How to Know What and When to Delegate

Have you also noticed that as an entrepreneur and a mother we easily get caught up in doing the same things over and over? We often let our old responsibilities become so engrained in our minds as what “needs to get done” that we just get into a routine to accomplish them.

Unfortunately, over time it can become more evident that you are outgrowing some of those responsibilities or chores. Some of the things you have always done become a waste of time and resources that can easily be delegated to others. Delegation is a skill set that a hear a lot my clients say they don’t think they can efficiently do. They have a fear of losing the control of their work quality and having to trust someone else to do something that they can do and do it as well as they would have.

Many of my clients have told me in the past that they simply don’t believe a leadership comes naturally to them. And, though this is a very understandable concern, it’s also one that proves consistently to be a non-issue. Of course, there are coaches out there (like me) that can and will happily help you to feel confident to grow into a leadership role.

You Already Know How to Lead

But what most of my clients fail to recognize or give themselves proper credit for is that as a mother, you are already a leader! You already successfully delegate things that need to get done to your spouse, your family, and your children. Chores that need done around the house like yard work, laundry, dinner planning and preparation are (hopefully) passed out evenly amongst the others around the house. As a mom, it probably just makes no sense to do everything on your own while everyone else sits watching TV. As as true as this is for your home, it is absolutely just as true for your business.

In order to reach the next level of productivity in your business you really need to consider reaching out and asking for the help you need. Once you determine what you need someone to do, it is also critical to ensure that you organize yourself and your needs so the help you do hire can be as effective as possible for you.

The beauty of having someone who wants to help you is you can rely on them to really step up and step in, just taking some of the easier tasks off your plate that are time consuming. And, as a bonus, just think about how much time delegation will actually give you to spend with your children (or friends, or sleeping).

Baby Steps to Delegation

And remember you don’t have to think on a enormous scale here, either. Think about simply hiring a part-time, capable virtual assistant. VAs can help with so much because of the blessing of new technology. Simple tasks that you spend considerable time on or busy work (think social media, bookkeeping, marketing or even just simple sales follow up for your webinars and program participants). In the long run, it takes so much less money to pay someone who is proficient and professional, particularly if you calculate how much time you spend on the tasks plus your hourly rate.

The fall season is a great time to take a step back and start considering some business areas where you can use some help. You still have time to get organized to implement and hire that out in 2017 and take some of your own time back! Not sure where to start? I can help you! Contact me today for your free Discovery Session.

Continue Reading

Top Three Tips for Summer Success as a Mompreneur

summer success

When it is cold and windy outside, we all find ourselves daydreaming of the warmth and freedom of the summertime, don’t we? Unfortunately, then the summer actually comes around and some of us have mixed feelings about its arrival. Suddenly as wonderful as the warm weather is, we also realize that this means the school year is over and our schedules majorly shift. It’s also not uncommon to go into a programmed “relaxation mode” in the summer. That is wonderful, but with kids home all the time and no routine, how do we do that?!

The summer is a great time to enjoy quality time with family vacations, having the kids home and (sometimes) just some peace and quiet to yourself. A lot of my clients choose to “power down” over the summer time just slow down and not be working as much or as hard as through the rest of the year. This can easily be confused as a lack of motivation and then they start feeling feeling like they’re not accomplishing enough. It is totally normal to struggle with this paradigm shift. So, how can we be strategic with juggling the summertime and being a mompreneur?

This is often my number 1 request for advice from those I am coaching – how to make it through the summer. Summertime is both a blessing and curse – because we get to enjoy our freedom, but we also tend to give up our routine. The lack of structure and routine (especially for bored kids) adds to the stress and chaos of everyday life. When kids get bored they will usually start misbehaving or bugging you because they are in need of stimulation. When the routine changes (or stops altogether) everybody gets on a different body clock or rhythm and it’s easy to fall out of sync. Your little kids are up and ready to play at 5 or 6am while yourself and your teenagers find yourself staying up later than usual.

Trouble easily starts from a lack of clear expectations. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. They are told everyday at school what they will be doing and what to expect during the course of each day. How can you combat all the chaos?

