Nicole Simonin - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

Nicole Simonin – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Health and Fitness Coach Nicole Simonin of Shape it Up…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Nicole and I met 3 years ago during a crazy YouTube VEDA (Video Every Day in August) challenge. That crazy ride bonded us. And we’ve stayed connected ever since. 🤪

Since 2006, Nicole has been helping women lose weight for the last time. She is an ACE Personal Trainer, ACE Health Coach, host of Shape It Up Over 40 podcast, founder of Shape It Up, LLC, author of “The No Fuss, No Mess Shape It Up Cookbook”, licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and former professional ballet dancer. Nicole has been featured in Rachel Ray in Season, Bicycling Magazine, Real Simple, MSN and recently at the TEDx Cape May event.

Nicole is the mom to a teenage son and daughter and a dog named Trixie. Her incredibly busy life includes lots of soccer, basketball, school, and fencing.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Nicole Simonin at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I’m a Health and Fitness Coach – I’ve always found how the human body works to be fascinating. Really interested in fitness, nutrition and mindset. Initially I choose it bc it was a way for me to interact with adults as my kids grew up and I love helping women feel comfortable in their own skin.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

I am very creative and I like to like huge leaps….if it doesn’t scare me then I am doing something wrong.

Nicole Simonin - Shape It Up - 5 Questions with a Mom Entprereneur

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

I think overall I have my biz skill down. Now it’s time to add gasoline to the fire and level up.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

Find a great coach and jump in

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

A calendar. Schedule in free time. Block out my days and do a task in the time I have given it.

Where can we find you on social media?

Shape It Up Website

Apple Podcast Link

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube – Shape It Up with Nicole

Pinterest

Twitter


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

The Difference Between Urgent and Important - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

The Difference Between Urgent and Important. And Why It Matters.

Do you spend too much time on urgent and not enough time on what’s important?

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Today we are going to explore the Eisenhower time management matrix to help you define your urgent versus important tasks.

Let’s start by defining the difference between the two. And I think Stephen Covey, author of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” does a better job than I could…So let’s hear how he breaks down the difference between urgent and important…

“Urgent matters are those that require immediate action. These are the visible issues that pop up and demand your attention NOW. Often, urgent matters come with clear consequences for not completing these tasks. Urgent tasks are unavoidable, but spending too much time putting out fires can produce a great deal of stress and could result in burnout.

Important matters, on the other hand, are those that contribute to long-term goals and life values. These items require planning and thoughtful action. When you focus on important matters you manage your time, energy, and attention rather than mindlessly expending these resources. What is important is subjective and depends on your own values and personal goals. No one else can define what is important for you.”

Stephen Covey

Learning to determine the difference between all the various combinations of urgent, not urgent, important, and not important, will help you define the priority tasks you need to focus on.

If you can use the tactics we talk about today with your to-do list to determine which quadrant of the matrix your task falls into, you can manage your time better. And complete the tasks with due dates that require your expertise. You can schedule the tasks that are important for you, your family, your growth and your mental health. And determine what you should delegate or eliminate when you feel stressed or your schedule feels full.

Are you currently prioritizing your to-do list? Or do you give equal weight to all the tasks on your list? Which may make your list feel overwhelming or like its never complete?

But you might be thinking “I don’t have time to actually finish my tasks so I definitely don’t have extra time to delineate between urgent and important tasks.”

But what if by taking a few extra minutes, you would feel more in control. You could learn to delete the time-wasting to-dos that prevent you from spending time doing things you enjoy or with your family and friends.

You can start to develop a rhythm to your daily to-do routine. And spend less time on your work because the tasks you are dedicating your time to are having a greater impact on your business and your family. And you’ll be making room on your schedule personal projects that enhance your life, improve your health, or just make you happy.

How much more present you can show up for your clients, co-workers, and family when you feel accomplished and fulfilled? You know this is a no-brainer…you want this life. And you can have it.

