Do you have support? You’ll notice many super heroes have sidekicks. No one thinks of Batman as less than a hero when when Robin helps out or Alfred takes care of his mansion. It’s okay to get help from a spouse, friend, coach, virtual assistant, maid, children, mother’s helper or all of the above plus more.
Here are some ways you can get support and help to save you time. Be creative and you’ll find that support can make your life easier without being expensive.
Menu Planning: Do you plan menus? If you have an older child who enjoys cooking or planning, ask them to help. Or put a suggestion box in your kitchen and let everyone contribute ideas. Then it’s easier to come up with your weekly/monthly menu to save time. You might also consider a service like www.savingdinner.com where menus are mailed to you weekly (I subscribe to this).
House Cleaning: You don’t have to do of the 100% cleaning yourself, Moms! Even little ones can help with a few chores. Create a chore chart and hang it on your fridge, then reward help. Chart Jungle has some nice ones at http://www.chartjungle.com/ chores.html Maybe it’s time to consider a maid now and then. You can check with a professional service or find a friend with a teen looking for some extra pocket cash (if you go the teen route, it helps to have clearly defined checklists of what needs done). Whether it’s once a week or once a month it may free you up to get more focused work completed.
Home Schooling: If you’re a home schooling Mom, you know what a juggling act this is. I home school three (K, 2nd, and 4th). Understanding what a responsibility I have in my hands I know this is one thing that can’t be let go no matter what else doesn’t get done during the day. I put a lot of time into choosing a curriculum that would work with me and for our family Winter Promise works. The main reason I love it (aside from the fact that I’m a Charlotte Mason fan) is that my lesson plans are ready to go – I just open the guide book and then check off the worksheets/reading/etc as we complete it. I use Super Charged Science which works the same way – open the lesson book, give the kids the DVD and kit it lists, and check it off. I know that I don’t have time to plan out lessons and dig through piles of books to find the gems so I’ve got curriculums that do that for us. We’re also enrolled in a charter program where I have access to a teacher for support and backup. For us, this is a great arrangement. Know your limits and your passions and work with them to find the solutions that will save you time and help you stay sane.
Child Care: It’s so important not to multi-task our children to the point where we’re always working or too busy to play or cuddle. But at the same time we need uninterrupted time to focus on our businesses. We also need sleep. There are creative ways you can find that balance. Some ideas to consider: swap child care with another Mom, hire a mother’s helper (any young, responsible teens in your circle of friends?), call Grandma, find a good activity (Scouts, home school co-op classes, Karate/Ballet, or other activities work great to get your kids learning or moving and you an hour of free time).
Website Maintenance: Did you know you can outsource even little website updates? I used to handle all of my updates myself because I would always think, “Oh it’ll just take me a minute.” But one minute usually turned into 30 minutes… or an hour… My VAs (virtual assistants) handle 90% of my website updates for me now because it saves me time and allows me to focus on client work by sending my own updates over to them.
Website or Graphics Design: If this isn’t something you enjoy and are quick at, there are many work at home moms and businesses out there happy to take the tasks off your hands.
Social Networking: There are VAs who specialize in social networking. They can setup your profile pages, fan pages, find friends and colleagues to connect with, schedule your posts and tweets from
information you send, and more.
Great Resources: If you’re a “do it yourself” type person (I am), don’t do it alone. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my business has been not getting the resources to help me get things done quicker. I’ve invested a lot in the last year in coaching and programs to help me get to my goals. By learning from others who’ve already done what I want to do, I save myself time (they know what works and I don’t spend hours searching Google or wondering if I’ve made the right choice), energy (frustration trying to decide what service to use or decision to make), and money (because I don’t invest in the wrong thing and have to switch later). You may need a personal business coach or a quick ebook that covers a single task. Whatever you need help with, it’s okay to invest in the resources to help you grow faster.
One great tip my business coach gave me a few months ago was to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and list out everything I do in a day. Yes, everything. Then list out what could be done by someone else.
It’s eye opening to see how much I’m doing that I could get help with, or that I could automate! Don’t delegate what you can automate (I wrote an article about this and you can find automation ideas here:
Make it a goal to find a way to get support or help with one item a week from your list of tasks.