So, I have three tips for you to survive the summer:

  1. Developing a family calendar
  2. Having a family meet daily
  3. Encouraging input and collaboration

Developing a calendar seems like a no-brainer but is also something that a lot of us fail to execute. Moms and dads are always running around knowing who needs to be where, with what, at what time but often the kids are not privy to this information ahead of time. Maybe Mom and Dad have the cell phone calendars linked, but where does this leave the little ones? Kids ages 3 and up can start learning about what to expect and what is coming up on their family calendar. Helping them have clear expectations will help your home run so much smoothly. I love having a big visual calendar and filling in all the events that we know are going to take place. It is important to have your kids contribute to the calendar as well. Let the little ones who are too young to read draw or use stickers to know what is coming. Get your calendar out of your head and get it into a public place for all to see and understand.

Having a family meeting can help everyone be on the same page. No, it doesn’t have to be rigid and formal. Just chat about each week and each day in the morning while Mom is pouring her coffee and the kids are eating their cereal. Look at the calendar and talk about what’s coming up, add anything new things and give a brief overview. Once again, helping to set those expectations. I’m telling you, the best summers we have ever had are when we start each day with a family meeting.

Don’t just get your family members to participate, but get their input and encourage them to really collaborate together on your calendar. Don’t try to simply set a schedule and expect everyone to follow it AND be happy about it. Get your kids and family members to contribute and give back their opinions and feelings about how they would like things to go and help build those expectations. You will be so very happy you did (and they will probably cooperate better, too)!

If you put these into place, you can enjoy a smoother, more relaxing summer. Good luck!

Continue Reading

Be More Productive with Hit Lists

This summer has been a busy one for me. I am coaching more people than ever this summer, spending ample time enjoying my kids, and yet I don’t feel stressed. Summertime is lovely, but also brings with it major schedule changes and priority adjustments. This can easily make us feel like we never get quite as much done as we would like or as we feel like we should.

I won’t lie, it was a lot harder to get things done when my kids were younger. I still struggle at times to feel like I am really using my time productively. But I’m going to share with you one of my favorite tips to help you be productive—specifically when you weren’t expecting to have any time.

It’s time to make yourself some hit lists.

What are hit lists?

A hit list is a list of things that you do on a routine basis. Sometimes, it’s the kind of stuff that we forget to do when we have a more chaotic schedule than usual (like summertime). If you will implement and use boundaries, hit lists, structures, expectations, and routines, you can get more stuff done. This will let you enjoy getting things done without feeling fragile and stressed. The purpose of a hit list is to give you a visual list of of things you can do when you have spare time that you didn’t expect to have. The neighbor has called and invited your kids over to swim? Great! Now you have 2 free hours, but what the heck do you do?

What goes on hit lists?

When you are compiling your hit lists, I find it most beneficial to break it into categories as well as time frames. Create a hit list for work and another one for your household responsibilities. Consider breaking your work hit list down into categories such as administration, marketing, managing warm leads or customer loyalty, and breaking your household list into individual rooms or outdoor work. You can list things such as going through and purging old clothes that no longer fit, cleaning windows or pulling weeds.

After you have some categories down – consider breaking it down even further into chunks of time. That way when you find yourself with a spare 15 minutes you can go to a hit lists and say “What can I do that will be productive in just 15 minutes? Oh! I could do this 15 minute task under marketing, like respond to all notifications on social media! That won’t take long at all!” What about something in the sales category? You could reach out to a warm lead that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. These hit lists will help you when you have unexpected extra time and you will know that you are using your time productively.

If you are visual person—print out your hit lists with vivid colors and post them somewhere you will see them regularly. Or consider using your phone. I use a notetaking app on my iPhone for my hit lists because my phone is always with me and I never know when I will want to refer to them!

So take some time in the next day or two to put together a couple of basic hit lists. Then when you find a spare minute (waiting for kids at swim lessons, a post-swim surprise nap), you’ll have a list to go to and not waste time trying to figure out what to do. Happy productivity!