How to Determine What’s Urgent and Important

You just need to practice your prioritizing. So let’s dive into exactly how you determine which tasks are urgent and important. Your tasks will fall into one of 4 categories:

  • Urgent & Important
  • Not Urgent & Important
  • Urgetn & Not Important
  • Not Urgent & Not Important

Your Urgent and Important Tasks require you to take action because there is a deadline or a consequence if you don’t complete them. It might be paying bills, work for a client, or getting an oil change in your car. If you heard my episode last week on the 4 D’s of Time Management, these Urgent and Important Tasks would fall in the “Do It” category. It must be done and avoiding it won’t make it go away, it will just delay a consequence. So just do it.

Next we have your Important but Not Urgent Tasks…these tasks help you reach your overall business, personal or family goals. But they usually don’t have a deadline or consequence. And so we put them off in favor of those tasks that ARE urgent. But often, these activities have the biggest impact on us reaching our goals, even more so than the urgent tasks. Keeping our mental and physical health in order, spending time with our family or on ourselves, learning new skills, or growing our community has a huge influence on our success. Yet we often neglect these important tasks. So how do we fix it? We schedule time for these. Put it on the schedule. Make it a date.

And you may be thinking now “but if I have to do the urgent and I have to schedule the important, there is no way I’ll get it all done”. A-ha…I give Quadrant 3. The Urgent but Not Important Tasks…

The magic of quadrant 3 is that it does not require your specific zone of genius. These are the tasks you delegate to help offload some of the weight of your schedule. Sure there is a consequence if you don’t do the dishes, but does it require your hands? Or could you ask your family to help? Can you offload your social media or accounting to someone else? Can you turn off notifications for your email or text messages so you control what is urgent? If it is truly urgent and important, if there is a deadline or consequence, it is part of your quadrant 1. You know what that means for you. Don’t let someone else determine your priorities.

And finally, quadrant 4 is your not urgent and not important tasks. These would technically fall into the “Delete It” category. (Although I don’t think many of us have Quadrant 4 tasks like endlessly scrolling social media or binging 12 hours of Netflix on our to-do list.) You do deserve downtime. But is focusing your downtime on not urgent, not important tasks preventing you from doing a task you’ve deemed important? Like exercising? Or spending time with family? Or taking up a new skill? Important doesn’t have to mean “work” per see. It can just mean a task that you’ve decided it is something that is valuable to your life. And if you have choice, wouldn’t you want to choose something valuable?

Ok, so a quick review before you tackle prioritizing your to-do list. Here’s breakdown of what’s urgent, what’s important and what’s not.

Eisenhower Time Management Matrix - Urgent and Important Tasks
  • Quadrant 1 is your Urgent and Important tasks. There is an approaching deadline or consequence to inaction. You must do these tasks ASAP.
  • Quadrant 2 is your Important not Urgent tasks. Things that enhance your life or business like exercise, spending time with family, or networking with fellow business owners. Get these tasks on to your schedule at specific times.
  • Quadrant 3 is your Urgent but Not Important tasks. These activities will need completed but don’t require your specific expertise. Or may feel like they need to be done NOW because the person emailing, texting, or asking you for help assigns a deadline on their terms, not yours. These are tasks you can delegate or delay.
  • Quadrant 4 is Not Urgent and Not Important. Delete these tasks from your routine. Or at the very least push them off until you’ve completed the urgent and important for the day.

Does prioritizing your to-do list still feels overwhelming? I’d love to help you create a customized system to determine which tasks you need to focus on to grow your business and spend more time with your family. My 1-on-1 Virtual Intensives help you create a “fill-in-the-blank” life with fewer choices and more freedom. You’ll find yourself stressing less and enjoying more time with your family. Visit businesssavvymama.com/intensives for more information on how we can create your customized system today.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Demaris Young - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Demaris Young – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet online boutique owner Demaris Young…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Demaris juggles her 9-5 work in IT in St Louis, Missouri with her passion for finding unique and trendy clothes for boys. She has 19-year-old daughter and 5-year-old twin boys.

She started Kids B.A.L (Beyond All Limitations) in June of 2020. Inspired by her love for children, it was her passion to provide her twin boys with unique and stylish clothes that drove her to start this business. Her main goal is to inspire boys to dress to impress so that they feel cool, confident, and present.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Demaris Young at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I own a boys’ online children’s boutique. I choose it because I got frustrated about going shopping and not seeing a variety and/ or unique boys’ clothes. My friends were having the same issue.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

Faith. Having faith that it will work. I have gotten a few people to say it won’t work.

