Learn How to Prioritise in 5 Easy Steps

You know the phrase ‘we all have the same amount of hours in a day’? Does that make you feel like a total failure because you’re not making the most of the 24 hours we’re all given every day? Yeah me too.

Well i’m calling BS on the notion that we all have the same amount of time. I get that there are 24 hours in the day but so much of the day is not our own once we take into consideration the kids, the meal preparation, the kids’ activities that need to be attended. 

  

There are so many ways that time is taken away from us mums.

Let’s face it.  We are time poor.

  

Learn How to Prioritise

If we learn how to prioritise, we can manage the time we do have allocated for work. If you’re like me, you have around 5 hours a day to get it all done.

One thing that will help claw back a bit of time is prioritising. 

  

5 Easy Steps

Here are my 5 easy steps to prioritising what’s important and working on the tasks that really matter.

1. Digital or Paper to do list

Firstly decide if you are a digital or paper list writer. Work out where your to do list is going to be kept and do it all in the one place. I use Asana as I love to be able to jiggle things around and drag and drop to prioritise different things.

2. Sunday night planning

Start your week with a Sunday night planning session by noting down what you want to achieve in the coming week (3-5 things is good).  This is a fantastic way to set yourself up for the week ahead and can take as little as 20 minutes.

3. Break those tasks down

Break those tasks into as many smaller tasks as necessary to get them done. 

4. Prioritise

Next, prioritise your list using the principles; do now, do later, delegate or delete.
Then order the DO NOW tasks so you are working on the most imortant things first.

Please enjoy these other useful blog posts for mums in business. 

5. Repeat

Each evening/morning go back to the list and rework which tasks are high priority to be done NOW. Using this method you know exactly what to start on when you sit at your desk. No faffing and wasting time 🙂

This method keeps me on track and makes the most of my precious work time.

I also find if I get distracted with a meeting or a phone call, these 5 easy steps allow me to get back on track with the right tasks without wasting time wondering what it is I should be doing.

I hope this helps you to prioritise your tasks and make the most of the time that you have available for work.  Which if you’re a mummy, is probably limited, so let’s make the most of it!

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5 Ways I Invested in Myself and in my Business in 2019

Never stop learning.  That’s what we’re told but as an adult there can be limited opportunities to learn new things.  If you’re a business owner however, there is ample opportunity and any opportunity that does arise should be grabbed with both hands.

It took me a while to realise this though!  My husband and his business partner spent some time learning and growing with Kerwin Rae which they found very valuable.  While the stories and lessons that came home with them were amazing; I didn’t see them as relevant to me even though I was running my own business working from home.  I now know I wasn’t taking my business and my personal growth very seriously.

My Business Pivot

Then at the beginning of 2019 I decided to pivot with my business and move into the online sphere. I found a real passion in me to want to help other mums in business with their productivity and businesses.  

Once I found the passion, I found the desire to grow and improve. We all know that growth takes effort but it takes a little financial investment too.  

Read on to see the ways in which I invested in myself and my business in 2019.

1. Pinfinite Growth – Melyssa Griffin

I had watched a couple of webinars of Melyssa’s and decided if I was going to have an online business then Pinterest would be a necessary part of my marketing strategy to drive traffic to my website.  I purchased her course Pinfinite Growth and have found the lessons very valuable. I continue to follow Melyssa online as she talks a lot about mindset and personal growth as well as about the various animals they have rescued and adopted!

2. List Builder’s Society – Amy Porterfield

With an online business, I knew it was essential to start building an email list so I then purchased Amy Porterfield’s course; List Builder’s Society.  This started me on a journey of designing lead magnets and learning ways to attract people onto my list.

3. The Passive Project – Gemma Bonham Carter

Perhaps the most valuable investment for me and my business has been joining the membership group, The Passive Project.  Gemma Bonham Carter is a warm and friendly woman who is rocking the online business world. She describes herself as a Digital Entrepreneur and delivers valuable lessons and content to her members on how to succeed online with digital products.  Having a supportive place to ask all those pressing questions regarding tech, funnels, launches and more is amazing. I have been a member for 7 months now and love the support.

4. Live Your Inspired Life weekend workshop – Inspired Results

I recently spent a weekend delving into my intentions and mindset to live my inspired life.  This weekend gave me clarity of focus, allowed me to learn more about myself and where I want to be in life and led to me choosing to further my studies in hypnotherapy and NLP.

Please enjoy these other useful blog posts for mums in business. 

5. Living My Best Life!

On a personal level I took working on my mindset and my personal growth much more seriously in 2019.  I realised that to achieve success I needed to commit to taking action, have better systems and live an intentional life.