Continue Reading

Get Organized and Be More Productive

Get organized, be more productive

We’ve all heard the expression “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” Of course some may counter with “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of an empty desk?” But I digress. In all seriousness though, I think we can probably all agree that our environment and its level of tidiness or organization does have at least some degree of impact on our mental state, particularly when it comes to doing our job well. Nobody thrives in the center of chaos. It’s distracting, aggravating, draining. In fact, it can be downright paralyzing at times. So let’s highlight a few easy steps we can take to clear out some of the clutter and make room for productivity!

Take the Paper Challenge

To take the paper challenge, you will need: a timer, a trash bag, a file folder, and a box with a lid.

  1. Set a timer. 5-10 minutes should be plenty of time. Now run through the house just as fast as you can. Pick up any paper that is obvious trash and throw it in the trash bag.
  2. Now for the file folder. The file folder is an “action” folder. This is where you’ll put any papers that require some action. This could be bills that need to be paid, school forms that need to be filled out and turned back in, notes reminding you to make phone calls, appointment reminders, etc.
  3. Next comes the box. There is a reason why I specified that the box have a lid. “Out of sight, out of mind.” The visual distraction of clutter is what has the potential to suck the productivity out of us, so put a lid on it! The box is for any papers that belong somewhere else. This could be anything from tax forms to medical statements to kids’ artwork—anything that needs to be put in a designated spot for long-term safekeeping.

Simplify your Digital Spaces

As we exist in an era that is increasingly paper-free, and as we streamline more and more of our processes digitally—on the computer or even our smartphones—we find that those spaces can become cluttered as well.

  1. Delete, delete, delete. Can’t remember the last time you used an app? Delete it. Done with a document? Delete it. Get rid of out-of-date programs, duplicates, and memory-hogging files if they’re not absolutely necessary.
  2. Organize. If you can’t delete it, organize it! Create category folders on your computer and phone to organize the things you need to hold onto. Utilize cloud storage with Dropbox or Google Docs to clear up space and keep things tidy.

These are just a few simple ways to declutter your workspace and increase productivity. In just a few minutes you can take control of your environment, clear your mind, and feel great about the space you live and work in so you have more energy and focus for the things that matter most. Now go set that timer and have a productive day!

Continue Reading

Systematize Your Productivity

Stick-to-what-youre-good“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” ~Newton’s Third Law of Physics

 

I bet you didn’t think you were going to get a science lesson today, did you?  “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”  It’s Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics, but today we’re going to apply it to your MomBiz.  We’ve done the hard work of identifying some of the key ways we sabotage our productivity and hopefully you have begun to notice some of the harmful patterns that you’ve let creep into your business.  Now for the fun part!  Today we’re going to apply some “equal and opposite reactions” to that self-sabotaging behavior and create a system for effective and efficient time management, a.k.a. productivity.

 

Effective (adjective): adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result

In other words, being effective is about doing things right, which I think we all can agree happens best when we are doing the things we’re good at and delegating the things we’re not good at or don’t have time for.  This means that spending 15 minutes on a phone call with your team—managing your team—may be a more effective use of your time, gifts and talents than say 15 hours of fumbling around with something like web design, which if we’re honest with ourselves may end up in the hands of someone more capable anyway, when all is said and done, just to repair the damage we’ve managed to do.  Stick to what you’re good at.  Delegate the rest.

 

Efficient (adjective): performing in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort

Budgeting our time is truly the gateway to productivity and perhaps one of our biggest challenges as mompreneurs.  Just like we budget our finances for a project as relates to what resources we have and how far we need to stretch those resources, our time is a resource as well and we need to recognize that there are limits to what we can accomplish with the time that we have available to us.  Limiting distractions, making appointments with ourselves and “time chunking” are all ways of increasing efficiency.

 

It’s much easier to delegate (be more effective) and to budget your time appropriately (be more efficient) when you have systems in place for things.  We will continue to dig more deeply into time management and setting business goals to increase productivity in the future, but in the meantime I want you to think about what systems you have in place and where you could create systems that allow you to be more effective and efficient.

