Let’s be real. Motivation can be quite difficult sometimes. You’ll often wonder why you keep trying to do what you do, and when you’re a parent business owner, it becomes even more challenging to stay motivated.
Thankfully, there are a couple of different things that you can do to stay motivated, and we thought we would take a look at some of them here and now. As motivation ties directly into productivity, it’s so important to make sure that you stay committed to getting things done.
Switch off Notifications
First thing that you can do to make sure that you stay productive even when you’re not motivated to switch off notifications on social media platforms and news sites. These are just gateways into procrastination, which is why you need to make sure that you are minimising your exposure to them when you’re trying to work.
When motivation is a problem, the best thing that you can do is prioritise your work. Pick out those tasks which need to be done urgently, and focus on them. When you start to clear down some of your to-do lists, you’ll feel much more productive.
Focus On Your Motivation
Everybody has a reason for doing everything. As a parent business owner, you’ll have a motivation for starting this enterprise. It might be that you’re trying to provide for your children. It might be something that you wanted to do for yourself. Whatever that motivation is, focus on it. It will help you to find the willpower required to just keep going.
Focus On You
Sometimes, being productive means focusing on yourself. So if you feel like you’re getting to a point where you’re losing motivation, you should just take a couple of minutes to do something different. Stand up, walk around, maybe play a game, get yourself something to eat, whatever you want. It’s all about just focusing on yourself for a few moments so that you can approach things with a fresh perspective.
A really good way to stay productive is to celebrate success whenever you see it. So if you do something like tidy up your desk, or complete a document for a client, celebrate that. Give yourself a pat on the back, because you don’t have the motivation, so anything you do is an achievement. If you celebrate the little successes, then you’ll have more motivation to work towards the big ones.
In conclusion, motivation can be a difficult thing to maintain, but if you know what to do, then you’ll be fine. It’s all about focusing on what’s important. There’s a lot of things that we can do during the day which don’t really have much relevance, and all they do is serve to distract you from the important stuff. You have to focus on the things which make you feel like you’ve accomplished something that day. If it’s finally finishing up on a big project, or doing some admin to get things back under control, it’s all-important. Remember to celebrate your successes too, and remember that the most important part of this business is you. It’s not the clients or the customers, it’s you and what you think is important. Work accordingly.
As a parent business owner, there’s a lot of responsibility in your hands. You have to make sure that you are efficiently running the business and raising your children all at the same time. Understandably, this can take a lot of focus.
Staying productive and focused can take effort sometimes, but there are things you can do to make sure that you are maintaining the best mindset possible, and we’ll be taking a look at them here and now.
Make a To-Do List
The first thing that you can do is to make a to-do list — having a series of tasks to complete and a specific mission to accomplish means that you are more likely to retain a level of focus and motivation. The list of things will slowly go down over the day so that you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Take Regular Breaks
Something else that you can do to make sure that you are maintaining focus and motivation is to take regular breaks. The mind needs a few moments every so often to recharge and gather itself. Take a break, get up and do something else, and then come back to your desk with a fresh take.
When you are trying to stay motivated and focused, you have to love yourself. We’re all our own worst critics. There’s a lot that we know we could have done, or should have done, and it can absolutely wreck your confidence to try and cope with the different thoughts. You need to be kind to yourself and accept that in a lot of instances, you’re doing what you can.
Lean On Your Partner
If you’re in business with someone, or you just have a partner who you raise your kids with, you should lean on them to help you stay focused and motivated. Talk about your day and your struggles, and make sure that they know you’re going through what can potentially be a tough time. They can help to provide crucial support, so lean on them where you need to.
Remind Yourself Why
When you are struggling to remember why you bother to keep this business going, you need to make sure that you are remembering the reason you do this. Perhaps it’s your kids that inspire you, or a desire to make something incredible with your bare hands. Whatever your motivation, hold onto it.
