedule my editing time accordingly. If I’m going to spend three hours doing something I would like to do it in a way that I get more done.
When I go upstairs to wake up my kids, the plan is always to do a quick straighten in the bathroom before I brush my teeth and wash my face, then I get dressed, and take the laundry downstairs or put a few laundry items away. During this time I usually have photos exporting. (The computer slows way down when photos are exporting so I do not work on it during these times.) As the kids are eating their breakfast I start our school with some Bible reading, then they do their morning chores while I check my emails, then school begins. Instead of going up and down the stairs for each of those tasks I got it all done with one trip upstairs, and one trip downstairs. It conserves energy. Granted, my mornings don’t always work out this perfectly, but I see how well my day turns out when they do. Another thing I would love to schedule is a daily hour long work out time, but again, I prioritized other things above that. So I get my fitness in other ways. When I walk up my stairs, I do calf raises. While folding towels, I do squats. When I take the kids to the park for a bike ride, I run behind them. It works for me.
7. Include Your Kids As Much As Possible
This is multitasking at it’s finest. Whatever you have built your business on is likely one of your many passions or something that you are very good at. Share that passion and skill with those who are closest to you. Yes, it may be easier for me to shut myself in my office and edit photos and videos, but the kids really enjoy seeing them with me. They will sit in my chair with their arms around me and ask questions about the day and what I was doing then I explain to them something about the editing process or the light or the angles. I use it to teach them. This is actually wonderful time spent together with a different and quite interesting conversation starter. More ideas on how to do this: If your child is an infant, read emails out loud in a sweet story time voice. It sounds silly but it will help build their communication skills. If your child is learning to read have them help you read your emails/posts/inquiries. It will be new fun material for them, it will also help them with their communication skills and it will build a connection between you and your child. I have a fun photography/videography job so I can include my kids at photo shoots and in my creative process. They give me ideas, choose photos for the website, and sit with me while I rate and edit photos. And I teach them while I’m doing it. We just finished having “Light” as one of our focus subjects. As a photographer you know I took advantage of that subject! I think I may write an entire blog post about this idea. For now, these few ideas will have to do. I’m out of my scheduled time.
In conclusion, we can identify the source, give it all up to God, have an attitude of gratitude, make a list, schedule like a boss, multitask and work efficiently, and include our kids. If you have any ideas to share with mompreneurs, please feel free to comment.