 

Do you have a system for social media engagement?  Do you have a system for posting to your blog or managing your guest contributors?  Do you have a system for meeting with your team each week and making sure that you guys are on the same page and focused on the same priorities?  Do you have a system for sales proposals?  When someone makes an inquiry and wants to know a little bit more about you, do you have a system for following up and making sure that you move that prospect through your sales funnel?

 

Having these systems in place pave the way for effectiveness and efficiency, empowering you to productivity in your MomBiz. 

 

Continue Reading

Productivity Killers

Lara self sabotageLet me ask you a question.  What is your number one, biggest, baddest challenge as a mompreneur?  Don’t think about it too hard.  Just go with your gut.  Now it might be your first instinct to answer, “Laundry,” right?  Or “Checking all the items off the to-do list for today” or “Getting projects completed.”  Some days it may even be just getting a shower before we head out the door to pick up the kids as we morph into everyone’s favorite superhero—Super Mom.

Well, what all of these really boil down to is time, right?  And as much as most of us would really appreciate about four more hours per day so we can finally get things done, if we’re really, really honest with ourselves, how we manage the time we do have—the same 24 hours everybody else has—is singlehandedly enhancing or sabotaging our productivity.  Today we’re going to take a look at some productivity killers.

First let’s do the hard work of self-reflection and identify a couple of the main ways we sabotage our productivity, especially as it relates to our business practices.  And remember, I’m talking to myself here too.  I know what it is to struggle with these things in my own business.  But “knowing is half the battle,” right?  So here we go:

 

  1. How many times do we try to squish something ginormous and unspecific into a disproportionately tiny period of time?  Come on, we all do this, right?  “I am going to update my website this weekend.”  Oh really?  Is that every page?  Just what does that involve?  Now how qualified are you to even do all that needs done?  If you’re like me, maybe you know just enough about coding to be dangerous.  Now how plausible is it that you are going to be able to squeeze all of that into your weekend without help?  As noble as it may seem to accomplish a huge task with superhuman speed, we thwart even our best efforts when we fail to specify the scope and strategy of a project. 

 

  1. While we’re on the topic of weekends, what time frame would you say comprises your weekend?  Does it start at 5:00 Friday evening with the close of the workday?  10:00 at night, after the kids are tucked into bed and the noise in the house settles down to a dull roar?  Does your weekend really not start until after you’ve gotten your beauty sleep, had your coffee and read the paper Saturday morning?  And what about all the other things we cram into a typical weekend?  Soccer games, birthday parties, dance recitals—not to mention the mountain of laundry we weren’t able to get to during the week.  We set ourselves up for self-sabotage when we fail to specify the time frame we have to work with

 

Now these are only a couple of productivity killers and truth be told, there are many, but these are two of our biggest challenges, for sure.  Start to pay attention as you’re going about your daily routine and begin to take note of the times when you are doing these things.  Catch yourself in the act.  Being aware of the ways in which we sabotage ourselves is invaluable.

Continue Reading

One day of focus to Get It Done

Summer is no longer tomorrow… eeek… it’s today. We are already experiencing the mompreneur dance of having kids home and trying to work. It’s not so productive.

Photo credit: jaimesoriano.net

Do you have projects planned for this summer that need to get done? Not sure when you can fit it in? Have you been procrastinating on a business related project that will help your business grow?

Ladies, I can suggest topics, actions, and projects all day long I know are valuable for growing your business. Now it’s time for you to set the agenda for what YOU know NEEDS to happen this summer to increase your success as a mompreneur. We are here to support you.

Introducing: Mom Biz Get It Done Days

Join me and my Mom Biz Retreat co-founder, Shelagh Cummins, for a one-day virtual workshop this summer! We have three Get It Done Days scheduled this summer–opportunities for you to clear your calendar for a single day to stay focused and accountable on the projects you need to get done.

Stop thinking you are going to squeeze that important project in between sprinkler time and nap time. Be intentional and register for 1, 2 or all 3 of our Get It Done Day Virtual workshops.

Register now!

Our first Summer Mom Biz Get It Done Day is on Monday, June 25th! Get the details here and register asap to reserve your spot! As soon as you register, we’ll send you the Get It Done Day workbook (PDF file) which has all the info you need to prepare for your powerful work day.

Continue Reading