Overall, these are just some of the different things that you can do to make sure that you remain focused and motivated when you need to. It’s not always easy, but it can be doable during the critical moments of business. Remember to split your time evenly between your business and your home life – one should not cause you to be unable to make time for the other. Both should be equally important, and it is up to you to make sure that you are remaining focused, motivated, and ready to make a difference.
Productivity, like efficiency, is one of the most important words in your vocabulary as an entrepreneur. If you want to make sure that you use your time wisely, you have to have the systems in place to do it. And that means that your office has to be designed in a way that benefits your style of working.
Office design is about 3 things: function, style and organisation. It’s only when you balance these things that you create the perfect workspace.
But what does that look like for you?
A Clearly Defined Workspace
One of the most important things you need when you work from home is a clearly defined workspace. But this is also the same in a corporate space. Though you might only have room for a desk and chair at home, in a corporate office, there is often room to create different zones for different styles of working.
Zoning is a good way to change your perspective and encourage you to work in a particular way. For example, a wide space filled with squashy beanbags, a load of games and art materials would be much more likely to trigger a creative process than an empty boardroom. Creating a space for each type of work you do is a good way to put on the different ‘working hats’ you have and change your methods accordingly. In other words, spaces influence your behaviour.
Furniture that Helps You Work Well
Everyone likes to work in a different way. For some, sitting at a desk is preferable but for others, chilling out on a sofa with a laptop is more productive. Understanding that most people actually like to have a choice is a good way to start choosing the right furniture.
Every office should have a space for more relaxed work and meetings as well as spaces for people to work individually and together. Some of the coolest offices in the world have found all kinds of ways to create defined spaces or zones. Some use quirky furniture like picnic tables and swing chairs to create more fun, creative spaces. Others use smaller pods to introduce private and quiet spaces to work. But the thing that links them all together is that each space is carefully designed for a particular purpose and the furniture guides that purpose.
Organisation Techniques for a Tidy Space
If you want to be productive, you need to be able to access your work easily and reduce the number of distractions around you. That’s why the organisation is so crucial in offices. If your desk is piled up with stuff, you’re going to spend far more time looking for the relevant things than you need. And, you’ll probably have a cleanliness issue to deal with sooner or later too.
While work zones will really help your organisation overall, you should also purge the office of things that are no longer needed on a regular basis. You should also encourage everyone in the office to spend 5-10 minutes on a Friday clearing their desk and getting ready for the following week.
Once you start finding ways to improve your productivity, it’s just a case of refining your ideas and making the most of your time.
When you are a parent business owner, it can sometimes be challenging to take charge of your time effectively. We all have things that we want to do – whether they are spending time with the kids, or improving the business, they are essential. However, when the time is not effectively managed, it comes trying to put aside the hours that are needed.
To try and help remedy this situation, we are going to be taking a look at five ways that you can take charge of your time.
No More Excuses
How many times have you looked at the task you didn’t tickly want to do, but had to do, and then thought “Eh, I’ll do it another day “.
Well, you would be forgiven if you did that. We all do it, and it may not be the best habit. If you want to take charge of your time, you have to stop making excuses as to why you can’t do things. You have to commit to sitting down and doing them, no matter how long they take because it’s something that needs to be done.
Identify Your Goals
Typically, people are managing their time to try and achieve a goal. So, it stands to reason that you need to identify what your goals are before you can begin managing time to accomplish them.
This is not a difficult task. It can be as easy as writing down a list of things you want to achieve. It might be time to go into the gym or more time to spend with the kids, but having a list gives you focus.
Have a Support Network
If you’re going to try and take charge of your time, then you need to make sure you have a support network that can help you. People who can hold you accountable for your time and push you to accomplish even more are wonderful influences.
If you’ve got a distraction in your life which is stopping you from getting the most out of your time, remove it from the picture. It’s easy to do, and you’ll feel so much better for having done it. Cut out the distractions, and focus on that one thing where possible.
Be Patient With Yourself
Retraining your mind to try and take advantage of your time in new ways isn’t always easy. You’re going to struggle at first to break old habits and the most important thing that you can do in this period is to be easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re struggling, instead just try and patient. It’ll work out in the end.