Here is how I am living my best life:

Morning Routine 

– I started getting up at the same time every day and prioritising exercise in the mornings.  For years I told myself I wasn’t a morning person but by finding my magic time of 6.24am, I have proved myself wrong.  It’s all in changing the story that no longer serves you well and taking action.

Self Care

– I have prioritised self care by having a system of daily meditation, doing yoga or a workout in the mornings and by being better at asking for help when I need it around the house.

Mindset

– this is an ongoing process but i’ve been working on manifesting, abundance and belief in myself.  For me, this looks like writing down 3 things i’m grateful for daily, setting my intentions and manifestations in a journal, reading my positive affirmations every day when i sit down at my desk and making sure my negative self talk is kept in check.

 

Of course, I am not perfect and sometimes things slide but with the right mindset, I can bring myself back to my systems and daily rituals.  In the past, I would have thought myself a failure and all but given up.

I hope you have seem some value in reading about the 5 Ways I Invested in Myself and in my Business in 2019.  I’d be interested to hear how you invest in yourself so feel free to leave me a comment below.

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5 Tips for Staying Productive in the School Holidays

School holidays.  Let’s face it, for mums in business, they are hard.  We don’t need to shy away from the fact that it can be a tricky time but what we need to do is find strategies to make school holidays and business work better together.

Don’t get me wrong, of course, it’s great to have the kids home, to be free of the routine that controls our lives for 40 weeks of the year, to stay in pyjamas all day if we choose and to enjoy the mornings not turning into shouting matches.

But how do we get our work done when the kids are in the house? The kids want our attention but we know there are deadlines to meet.  We want to enjoy being with our kids but it can be hard when work is often on our mind.

When help from relatives is limited and child care is non existent (this is me!) it can be stressful trying to continue running a business with kids at home 24/7.

To help overcome the stress of combining kids at home and running a business; here are my 5 tips for staying productive in the holidays.

1. GET UP!

It’s easy to slip into old habits during the holidays but getting up early allows you to find extra time in the day.  Whether that time is to get some work done, do a couple of household chores or to find some ‘me time’ for exercise, mediation or journalling.  The morning is precious time that can be used in a really productive way. Admittedly, I do set the alarm an hour later than when school is on!  We all need a bit of a break from the norm don’t we?!!

2. CREATE A NEW SYSTEM

I find having a system is the only way to ensure I remain relaxed about getting my work done.  If I have created set times when i know i will get my work done, I can relax when I am with the kids because I’m not stressing about work.

The trick is to create a new system that works for the holidays.  For me, that is working early in the morning and at night. Not necessarily every day but as long as I know I have created that time in my week, I can relax and enjoy my time with the kids.

3. HAVE A CLEAR PLAN

Use Sunday night to prepare then head into the week with a clear plan in place.  Knowing what to work on and when to do it removes the stress of having work on your mind.  Trying to squeeze work in amongst all the other activities and demands from the kids is a recipe for failure. 

4. DO THE BARE MINIMUM

The long summer school holiday is perhaps not the time to go for that major rebrand or to launch a new product.  It is however a great time to plan for those things. Work out what the bare minimum looks like for your business and stick to that.  Keeping up with social media, emails and a few other necessary tasks will keep your business ticking over but relieve some stress during this busy time.

Please enjoy these other useful blog posts for mums in business. 

5. AVOID DISTRACTIONS

When you do get the chance to work it is important to remove all other distractions so you can be your most productive.  Leave your phone in another room, put the tv on for the kids if you have to, stick on your headphones and do what you need to do in the most efficient time you can.  

Do you have more than 5 tips for staying productive in the school holidays?  Let me know what else you would add to this list to help with managing business and kids?

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The Working Mums Survival Guide For December

How are you coping with December working mummy?  It’s a time when there is more to do, more places to be and what seems like less time to do it.

Work can be more busy with deadlines needing to be hit for the Christmas rush or just so you can take a break over the festive period.  Your kids are more busy with their end of term activities and Christmas ‘stuff’. And we are more busy because let’s face it, the majority of present buying and organising for Christmas falls in our laps.

To help keep us sane; my early christmas present to you is the 12 points below in my ‘Working Mums Survival Guide For December’.

1. ASK FOR HELP

Rather than tie ourselves in a knot with everything that needs doing, we simply just need to ask when we need help.  So often we get caught up in thinking we have to do everything when we don’t. Some husbands and kids simply don’t see all the things that you know need to be done – so ask!

2. DELEGATE

Write out a list of tasks that could be done by your husband, partner or kids and delegate.  I’m pretty sure your partner in life could cope with buying a couple of gifts if you told him/her what to get.  I’m also pretty sure the kids (depending on their age) can wrap presents, sweep the floor, do the dishes or whatever it is that will make your life easier.

3. SHOP ONLINE

Avoiding the shops is a good idea but we may have left it a little late for online gift shopping.  Food shopping however is a dream online so if you can’t face the crowds at the supermarket on Christmas Eve, do it online.

