Family, Self

9 Ways Busy Entrepreneur Moms Achieve A Successful Work-Life Balance

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How Women Entrepreneurs & Working Moms Achieve Work-Life Balance

Many women entrepreneurs are also working moms, but can they have it all with a successful work-life balance? 

Managing your own business is incredibly time-consuming and can be all-encompassing. Even with no family, being in business for yourself is a full-on job. Running your business can take over your life.

RELATED: 10 Ways Working Moms Can Succeed At Parenting & Their Career (Without The Mom Guilt)

Striking a healthy balance of life and home, between running your business and managing day-to-day stresses that come with being a mother seems like an unending pursuit, especially when your kids are young. 

It’s common for successful business women who are also moms trying to juggle everything to feel like there’s not enough time in the day to accomplish it all. But even though you doubt you can, time is elusive.

We all have the same amount of time to work within. So the simple secret to making room for balance in your work and personal life is in how you spend the time you have.

Although time management as a business woman and a mom may feel difficult with so much going on, the truth is that 80 percent of the average workday is spent on tasks that are relatively unimportant. This statistic is a real eye-opener for the modern small business mom entrepreneur.

If you're spending 80 percent of your time on things that are not important, imagine what would happen if you shifted that statistic. The data shows even the smallest decisions add up to help you use time more wisely. 

When it gets tough, remember there are many successful mom entrepreneurs who are also amazing at parenting. But, success and life balance are not achieved by accident. You can learn how to manage your time to gain important traction and feeling like your life is balanced.

Here are the 9 ways women entrepreneurs who are also working moms achieve a successful work-life balance.

1. Restore, renew, relax, and rest

It may surprise you to see this tip as the first on the list but it's time we flip the triangle of productivity over.

Instead of waiting until you're tired, disengaged, overwhelmed, resolved and angry with the life you're living, take steps to find your happy place first. Resolve to quit working and give yourself 'sunsetting' time at the end of the day.

Create business hours of operation with a specific start time in the morning and end time each evening to stop working. By creating real business hours, you create boundaries.

When you're off the clock...stop. Turn off electronics. Shut the T.C. down. Plug your phone in for the night to charge and light a candle. Stretch, relax, renew, meditate, and breathe.

Our days are stressful. Our world expects too much. It's super-human to try and keep up. Instead, try starting and ending your day with restorative habits. Even 15 minutes of time to bookend your days with silence can make a huge difference in feeling more balanced.

2. Prioritize important tasks daily

Imagine how balanced life might feel if you used time daily to prioritize your most important tasks. So many people lose productivity points because they become caught in the cycle of working on easy, but relatively unimportant tasks.

When you work on the most important tasks first and get them done you automatically lower stress. By focusing on the most important daily and weekly tasks you also accomplish more. When you prioritize your important tasks, the less important things are then less important. Some may even fall off your radar.

Planning and prioritizing daily and weekly tasks help you become more productive and balanced. Therefore, prioritizing tasks by importance is essential to managing time to achieve a better work-life balance. 

When you prioritize important tasks, you'll still have time to enjoy your hobbies, past times and family. This free Sunday Sanity Summit Planner can help you do a weekly brain-dump. It provides a place for you to land your thoughts from the past week, celebrate your successes, and focus your attention on the week to come.

When you do this regularly, you'll teach yourself how to prioritize your most important tasks and make time for them weekly. 

3. Find flow with your time management personality type

Stop working against yourself and start developing time management strategies based on your Time Management Personality Type. This helps you use your time more effectively.

Have you ever considered that your time habits and behaviors are natural to you? For instance, if you have a preference as a Hopper time personality style, moving from task to task actually energizes you and keeps your productivity up. However, when you leave too many tasks started and open but fail to finish or complete, you will be overly stressed.

  • If you're a Hopper Personality Time Type, it's important for you to create ways to move from task to task. But, understand your tendency to try and juggle too many tasks at one time. Too many spinning plates will crash your creativity, and too few will cause you to be bored. Also, a Hopper who's robbed of movement may find your productivity screech to a halt. So, creating workflows and finding systems to help you to manage tasks, and move or 'hop', will help you keep energy high and be more productive with your time.
  • Conversely, if you're a Hyper-Focus Time Personality Type, the most productive environment allows you periods of time to deeply focus. You truly need to learn how to chunk your day. When you do, you're able to shut down interruptions and barricade yourself away from distractions. If you don't you'll constantly respond to the bells and whistles of real life, and become hijacked at the moment.

