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.