4. SELF CARE

Keep looking after yourself.  What does that look like to you? Exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep; do what it takes to have some ‘me time’ to help keep you sane.

5. KEEP PRESENT BUYING TO A MINIMUM

I promise you the kids do not need ALL the stuff that is being marketed to them at this time of year.  I promise you, they won’t remember the plastic toy that you gave them when were 6. What they will remember is the ‘time’ you spent together and the ‘feeling’ of Christmas.

If you have a large family, do a Christingle or arrange beforehand for each family to buy one present for another family so you all get one present each.

This will save you the massive headache of coming up with ideas for everyone as well as save your bank account from running dry.

6. DO THE BARE MINIMUM

Seriously guys, do not get sucked into the Insta worthy family photo shoots with everyone in matching pyjamas and think because you’re not doing it then you’re not ‘doing’ Christmas.  Take away the comparison game and pick a couple of traditions that feels right for your family.

Keep it simple.  We have a Christmas Eve box.  That’s pretty much it for our Christmas tradition.  It contains 5 christmas cards, one for each member of the family.  We write messages in them to each family member to be opened on Christmas Day, a Christmas movie, a new decoration for the tree, some Christmas craft activities and a jigsaw puzzle.  Too easy.

7. BE SELECTIVE

Learn to say no.  You cannot attend every event for either work or fun. You don’t want tired and grumpy kids so sometimes we have to say no.  Also be selective about the people you see if at all possible.

8. DON’T GO ANYWHERE NEAR SHOPS WITH KIDS!!

Honestly, if you want to keep your sanity DO NOT go anywhere near shops with your kids in tow as we get closer to Christmas.  I try to sneak out to go late night shopping when my husband is home with the kids. How much quicker and easier is it when you’re on your own?

9. BUY FOOD

Do not feel like you have to home make every little morsel to be eaten over the festive period.  It is far too time consuming and way too much pressure. If you have to take food to school activities, gatherings or such, then buy it.  Lie about it if you have to! At the very least keep it really simple. It’s summer here in Australia so dips and veggie sticks or a selection of the most delicious summer fruits are always winners.  If it’s winter for you, then grab some store bought mince pies.

10. PLAN 

Get everything out of your head and down into lists.  Plan for gift buying, plan the meal for Christmas day, plan what needs doing for work from now until the new year, plan what outfits everyone is going to wear for Christmas.  I cannot emphasise enough how much planning will help you not to lose your shit.

11. CELEBRATE YOUR 2018 SUCCESSES

Take a moment to savour how much you have achieved over the last year.  When it all gets a bit crazy, we often forget how amazing we are because we’re so caught up in being busy and getting stressed.  Take a look at your work achievements, your personal achievements and how great it is that your kids are fed and watered. Every little bit counts and the family keeps on running largely because of us and our brilliance.  Celebrate it! Now might be the time for a gin!

12. GET EXCITED FOR THE NEW YEAR AND WHAT IT WILL BRING FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR BUSINESS

Finally, at some point over the festive period, take some time to plan ahead to get excited about what is coming up in 2020.  This will really help with your enthusiasm and motivation to get through Christmas and into the exciting things that lie ahead.  Woot Woot!

Don’t let December get you down.  It is a crazy time of year, but with this working mums survival guide you can have a lovely stress-free, fun-filled family time.

I’d love to hear from you about how you celebrate your Christmas and how December goes.

Much love for now…
Nicola

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5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to have a Productive Day

Some days I just don’t feel like it.  Some days it’s a struggle to get out of bed, get the kids organised for school and get everyone out the door with shoes on that all motivation seems to have flown out the window by the time I sit at my desk.  Do you sometimes feel like this too?

Motivation is a funny thing when you work alone at home.  I love working from home and I love being my own boss but it does mean that there is no one to keep me on track.  I am my own champion, my own goal kicker and to do this I need motivation to have a productive day.

As many working mums do, I work during school hours so my working day is significantly smaller than the norm.  It is for this reason that I have focused my energies on supporting mums with home based businesses to be productive.

I know that productivity is the secret sauce to being a mum and a successful business owner.  Discover your greatness by having your most productive day every day using these 5 ways to motivate yourself.

1. Go Back to Your Why

If you have delved deep into why you are doing what you do then that is a huge motivation to keep achieving.  When you feel in a slump, simply remember your why and that will give you a kick start to get going again.  

My reason for showing up everyday and doing my 4 hours alone at my desk, is to allow me to have the time and financial freedom to be there for my kids.  To take them on adventures, have the odd meal out and provide for our future. We are all different, so take the time to work out why you have chosen to have your own business.  And come back to it regularly.

