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Friday, August 08, 2008

Entrepreneur Moms - Tired of Multi-Tasking?




As a metromom, with many projects on my plate and on my mind, it's sometimes difficult to be fully "present" in the different activities that I do, be it work or family related. It's all too easy to be worried about work when I'm with the kids or worried about the kids when I'm supposed to be working.

I get into an unhealthy multi-tasking cycle...you know paying bills while checking emails, cleaning my office while speaking on the phone, leaving too many applications open on my computer so I'm easily distracted from what I'm actually working on.

What's a metromom to do? (A metromom being a highly motivated mom with an entrepreneurial spirit looking to be successful in all aspects of life...on her own terms.)

Lift a huge weight off your shoulders

What we're often encouraged to do is multi-task. In theory it sounds great but I know for myself I end up exhausted and missing out. That's because I miss out by not enjoying those special moments with my family and I miss out by not truly focusing on the details involved with growing a successful business.

My advice to you as a fellow metromom (that I remind myself of often) is to be "present" in all that you do. That is, focus all of your attention on what you're doing at any given moment, without distraction.

When I find myself overdoing it, or getting a little extreme with multi-tasking, I remind myself to just be "present." I slow down and focus on one task at a time.

A huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. Instead of stewing about my entire to-do list, I realize all I need to do is focus on putting my devoted energy into the activity of the moment.


Simple ways to be more efficient

To make this work requires some planning and organization. In fact, you have to be a bit ruthless with your time. The first step is to determine your business hours vs. your family hours-set-up a realistic schedule that works for you. I know that as a metromom you need to build-in some flexibility for those last minute doctor appointments, play dates, calls from the school nurse etc. which is why you should prioritize daily.

That's correct - you should know what you need to do daily to achieve your goals.

A good friend shared with me that a good day starts with a good night. Spend a few minutes before going to bed getting clear about what's important to accomplish the next day and even over the next few days. Set aside time in the morning to focus on what you intend to bring into your life that day.

Then prioritize the day's tasks - personal and professional. I use a daily breakout calendar to help me stay focused on the business and personal activities in my life. This allows me to plan my time around those things that are priorities to me - family time, revenue-generating activities, and yes even some "Kim" time.

Your goal is to work efficiently. With that in mind, another suggestion is to chunk out times of your day to focus on a particular activity (i.e. networking, approaching potential partners/customers, or following-up).

A key suggestion that'll help you more efficiently manage your time is to cluster your client appointments or set a specific time of day/week to make follow-up calls. If you need to you can even use an egg timer to set short increments of time to work on a particular activity.


Focus, focus, focus

What you focus on expands, so give your focus wholeheartedly to what you're doing.

For example, are you focusing on revenue-generating activities during business hours? Your revenue-generating activities will grow your business so don't lose your focus with emails, long chats with colleagues, and pretty newsletters.

Manage your distractions. Shut down other applications on your computer when you're working or make phone calls away from your computer, and make them standing up. If you have a great idea, but it's not the time to act on it, instead of allowing it to distract you jot some notes down so you can come back to it later.

To be successful, whatever that means for you, you need to stay focused on your key priorities.


Enjoy your time being a mom

To really enjoy my time as a mom, I've got to schedule in mom-related activities so I can be there for my kids and be fully "present." For me personally, I've made the commitment to focus on my kids between 4:00 and 8:00 pm after school. It's sometimes a challenge.

There are times when my daughter blocks my office door so I can't check another email, but it's worth the effort when I can really be there to hear about an experience in her day.

Finally, take time to focus and enjoy being "just" a mom. That's one of the reasons why you're working from home. Savor the moments. Put away your cell phone or Blackberry and just enjoy the soccer game or ballet performance. Sit on the floor with your toddler and color or ride bikes with your 8-year old.

Being "present" means that instead of feeling exhausted from multi-tasking you can enjoy a walk outside, an ice cream cone with your child, a call with a friend, a quiet lunch with no phone calls, even folding laundry as a time to just think without doing anything else.

Remember, as a metromom you get to measure success on your own terms...

Article Source: www.articleactive.com

Kim DeYoung (aka "The Metromom") is committed to helping moms—with entrepreneurial spirit—to be successful in all aspects of life. She provides dynamic coaching and trainings every month to help women maximize their potential at Metromom.com, an interactive community for moms in direct sales. Kim will show you how to dramatically increase sales and connect with like-minded women in her FREE CD - "The 7 Deadly Sins Women in Direct Sales Make... And How to Avoid Them." Learn more and order your FREE CD now at www.metromom.com

 
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