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most?

I would say expanding my customer base. And marketing.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

Social media is important and come up with a strong marketing plan before your start your business.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

Set small goals weekly. Communication to your spouse and kids.

Where can we find you on social media?

Website

Facebook

Instagram


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

What Not to Do - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

How to Decide What NOT to Do

Do you know what not to-do when it comes to your to-do’s?

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Last week I spent time with some amazing entrepreneurs during a virtual retreat. We discussed productivity with family around. And there was a bit of a discussion around permission of what NOT to do.

As a mom entrepreneur juggling all kinds of balls, it is SO important to distinguish between what is a priority and what is not. And also that you permit yourself to let some things go. To either delete them completely. Or delegate them to someone else. Or delay them until you have time or actually need to complete them.

By ranking the items on your to-do list, you stop giving equal weight to tasks that aren’t truly important. And you will find yourself feeling less overwhelmed or pulled to do so much.

The Greeting Card Test

Back in my professional organizing days, clients would often struggle to determine the items that were truly meaningful, had an impact, or were worth keeping. I developed what I called the “Greeting Card Test”.

Say you have a stack of greeting cards from your child’s first birthday party. Some of the cards contain beautifully written, personal messages from Great Grandma Annette. And others simply say “Bob and Jane”. And you can’t even remember who Bob and Jane are. By keeping all the cards in the stack, you diminish the value of the truly special ones. If you had to rank that cards on a scale of 1-10, you would probably rank Great Grandmas Annette’s card a “10”. And random Bob and Jane’s card a “1”. Yet, by keeping all those cards without discarding the ones that aren’t truly important, you devalue all the cards. Everything is of equal importance. And if everything is a 10, nothing is a 10. The same applies to the tasks on your to-do list.

Can you evaluate the tasks on your to-do list? Learn to separate what is necessary and important from what can wait or go away? Then you will effectively manage your time and use it more productively

Up until now, you might have just looked at your to-do list tasks with equal weight. Or you do the things you like to do first to start crossing items off. You know, just to complete something.

But you also may feel unproductive, unsuccessful, or unprofitable. The tasks you choose to spend your time on could be responsible. You are working. And working hard. You actually work a lot. But are you working on the right things?

By developing skills to evaluate and prioritize your tasks, you’ll develop confidence in what projects need your immediate attention. And you’ll develop the skill to ask for help for tasks that others can complete for you.

When you start to write an effective to-do list, your personal list may start to shrink while actually accomplishing more. Who wouldn’t prefer 7 focused, productive tasks in day to 14 with some spilling over into the next day because you don’t have the stamina to get it all done.

Learning to delegate tasks that don’t need your expertise helps you finish your work day on time. It helps you share the responsibilities at home and feel less resentment over the perception you need to do it all. And when you know you’ve focused on the urgent and important rather than what not to do, you can confidently close up shop at the end of the day. You can show up present for your family knowing you’ve completed the tasks that will have a positive effect on your business or home life. Instead of saying “just one more thing” or letting your mind wander during family time because you’re didn’t get something done.

How to Decide What Not To Do

But where do you even start evaluating all the things that need done to determine where it fits?

Let’s start with a quick overview of the 4 D’s of Time Management. When it comes to tasks you should Do It, Delegate It, Defer or Delay It, or Delete or Drop It. But how do you decide what needs you to “Do It” and what fits into the other “D’s” aka what NOT to do. I love to run tasks through my TRIM Your To-Do List Flowchart which asks

  • Is it time-sensitive or has an approaching due date coming soon?
  • Is it required, meaning it is necessary for your work or home life or there will be a consequence?
  • Will it make an impact positively or negatively on your work, home, family, or health?
  • Is it money related? As in it will help you make money or will affect your financial health if it’s not completed?
TRIM Your To-Do List Flowchart - Business Savvy Mama

Grab your FREE Priority Recipe download along with a printable copy of this TRIM Your To-Do List Flowchart by clicking here.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions and it requires your specific expertise to finish, it falls into the “Do It” category.