To avoid becoming unproductive, your secret skill is to plan and chunk your time to take advantage of your natural body rhythms and the best time of day for you to feel energized and productive. 

These two examples demonstrate the real differences between how different people and personality types effectively manage their time and work. So, to attain work-life balance you'll do well to understand your natural time management personality style preferences.

The Time And Space Style Inventory provides productivity hacks and insight into how you're naturally wired up. Knowing more about yourself can help you create more productive environments and avoid productivity loopholes. Knowing your flow formula can help you identify when procrastinating may help or hurt your ability to complete important tasks.

When you work with your natural style preferences, you learn how to find your natural flow. Being in flow is a huge secret behind work-life balance. When you find ways to get there, you'll keep going back.

4. Focus on each task, individually

Learning to focus is another important skill that leads to feeling work-life balance. When there are many tasks to manage, it’s easy to assume multitasking is the best approach.

Yet, numerous studies have demonstrated huge productivity gaps when shifting tasks. When you switch tasks, it takes you longer to complete them. And when you string several tasks together, nothing gets done.

When you multitask often, you will notice a significant decline in your effectiveness. Multitasking makes you feel overwhelmed and your workflows are more chaotic. Ultimately, multitasking takes you more time to complete the same amount of work.

It’s better to devote your undivided attention to each task and drive to complete it, rather than trying to finish several at once. Even if you are naturally a Hopper personality style, there are more effective ways to complete tasks that will allow you freedom and fluidity while accomplishing more.

Learning to clear the fog and focus are two essential skills that you need to hone to create time for work and family. Don’t get stuck halfway between finished and unfinished tasks. Instead, prioritize your most important tasks daily, then spend your best time focused on essential and important things.

When you focus, you'll get your work completed and have more to spend time with your family.

5. Create a weekly schedule

One of the key reasons multitasking becomes our go-to approach to time is that we fail to clearly define a weekly schedule. When you 'live in the moment' and fail to prioritize your goals and set deadlines, all is nebulous!

When everything is up in the air, there is very little to structure your work life or your family time. You need some framework to lock in your time-awareness.

All things need some type of structure to hold everything together. Imagine designing a building without footings, pylons, or structural support to hold everything up. Your weekly schedule is an essential structure that will help you feel more balance in your life.

Creating a schedule for work is one thing, but you also need to create time for your personal life. When you're a mom, you need a schedule that creates time for everything that’s important to you.

When you create a plan and schedule within the plan, you'll more easily set aside time for work without letting it interfere with family time or other responsibilities and interests.

Whether you use a digital or physical planner, simply having a visual representation of your schedule will make you feel in control of your time. And creating a bird's eye view of your plan for the week helps you 'land' tasks, see where things will happen, and let go of that feeling of overwhelm!

RELATED: 6 Secrets Working Moms Use To Stay Sane (Despite Life's Constant Craziness)

6. Use digital tools for support and reminders

Another way mompreneurs can create a better sense of work-life balance is through consistently using apps and digital tools to support their plans. Today, there are hundreds of electronically-assisted approaches to help you manage your time and find your balance.

In addition to online calendars, there are thousands of mobile apps and programs designed to maximize productivity and streamline all aspects of work. Many of these applications sync across devices (laptops, phones, computers, and iPads/tablets).

Syncing allows you to see all your schedules, task lists, and set alarms and timers anytime throughout the day with any device. But, remember that in order to make the best use of digital tools and apps, you need to plan and schedule when work takes place.

Creating a quarterly plan for your business will help you better manage your schedule, and focus on the most important tasks first. Then, once your tasks are planned out, you can use digital tools more effectively. As mompreneurs, zeroing in on what is most essential quarterly helps you not just get things done, but create room for your life too.

