Wouldn’t it be nice if you could magically find more time in your life? Well, there might just be a way to make that happen.
This, my friends, is the twenty-minute exercise that totally blew my mind and transformed the way I work from home.
I literally found time I didn’t know I had- and the knowledge of exactly how much I do have has helped me to prioritize and make decisions with laser focus that I could only dream of before.
I mean let’s think about it- what is the number one obstacle that mompreneurs and work at home moms have to overcome? TIME. There never seems to be enough of it and we often find ourselves scrambling to find more. Being an entrepreneur often means an endless to-do list… add that to being a mother and it often feels like you’re literally running out of hours in a day.
The thing is though, that we usually have more time available to us than we think we do. When we get into that rushed, hectic mindset we can fail to notice how many valuable minutes and hours we’re wasting on things that actually don’t serve us at all.
OK, let’s do this.
Step One: Print this handy Finding Time PDF
Alternatively, get the biggest piece of paper you can find and draw a grid, 14 squares wide by 12 squares tall. When you’re finished, you should have a grid with 168 squares on it. Why 168? Each square on the page represents one hour of your week.
Every single person on this earth has the same number of hours in the week. Michelle Obama. Kim Kardashian (okay bad example.) Mindy Kaling. Me. You. We all have 168 hours to get shit done- so why do some of us thrive while others get stuck in a rut? I believe that it comes down to discipline and planning.
Step Two: Fill in the non-negotiables.
The first non-negotiable you need to fill in is sleep- we all have to do it, so it’s gotta go on the sheet. Figure out how many hours you spend sleeping and write “sleep” in that many boxes. The next is food- making it and eating it, another non-negotiable- especially if you have kids. Then, fill in time for all the must-happen errands and tasks you need to accomplish each week. Make sure you figure out how much time you spend driving and fill that in too. For me, the next non-negotiable is a little bit of couple time in the evenings or during the day on my husband’s days off, so I fill in about an hour a day for that.
Go ahead and fill in every non-negotiable, except your business stuff. Now, comes the Real Mother Hustler magic…
Step Three: Using a different colour, mark a box for every hour your child is awake and with you.
For me, I do all my errands and house stuff with my toddler in tow. So I mark all of them with a B, as well as a bunch of empty boxes to cover the time that he’s awake and needing me. Those hours are effectively nixed off my schedule, because he’s still a baby and I really can’t get any work done while I’m with him alone. If your child is older, you can fill in what feels like an appropriate amount of boxes for the time they require your undivided attention.
Step Four: Count the remaining boxes, and write that number down.
When I did this exercise, I was floored to discover that I had THIRTY FIVE hours left over… even after crossing off every single hour that my spawn is awake. Guys, that’s almost a full time work week. This realization was exciting, empowering, and frankly kindof embarassing…. WTF have I been doing with these hours every week?!?! Do I spend 35 hours a week scrolling Insta Stories? (probably, let’s be real)
Step Five: Get your ass in gear!
Now that you know exactly how many hours you have each week to spend on your business, it’s time to break them into chunks and PRIORITIZE. How many hours are you going to spend on marketing? Emails? Filling orders or doing client work? Blogging? Taking photos? Figure that out right now, and write it down. Schedule those hours into your week now, and specify what you’ll be doing and when. Now you have the what, the why, and the how figured out before you’ve even lifted a finger… so there’s no excuse for slacking!
So, how many hours do you have left for your business? What are you going to do with them? Let me know your results, I’d love to know!