2. To-do Lists

Lists are my favourite things when it comes to organising my time.  Be strategic with lists however, or you will find that it’ll be a never ending list of things to do.  It is important to be concentrating on the RIGHT things to bring you closer to your goals.

For motivation to increase, start achieving your list of tasks and get that sense of achievement.  If you know you are showing up and taking small steps towards a bigger goal, you’ll be motivated to do more of the same.

TIP 1!

Work out if you are a pen and paper or digital person when it comes to your to-do lists.  I love using Asana and now write everything down there.

TIP 2!

A good way to organise your tasks is to have 7-10 big annual goals, then 2-3 quarterly goals, break those down into monthly tasks to help you reach those goals and then have around 3 outcomes per week plus a daily win.

3. Stop Procrastinating 

If you are procrastinating then you are letting your fears put a dent in your motivation.  Procrastination is the habit that develops when we feel scared of a task. As humans we want to keep ourselves safe so we will always take the easy option rather than put ourselves out of our comfort zone.  The ‘stuff’ we do to stay safe often looks like; scrolling social media, spending time on household tasks rather than work, or doing work tasks that are easy & familiar rather than digging deep into the jobs that challenge you.

To have an awesomely productive day, my advice is to break the task that is causing you to procrastinate down into bite size chunks, face the fear and take baby steps to get it done.

4. Reward

If you are the type of person that works well when there is a reward upon completion then implement a system for yourself.  Whether it’s a food reward, a self care treat or a trip to the shops if you reach your goal; do what it takes to motivate yourself to get your tasks done.

5. Take a Break

If you’re feeling unmotivated and tired, my advice is not to work through it but to change things up a bit.  Sometimes we simply need a break. Doing some exercise, taking a walk around the garden, listening to a guided meditation, making a cup of herbal tea (or coffee!) can all be enough refresh and refocus.   5 or 10 minutes of doing something away from your desk will work wonders to get that motivated feeling back.

Hopefully these 5 ways to motivate yourself to have a productive day will help you have your best day every day.  Go working mumma, go get it done! If you have any other suggestions of what works for you; I’d love to hear them so drop a comment below.

Much love for now…
Nicola

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The Daily Win

If it’s true that winners are grinners then perhaps by turning ourselves into a winner every single day we can be grinning as well as feeling positive and having a heap of momentum in our business.  The daily win is one way to reward ourselves for all the effort we are putting in. A virtual pat on the back. Or a tick box of warm of fuzzies.

By celebrating a daily win, we are allowing ourselves to sit back and say congratulations on all that we have achieved.  Even if its something as simple as sending an email or getting a meal in the slow cooker before you sit down to work.

Having more than one daily win is fine too.  In fact, I try to celebrate 3 things that I’ve achieved in one day.  I keep it simple, the wins need to be achievable, otherwise it will have the opposite effect and I’ll feel like a failure for not making it.

Why is the daily win important? 

Being a home-based business owner and mum can mean we are working alone with no one to share our wins with or bounce ideas off.  We often have a to-do list as long as our leg because it’s not just business that needs taking care of. By celebrating the daily win, we are saying Yes to the Dress, or rather a big fat Yes to getting stuff done.

Celebrating the wins helps to keep a positive mindset, it brings a sense of achievement and ultimately it helps overall productivity.

Here’s a short guide to how The Daily Win can work for you.

1. Set Intentions

Personally I use a notebook and write down 3 things i’m grateful for every morning.  Coming from a place of gratitude will ensure a much more positive mindset. I then write down an intention for the day and why this intention is going to be good for me and my business. 

2. Set Tasks

To have a win, you first need to lay out your tasks.  I’m a keen user of Asana for my to-do lists. It allows me to list everything that needs to be done and has the all important tick box to show completion. 

 

3. Review

This is the part of the daily win that shouldn’t be missed. To give yourself the all important pat on the back, it’s necessary to review what has been achieved.  As a mum working in school hours, my days are jam packed with work so I prefer to do a little review once the kids are in bed. I take the time to see what has been completed, what still needs to be finished and what the intention and tasks will be for the following day.

 

4. Communicate The Wins

If a review doesn’t seem like enough of a celebration of your wins then look for an accountability partner or some way to communicate your wins out loud.  High fiving your hubbie is one way. Or find another female business owner who is also looking for a way to celebrate wins. We are social beings so its natural for us to want to shout about our achievements.

 

5. Reward

Do something that brings you pleasure and helps you to stay motivated for the next win.  This helps to program yourself to reach more goals. This can be as simple as sitting in the sun for 10 minutes at the end of a task or having a block of chocolate.

If you could use a little help with motivation and being productive, perhaps you could implement a system of celebrating a daily win into your work day.  Let me know how you go and what your system is, it’s always good to learn new ways of doing things.

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