So, to summarise, these are just a few of the different things that you can do when you want to get the most out of your time and take charge of it. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it when you figure out how to start maximising the hours in the day you have to make time for what matters.
Effective time management can seem an impossible task. You are trying to work, run a household, look after the kids and act as the frontline for anything new and unexpected. It is no wonder you sometimes feel like all you do is a race around yet the to-do pile remains stacked high, and nothing seems to get done.
Here are three simple ways to control your productivity.
Create a Plan
Make lists. Lists are the best way to ensure you have a clear plan in your head. Whether you prefer to have a pen and paper type list or you get an app to control your list for you, the important thing is to use it. Section tasks into three categories. High, medium and low priority, as this makes it even easier to see what you need to do next. High priority tasks should be those that need completing within the day, that really cannot wait, and that have a considerable significance to your work. Being more organised and structured immediately adds to productivity. Low priority tasks can wait for another day but if you get through everything else you know you can tackle them and get them off the list. It is quite satisfying to watch the task list dwindle, however, if things do not go according to plan and the workload is still not getting done, instead of beating yourself up, remember that you have done the planning work so tomorrow should be more accessible.
Section Your Day
Once you have your to-do list, you know what order the work is going in. The next step is to ensure you section your day into manageable chunks. Bring a parent entrepreneur changes over time so you can subtle tweak your day to get things in. As the children get older you will often find you have more extended time chunks available to work; when they are younger, you will just have to bear with things as they inevitably interrupt you. By creating work sections in your day, and taking breaks in between, you should find it is more comfortable even with little ones. Breaks are significant as you need to recharge your batteries so continually working through meals times and all other events are not suitable for you or for the business. Split the day into 30-minute sections and in between make yourself get up, use the restroom, make a drink and walk around for a bit. If you have children around at that time spend ten mins with them.
Limited Social Time
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters. It is all too easy if you work alone from home to find yourself checking in to see what is happening on Facebook. Make a plan that during your chunks of time you have allowed for working you will also stay off social media. Take calls that are work-related or emergency child related and leave the rest until you have finished for the day or have taken a break. Catch up with your social media before you start and if needs be close social browser windows and silence notifications.
We run a productivity challenge sign up for the next one here.
One of the hardest things to master when you run your own business is your productivity. Whilst you are going to want to make sure that your business is a success, from time to time you can find that you feel your focus start to drift, particularly if there are things going on within your family life.
The trouble is, the only person who can help to make sure that you are productive is you. You are in charge of your own productivity and this means that you need to take control and make it work.
We know that this isn’t easy, particularly for parentpreneurs, so with this in mind, we have put together some of our top tips for taking back control of your productivity.
Take regular breaks
Now we know that this one probably sounds really weird, but the truth of the matter is that we need to take regular breaks in order to recharge and refresh ourselves. There are going to be times when you are going to want to power through those tasks, but if you feel yourself flagging then take yourself away from the screen, if only just for a few minutes.
Embrace the quick wins
Whilst too much multitasking or getting distracted isn’t great for your productivity, there are times when it pays to drop what you are doing and move to something else. This is particularly true if you have found yourself a quick win. If you know a task is only going to take a few minutes then do it. Not only will it give you a big tick on the to-do list but will remind you that you can get things done too!
Now, multi-tasking is entirely another thing. Whilst we think we are capable of focusing on 100 things at once, the truth is that we are really not. Instead, our brains need to have one thing at a time to think about. Give up on the idea that you are going to be able to multi-task and instead give your full attention to one particular job. You will soon get that task done and then you can move onto the next.
Turn off your notifications
If you are the type of person who is easily distracted (and let’s face it we all are) then you will want to try and minimise the risk that your eyes will wander. Turn off all notifications on your phone and laptop, apart from the ones that are incredibly important. That way, if someone is trying to get in touch with you, then you know it is for something that you have to do. Not just because they have uploaded a great video of a cat to Facebook.
