4 tips to battle the most common time sucker

As an Accountability Coach, I probably deal with time management and prioritizing the most. The biggest time sucker I see ALL. THE. TIME. is Interruptions from Interrupters. Here is my recommendation to combat it and 3 tips to help you implement it. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to walk you through my day-to-day life as your example.  

⭐ Manage the expectations of those that are usually your biggest interrupters ⭐

For me, my biggest interrupters are my family. I love those guys, but when you work from home and you homeschool, you spend a lot of time together. As a result, it can be hard for them to recognize and appreciate when I am trying to work and need some uninterrupted time to get stuff done.

I’ve been on a journey of personal development since this year began, and, as part of my self-discovery throughout that process, I resolved to make some changes in my approach to trying to get the Holy Grail we call work/life balance. So naturally, I dug into my own bag of tips and tricks to begin to figure out what these changes would look like in my own day-to-day balancing act. Below you will find the tips I took advantage of and what they look like for me.

Set clear work hours, play hours and me time hours

My typical day looks like this:

  • 8-12:30-1pm: Homeschool lessons, learnings and activities
  • 1-2pm: My kiddos have independent play and Mama gets some quick work tasks done
  • 2-4pm: Max, my three-year-old, goes for a nap around, which is when Mama Time starts
  • 5:30-6 to 9-9:30pm: Dad is in charge while Mama has uninterrupted work time

This has really been working for us. Why?

I will get to why dedicating the entire morning to our homeschool work in a minute. Let me jump down to independent time for now: I always have emails to respond to, social media channels to connect on, etc. that I only need a minute or two of uninterrupted time to get through. I take on these types of tasks during this time frame to manage my own expectations for when independent play may not be as it’s supposed to be…and we all know that really happens.

As I have been going through my journey of self-discovery, I have realized that I need time to regroup in the afternoon and fill my own bucket from being ‘ON’ all morning with my autistic kiddos. When Max naps is a perfect time for us because usually Penny, my seven-year-old, is needing her own time to recharge as well.  I have also given myself permission, through this journey, to honour myself and that I am a night owl; making my prime work time the evening.

This all comes together through practice and explicit modelling. Everyone knows the routine and understands what the expectations are; what it should look, sound and feel like.

Fill the buckets before you need to get down to work

Now let’s talk about why dedicating the entire morning to our homeschool work. Scheduling my morning this way kills two birds with one stone for me. They are learning. They are getting to spend completely unfiltered and uninterrupted time with Mama, which means their buckets are filling up. When I am not as available throughout the rest of the day, they don’t feel like they are getting the short end of the stick.

Let your clients and followers know what to expect from their relationship with you at the outset

For this last one, I’m going to go outside of my house and talk specifically about it from a scheduling aspect.

Let’s start with my clients. They know that I can only schedule in-person meetings on certain days and have dedicated call times as well. If at the outset, they can’t meet with me during those times/days, then I will let them know we aren’t a good match in the long run. If once we are working together, they need to reschedule a meeting or call, they may have to wait until the following week’s call time. Now, I am pretty flexible for the most part (you’ll find most autistic parents are out necessity I bet). However, having that clearly laid out from the beginning avoids bad tastes in everyone’s mouth on the one time I have to enforce it.

Similarly, my follower’s know what’s going on in our community each day. Our Facebook group members understand when they can promote themselves and what we’re talking about each day. They know when a new blog post comes out. Viewers know when Fempire LIVE is on each week so they can tune in. They know all this because I am consistent in my action and have clear, straightforward communication with them.

People feel more at ease and comfortable when things are predictable, which is why both of these approaches have worked so well for me and my business.

So what are your biggest interrupters AND what are doing to combat them? Let us know in the comments, Fempire Builders.

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Overwhelmed by the transition to entrepreneurship?

I’ve been there. When I left the corporate and small business worlds to start my own business, I didn’t know what I was in for. I saw other women living lives that I wanted to be mine, and wondered, “How are they doing it?” Knowing something had to give, I totally changed the way I’m running and building my business.

As a mother, blogger, mentor, speaker and business owner, I am used to balancing the demands of many roles. It is hard to “do it all,” and I have learned how to adjust to those expectations. Stick with me and you’ll be diving into your business with fresh eyes and a growth-centered mindset faster than you ever imagined!

It all came to a head in the Fall of 2015. With my daughter’s autism diagnosis and my postpartum depression following my son’s birth, my Spring/Summer that year had been pretty rough. I was feeling pretty kicked around — to say the least. As I was crawling out of the dark and twisty places life had cornered me in that year, I knew that everything had changed.

For many reasons, I couldn’t go back to my corporate life. One of the biggest reasons was that my perspective on how I was going to live my life had changed. A shift had happened. My time away from my children was going to be spent doing things that I was passionate about. Doing things that got me pumped about life. In May of 2016, I went out on my own and started my business. It was great. I was finally doing things that had me pumped about my time away from my kids. I had the flexibility to spend more time with them. At the end of the day, I had the energy to work in my household and my marriage.

But, while I was living my passion and excited about my life again, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Previously, I was a teacher, a sales professional, marketing leader and client services manager. By setting clear objectives, I succeeded in each role, even though they were in different industries.

But being an entrepreneur was a whole new world. I felt the loneliness. I had self-doubt. I didn’t know where to start…and I wasn’t the only one in this boat.

Whether I’m out speaking to a room full of female entrepreneurs or leading a workshop, one of the things that I hear over and over again from these amazing women is how great it is to be out from behind their desks and surrounded by a group of like-minded women. And as our conversation continues, it becomes clear that they are looking for a tribe of women that they can connect and collaborate with regularly in an environment that is welcoming, encouraging and safe enough to let their walls down and share. I needed a community like this too. One that encourages fellow members as they conquer fears, overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. A tribe that leaves me with a new comfort level and the confidence I’m craving to expand my growth and limits — both personally and professionally.

And most importantly, I wanted a place that would offer me more than inspiration. One that would give me the actionable advice, education and mentorship, support and accountability that we all need.

And from these conversations and my own needs, Fempire Builders was born.

You see, it’s not just me. And it’s not just you. We are not alone. And when we come together, it’s a powerful thing. With the Fempire Builders community supporting me and holding me accountable, I have experienced the business growth that previously I had only dreamed about.

Just as it has been for other Fempire Builders, it will be the same for you, too. Wait and see!