As a working mum with so many children, the question I am asked the most is how I stay organised and focus, and the reality is I have no choice, to plan to succeed or to leave it to chance!
So here is my routine, and it would be the same if I worked for someone else rather than myself.
Mornings are important to me and so is sleep. Some people work better at night before they go to sleep so if I do that, I am up half the night thinking about the tasks I should finished.
So I believe we are very hard on ourselves, with all the to-do lists, playing taxi driver and being mummy, and driving your own career forward and sometimes it isn’t possible to get everything done. I have only 4 out of my 7 children (yes they are still your children when they are technically grownups) but it’s still difficult to get motivated and focus on the goals.
This is my routine and it might work for you, and it might not.
First of all I have my WHY. I want the best life for my children but I have to look after myself first and feel my best so I indulge in a book or Netflix before bed AFTER I have written down my to-do list for the next day and roughly drawn out a timetable for the next day – I use google calendar as it is synched to work computers and phones and my Facebook page for customer appointments.
6.30am I get up, make coffee, empty the dishwasher and put the washing machine on. It means I don’t look at Facebook or emails first and not until that coffee is made
6.45 – 7.15 I reply to Facebook messages and emails, check my bank account and log into clear books and update the accounts – yes every day. No build up. Some people use quickbooks, others use a bookkeeper or accountant but once a day I check the money and allocate payments out and in. Sometimes there aren’t any, but there is never a case of “I wonder what that was for.” I know and am in control of it.
7.15 I get ready and get everyone up. Uniforms etc are ready from the night before so it’s just a classic case of motivating your team in the morning, only it is a team of 7, 11 and 12 year old children!
I usually leave an outfit handy for the morning for myself, just like I do with the kids uniforms – it means I am not wasting time in the morning wondering what I am going to wear! Taking away some choices means you make decisions faster.
By 8am my house is up and breakfasts are made. We are lucky we don’t leave until 8.30am but it gives everyone time to gather their thoughts, bags, lunch money, breaks etc. I hate feeling rushed.
9am -9.15 on a workday is Costa. It’s the last chance for me time before I start working. You could be in the car, on a train, or working from home. I use this 15 minutes to do my Facebook and Instagram scrolling and read the newspaper. It makes me feel like I am in touch with the outside world.
9.30 I start work. I already know the plan for the day, it’s just time to implement it. I try to prioritise the tasks and get big horrible jobs done first so they aren’t nagging at me all day. The longer you put them off, the worse it becomes! I set deadlines for certain jobs so that they are done and dusted (well until the next time)
I usually check in on messages at lunchtime. If I was to sit on a computer the whole day it would drive me crazy but also I have other physical jobs to do so I have to make sure I don’t fall into the rabbit hole of sitting dipping in and out of social media.
There is a day where I create content and focus on the message I am going to put on social media for the next week, and that is Sunday. I look forward to gathering my thoughts, and think of my intentions for the week ahead.
So just to recap
- Getting up Earlier than everyone in your house is key
- Not going onto social media first is essential
- Having a routine including down time helps productivity
- Not all lists can be completed
- Know where you are going
- Break tasks down into manageable parts
- Done is better than perfect
- Set deadlines for the jobs you hate and avoid
- Timetable your day and be realistic!