Set times for key tasks
Things, like checking your emails or working on your to-do list, are things that everyone has to do on a daily basis. However, you can find that you get bogged down replying to messages and sorting out which is the most priority. Instead, set certain times throughout the day when you will focus on these tasks, then for the rest of the time, they are not something that you will need to look at.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that you can try to improve your own productivity. Sometimes the key is to remind yourself just why you are doing what you do and that should give you the push you need to reach your goals.
Are you ready to optimise your time and boost your productivity?
Join our Productivity challenge for parents running a business
Time is something that we all wish we had more of, this is particularly true for parentpreneurs who are going to feel that they are already stretched as much as possible.
Are you one of these parentpreneurs? Do you wish that there was some kind of magic wand that you could wave and make some more time?
Well, it may not be a magical solution, but we have some helpful hints that could really help you to try and save some time in everyday life. In fact, we have put together 7 productivity hacks that could really save you some much needed time.
Get the jobs you hate out of the way first
Whilst plenty of parentpreneurs are lucky enough to do something that they love. There are still some tasks that you are going to like less than others. The trouble with these jobs is that most of us are likely to put them off throughout the day. This means when the time comes to actually get them done you are going to feel less than motivated, and it could take longer than it should.
Rather than setting these to do at the end of the day, it is a much better idea to get these out of the way first. Not only will your brain be awake and alert, but you won’t be worrying the rest of the day that you need to get it done.
Tackle the quick wins
Not only does it pay to get rid of the tricky tasks first, but you may also find yourself saving some time by tackling the quick wins too. If you know that something is only going to take a few minutes to resolve, then tick these off the list first, this will reduce your to-do list in no time at all.
It will also help you to feel motivated to get things done, particularly other tasks that may take a little more time and a little more thought.
Try to avoid distractions
When you work from home there is always going to be plenty of things around to distract you. Social media, housework, our friends and family. All of these things can take your focus away from your work and leave you falling a little behind. This means, rather than tackling your to-do list, you will instead spend too much time trying to catch up on yourself.
Turn off your notifications on your phone, tablet and laptop and make sure that people remember that you are trying to work. Also, if you can, shut yourself away from the rest of the house, as then you won’t be tempted to wash up or load the washing machine.
Get away from your desk
It may seem like the opposite of being productive, but sometimes the best way to get your work done is to get away from it for a short amount of time. If you are sat at your desk for an extended period of time then after a while you are likely to feel a little stale. Getting up, away and active will give you a fresh new focus and help you to achieve all those things you set out to do that day.
This works best if you head outside for at least 10-15 minutes, but if you are really short for time, then perhaps just sit in the garden for 5 minutes.
Find ways to make things simple
Technology has been invented to try and make all our lives that little bit easier. Which means if you have the opportunity to do simple tasks that you need to carry out every day for your business, then take it.
There are a variety of ways that you can make your workflow that little bit easier. This comes in the form of apps and online tools that can help you to keep track of your workflow, record your finances and communicate with clients or colleagues.
Plan on a Sunday
Find that you lose time on a Monday morning planning in the things that you need to get done that week? Well, rather than wasting a precious few minutes, it makes sense to take an hour on a Sunday night to plan in all the tasks that you need to get done.
You can head off to bed knowing that you have everything in place for the next day and you can get up and focus on the actual tasks you need to do.
Have a no meetings day
Does the nature of your business mean that you need to join in on conference calls or perhaps attend meetings? If you are finding that these are eating into your working time, then perhaps it is a good idea to set yourself a no-contact day. This day gives you a chance to focus yourself on your work and really battle through the tasks that you need to get done, without having to be interrupted.
Of course, this may not always be possible to do on a weekly basis, but if you plan in every couple of weeks, or even once a month if you need to. Then you will be surprised by just how much you can achieve.
Now you know, there are some things that you can do to give yourself a little more time every now and then. How you spend that time is down to you. But one thing is for sure, you are really going to value having even just a few minutes a day.
Do you want to optimise your time and boost your productivity?
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We all love the idea of making our lives easier. This is why plenty of us will try out life hacks, all to make sure that things take less time such as cleaning, as well as less effort.