7. Don’t take work home

You hear it all the time, don't take your work home with you! But as a business owner, it's not always possible to keep your work and personal lives separate. There will be times where priorities clash between running your business and 'mom-ing' your family.

In order to create balance, you owe it to yourself and your family to give them the attention they deserve. Otherwise, your family members may become resentful and regret your business. Too often moms cross their business and family time.

It's important to remember when you do need to work on something outside of your typical schedule, avoid cutting into family time. Your kids notice that you're working when you're with them. It's not a surprise that you are scrolling through your phone messages when they want to show you their coolest trick on the swing.

To avoid making your children feel like second class citizens, create an invisible fence between work and play. This space allows you to feel present and your children to feel you're invested in each activity. Make an honest attempt to put the phone away while at the park with your children.

Don't bring your work to the dinner table, and make time for family time with no electronics. Take hikes, walks, join a painting class, or set aside a night a week for family game night. It will make all the difference.

Another opportunity for you to keep an invisible boundary between home and business is to look for co-working spaces. While many choose busy coffee shops to stay energized and focused, there are other ways to accomplish a sense of the workplace.

Co-working spaces are popping up all over. These pod-type environments are very popular with work-from-home professionals. Co-working spaces provide different sized professional office spaces. Some have meeting rooms and wifi. They also provide a real, non-home address to use while your kids are at school.

Rent for these spaces is a fraction of the cost of renting full-time office space. If you find yourself needing the 'external motivation' of outside-the-home office space to stay productive, maybe a co-working space is something that will work for you to create a better work-life balance.

8. Surround yourself with other successful women

Find (or grow) your tribe! This truth may be one of the most under-rated and unspoken secrets of successful mom entrepreneurs. The most successful mom entrepreneurs have gathered a posse of professional colleagues, coaches, supporters and women in business who know what it takes to get successful and stay successful.

If you lack a supportive group around you, life, work, and business are much more difficult.

To find your tribe, seek out professional women near you, or find a collaborative business networking group or mastermind. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Or if you live remotely, research virtual professional networks that can help you find others like you.

Social media platforms can be helpful as well. All you need is a personal profile to create a special group and host local meet-up events. When you find (or build) your tribe, there's no replacing the security and support you'll receive. Having others 'in the same boat' will help you stay accountable to work-life balance that's attainable.

9. Re-energize your hobbies and talents

Recently, I was in a local theater production. Having one of the principal roles was demanding. It took a whole bunch of time to learn my lines, nail down the solos, learn other songs, block and rehearse the scenes.

But, despite spending more time away from my business during rehearsals, I found it actually amped up my productivity during work hours. It is amazing what you can accomplish during office hours when you build some time into your calendar doing what you love.

Whether you enjoy outdoors, cooking, hiking, fitness, yoga, volunteering, community theater, faith-based pursuits or other past-times, make time for what you love weekly. The world needs you to be in your zone. Sharing your talents on life's stage is essential to feeling a sense of balance.

In conclusion, it's hard enough to be a mom, but if you’re part of the majority of mothers who balance work at the same time as parenting, your challenge is even greater.

These tips can help you approach slight shifts in your own behavior that create a better work-life balance. Consistently engaging life management skills helps you stay on top of your schedule and make more time for living and loving your life.

Balance really means your ability to constantly adjust to your family's and business' needs. But, following these tried-and-true tips from those who are already successful can provide a leg up. You can be assured that building your work around your definition of life-balance flips the triangle over and helps you secure your boundaries.

Following these tips help you complete important work, and helps you be the best mom you can.

If you struggle with work-life balance working with a coach can help you remove obstacles and sort out your priorities. Coaching helps you clear the fog and create a framework for the things you need and want to do. You'll gain an accountability partner to help train you to consistently finish what you start.

Working with a coach can help you create a step by step plan designed by and for you. 

RELATED: 8 Proven Ways To Balance Being An Amazing Wife And Mom

Cena Block is a Productivity Consultant and Certified Organizer Coach (COC) for professional women and entrepreneurs with ADHD. She is also the CEO of Sane Spaces and creator of the Time & Space Style Inventory™.

This article was originally published at Sane Spaces. Reprinted with permission from the author.