For instance, writing a guest blog post that is due on Friday is time-sensitive, require, will make a positive impact on your business, and requires your specific expertise.

If you answered “yes” but someone else could help you out, it falls into Delegate It. For instance, you need to pay your household bills which qualify as time-sensitive, required, and money-related. BUT your spouse is perfectly capable of signing into the accounts to make sure they get paid. You’ve just never asked for help.

Or maybe you’ve been working on revamping your website but it isn’t really necessary. There isn’t a deadline. You are not required to do it. Your current website is converting you just don’t like the way it looks. And there wouldn’t be an immediate impact to your financial health if you kept working on it (except maybe it was taking you away from actual money making tasks). This would be an example of a task you would Delay or Defer until it became necessary or you found yourself with time to spare. Which I don’t know about you, but if I found myself with extra time, I don’t know that I’d want to spend it revamping my website.

And finally, if you answered no to all these questions…the task is not time sensitive, required, positively or negatively impact your life, and not money related…you need to Delete or Drop it. Your time is just too precious to waste. End of story.

I promise, the more you practice, the easier it will get to discern those important tasks you should do from the ones you delegate, delay or delete. And to make it even easier, you receive the TRIM Your To-Do List Flowchart as part of Your Priority Recipe, my free download with all the ingredients you need to focus on the tasks that matter and let go of those that don’t so you can spend more time doing what you love with who you love.  Click here to grab your FREE Priority Recipe today!


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Kass Fogle - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Kass Fogle – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Business Operations Strategy Consultant Kass Fogle…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met Kass through the amazing Small Business Moms community (which if you aren’t a part of it, you should be!) She juggles a lot with her kids, 9-5 job in HR, and her business. Oh, and she writes books too!

Kass Fogle is the CEO of Vim & Vigor Business Operations Consulting and podcast host of The One Burning Question Microcast.  As a consultant, she helps small businesses build strategic plans that help increase revenue and reduce stress. She also provides consultation in project management and human resources, along with keynote speaking on a variety of business and leadership topics.

Along with being the breadwinner since before her kids were born, Kass has relocated, been the resounding football mom, and managed lots of heartaches. Now her kids are 20 and 17 and the issues are different. She’s been married 20+ years.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Kass Fogel at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it? 

My mission: We partner with solo- and expert-preneurs to build a strategic plan, and identify the goals and projects necessary to increase revenue, promote growth, create efficiencies, and improve visibility, so business owners and leaders can focus on the creative, technical, and visionary side of their business. I chose this because I needed to do something drastically different. Big. Better for me without being egotistical and selfish. I went through Pat Flynn’s Smart from Scratch program and felt like I’d come home.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business? 

Clarity. Planning. Organization. Nailing the back office operations for small business owners.

Kass Fogle - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur
400

3. What is the area entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

From a development standpoint, financial. I will hire this out all day long.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself? 

I do not have to invest and learn all things in one week. We’ve created such a sense of urgency in our society that we feel we will miss out on millions of dollars if we don’t launch RIGHT NOW.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time? 

Set your boundaries and stick to them. Your battle plans have to include those you spend time with. You can only operate on caffeine and vigor for so long. Have a plan and execute it with emotional intelligence.

Where can we find you online?

Vim & Vigor Business Operations Consulting 

The One Burning Question Microcast

Instagram

Facebook


Your Priority Recipe - Business Savvy Mama

Multi-task or uni-task - Business Savvy Mama

To Multi-Task or Uni-Task? Which Works Better?

Do you multi-task or uni-task?

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Did you know the word “multi-task” didn’t even exist before 1965? That’s because it was developed to describe the functions of a computer, originally meaning “the use of a single CPU for the simultaneous processing of two or more jobs.” We are built to uni-task.

Over the years, as the value of overworking to prove your worth caught on with employers, the word multi-task became a badge of honor. Only, our brains are not set up to run like a CPU. In fact, studies have shown too much multi-tasking can lead to a decrease in gray matter in the brain affecting memory, attention span, and even leading to anxiety or depression.