What if there were ways that you could make business that little bit easier? Great if you are a parentpreneur and already short on time.
Well, we present to you, 3 areas of business that you can automate. That’s right, you can set them up to do things on your behalf, saving you plenty of time!
Social media and blogs
Social media and blogging have become vital parts of effective marketing campaigns. They are both known to have a real impact on how successful your business is. The trouble with social media is that it can take some time to log in, create posts and then share them.
This is where automated social media and blogging is a huge help. Whilst it can’t write the posts for you, it can post them onto your profiles or pages. All you need to do is create a whole load of posts and blogs, tell the platform when to post them (date, time etc) and then, just like magic, your posts will appear.
Customer service, especially great customer service is very important for your business. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t something that can be given an automated touch. The hard thing about this is making sure that you don’t lose the personal touch.
Automated customer service, in particular apps or live chats, are great for those businesses that have tech-savvy, younger customers. But those that target to an older crowd might find that they need to still take an old-fashioned approach. This is why it might be a good idea to try and offer both an “actual person” and an automated option to your customers.
That way, they can try out an automated approach, but still, have the chance to speak to someone if that isn’t giving them the answers that they need.
Some business owners only have themselves to think about and organise. But others have staff that they need to keep track of too. Scheduling is important, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t without headache.
Thankfully, it seems that some companies have seen this issue, and designed automated scheduling tools that make this side of business all the easier. You can find out where your staff are, and when they are available, as well as organise shifts and rotas. All using a few clicks of the button.
Better than spending hours trying to figure things out on a pad.
Business will always be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be “hard work”. By looking at ways that you can make things simpler for yourself, you can free up some more time to spend with your family or making moves to make your business even more of a success.
I use Acuity Scheduling you can try it here
For social media scheduling I use Smarter Queue you can try it here
Disclosure: Links in this post (and anywhere on www.parentsinbiz.co.uk) may be affiliate links. Find out what that means here.
This episode covers, Productivity is the key and even though there will be times when it eludes you, there is always something you can do to keep things on track. To help you to make the most of your time, we have put together 6 brilliant business productivity habits
Thanks for listening!
Working from home can be a great thing. It is perfect for achieving a work-life balance and cuts down on time spent commuting or travelling.
That said, working from home can also be difficult. There are plenty of distractions around to stop you from focusing on all the things that you need to get done, and you also rely solely on yourself for motivation.
So, how do you make sure that you work from home as effectively as possible? Here are 3 things that can help you to work from home.
A clearly defined working space
If you are finding it a struggle to work from home, then perhaps you need to give yourself some space to think and work. You may not be blessed with a spare room that you can work in, but chances are that you will have a spare corner that you can set up a desk for you to sit at during working hours.
It is a good idea to decorate this space a little differently to other parts of your house. Perhaps have a calendar and whiteboard on the wall by the desk, which shows you that you are at work and need to focus. You can also take advantage of the power of plants, they brighten up the space and detoxify the air around you, which will help you to feel healthy and be motivated to work.
A to-do list
You should never underestimate the power of a to-do list. Having all of the tasks written down that you need to do will give you focus on the tasks at hand. You will also have some idea of how you can plan out your day and what you need to do. Not only this, but there is nothing more satisfying than being able to tick off the tasks that you have finished, creating a visual tool to help focus on what you need to complete.
The way that you create or display your to-do list is down to you. Have it hanging on the wall, make a fancy spreadsheet or simply scribble it down in your diary. The main thing is just to have a list put together.
Still, try to communicate with the outside world
Working from home on a regular basis can feel like you are completely isolated and separate from the rest of the world. Communicating with those outside is key. If you are invited out for a coffee with friends and you can free the time then accept. Not only will it help you to keep on track with your friendships, but it will make sure that you take a good break from your work too. This break will help you to focus when you get back to your desk and also make you feel great too.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to motivate yourself when you work from home, just make sure that you follow these top tips and you are likely to find yourself getting absolutely everything done that you need to. All from the comfort of your own home.