But since society pushes and values multi-tasking, we forgot how to focus and uni-task. The truth is what we call “multi-tasking” is not actually doing more than one task at a time. It is switching from task to task. And every time we switch, we lose a little productive time, focus, and extra energy.

Experiments published in 2001, Joshua Rubinstein, PhD, Jeffrey Evans, PhD, and David Meyer, PhD, found that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time. And there is a lot of research supporting the idea that task switching not only increases the amount of time a task takes AND decreases the quality of work output.

But how in the world do we to complete our to-do list with uni-tasking when multi-tasking is what we know. Today I’m going to dive into how to uni-task and give some examples where multi-tasking could be used… but heads up, it’s not going to be when you’re working.

Uni-tasking or focusing on finishing one task at a time before moving on to the next. It allows you to finish a task or project quicker and typically with less error and higher quality of work.

If you can limit your distractions, schedule focused time to work in a quiet space, and tell those around you of the time and space you need, you too can successfully uni-task.

And this may feel super weird because for so long multi-tasking has been a shiny gold star. Something we brag about doing. Or expected of us as employees, team members, and parents.

And you might be freaking out a little thinking “wait, there is no way I can tackle everything on my to-do list without multi-tasking.” But remember…what you think is getting more done while task switching is actually causing you to lose time in between each switch. And those seconds and minutes add up. And the time it may take you to finish all those tasks may total more minutes or hours than it would if you knocked them out one by one.

As you re-train your brain to focus on just one task at a time, you’ll notice the time it takes you to complete tasks will be less. And the quality of your work output will increase.

On a daily basis, you will feel less anxiety from task switching. And a sense of accomplishment that the task is off your to-do list. You won’t need to bump it to tomorrow because it isn’t complete or you need to make corrections.

And taking less time to complete tasks and having less anxiety with your work makes for a happier home life. And more present mommy after work is done.

How to Uni-task instead of Multi-tasking

Ready to jump onboard the uni-tasking train??? Here’s how to start…

First, schedule specific times to work when you can focus on your priority tasks. This could be waking up early like I do to get my focused work in before my kids wake up. Or it could be when you have a spouse or sitter available to entertain your kids while you work. It could be an hour before the kids wake up and an hour after they go to bed. Just schedule that time when it can be quiet and you can focus.

Next, speaking of quiet and focus, try to limit as many distractions as you can. Turn off your phone notifications. Shut down your email. Turn off the TV. Shut the door. Whatever you have to do to get into a focused zone. Distractions also come in the way of clutter on your desk. Clear your work area so the pile of papers to file or unopened mail don’t pull your focus.

Finally, know the priority tasks you will work on during your focused work time. You can take time the night before to jot down a to-do list. Or have a printable list of ongoing tasks you do on the same days every week.

Give a listen to last week’s episode about the Pomodoro Technique to help you work in short, focused bursts. I have roughly 2 hours every my focused work…Which is (4) 25-minute Pomodoros with a 5-minute break between each. It is kind of amazing how much work you can do when you hunker down for 25 focused minutes.

Oh, and before I forget. There are certain circumstances when multi-tasking is less likely to affect your productivity. Save it for things like listening to a podcast while cooking dinner. Or watching TV while folding laundry. Listening to a book on tape while running. I’ll even do something like posting on social media while I’m waiting for my kids to finish their work. I use my focused time in the morning to write a great caption. Then all I have to do is copy/paste/post. Which is much less focused work while I’ve got my teaching hat on.

To start developing your uni-tasking skills, block out specific focused work time in your schedule tomorrow. It might be 30 minutes. It might be 4 hours (lucky you!) Regardless of the amount of time you have on your schedule, make sure you can work uninterrupted by family or co-workers. Turn off or put away any distractions that could pull your focus. And have a plan for the priority tasks you’d like to complete during your focused work time.

Christen Schneider - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Christen Schneider – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet Digital Marketing Specialist Christen Schneider…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I met my fellow Ohio based mom entrepreneurs this past January at the I Heart My Life conference in San Diego. I love that I went 2, 200 miles to meet a new business buddy that lives 2 hours away and grew up just miles from where I live now. Gotta love fate. 🤣

Christen helps coaches and creative businesses like you finally get the email marketing and sales funnel you want, to reach clients you love, all in the time you actually have. She believes that if you tell the right stories to the right people at the right time, you can have a huge impact.  It’s all about knowing how to tap into how our brains learn. She was a teacher in a past job life, and it’s her purpose to show as many good business owners, leaders, and change-makers as possible how to teach people to care and build a movement that sticks.

Christen lives near Cleveland, Ohio with her three sons, a husband who she sees all day long (and still think it’s awesome 🙂 ), and a ridiculously stubborn but cute beagle. Her boys like all things space, coloring, building, games, dinosaurs, and super heroes. They also spend a lot of time outside.

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Christen Schneider at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

I help creative and service-based businesses get the email marketing and sales funnels they want to reach clients they love, all in the time they actually have. I actually fell in love with marketing and all the writing and tech that goes with it on accident. When I started my original business in 2012, I was a wedding dress designer! I collected a crew of other indie designers around me, ran a show in NYC for 4 years, opened a bridal store for non-traditional brides, and in the course of all of that, found myself teaching other business owners how to do their marketing too. I’m a past teacher and I have always loved tech and writing, so this is the perfect spot for me! I officially closed all wedding related businesses 2 years ago and I’ve loved it.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business?

I am never at a loss for ideas to try or potential solutions. I also can explain those to other people very well!

Christen Schneider - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

3. What is the area of entrepreneurship where you could grow the most? 

Systems. Not the techie kinds, those I get. But the daily get-things-done-consistently-and-logically kind of systems that let you be a CEO instead of a scattered creative.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

Track your financials. Also, if you pivot, let your former audience decide for themselves if they want to follow you or stop. Your pivot might involve more of your former audience than you think it does.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

I sort my stuff into “need quiet” and “can get done in the living room”. That makes a huge difference in maximizing my work time without holing up for 9 hours a day. Also, it’s ok to set your own version of balance and productivity. My family likes to chill together in the morning, so I typically start my work around 10 instead of super early. It works for us!

Where can we find you on social media? 

Coffee Break Marketing

ChristenSchneider.com

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Pomodoro Technique - Business Savvy Mama

Why Mom Entrepreneurs Need the Pomodoro Technique

Have you heard of the “Pomodoro Technique”?

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

One of the biggest excuses I hear in my community and in other communities of mom entrepreneurs is “I don’t have enough time”. I use the word excuse here is because that’s what this is. A justification your brain is making saying you have too much to do and can’t possibly do more. Or make this business a success. Or add anything else to your plate. But when it comes down to it, it may not be that you don’t have time. It may be that you need to use your time better. That’s why we are talking the Pomodoro technique today.

This time management technique was developed in the early 1990’s by Francisco Cirrilo (Chi-reelo). It is named “pomodoro” because Cirrolo used a kitchen timer that looked like a tomato to time his work sessions. In short, the technique involves: Choosing a task.  Setting the timer or Pomodoro to 25 minutes. Work on the task until the timer rings. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK). Every 4 sessions or Pomodoros take a longer break

Ok…so now we know what it is, let’s dive into WHY it works so well for mom entrepreneurs.

The Pomodoro technique helps train your brain to work in short focused bursts on one particular task. And what mom doesn’t need to work in short focused bursts. It also helps you learn to break up extended periods of time into shorter periods with a specific goal. You are much less likely to get distracted and wander over to social media if you know you are working to complete a task in 25 minutes rather than having 2 hours to complete a list of random tasks.

If you can commit to short, focused bursts of time to work on your priority tasks, you will start to develop the skills to complete more in less time AND uni-task. You literally need a focused to-do list and some sort of timer to make this work for you.

For tips for getting kids to entertain themselves, click here to check out my
Independence Skills for Independent Kids system.

Previously, you might have thought of task and time independently. I have a to-do list. I will work on the to-do list for X amount of time. What the pomodoro technique does is assign a task to a short, focused burst of time.

Now you’re saying “I am going to work on replying to emails for the next 25 minutes”. “I am going to file these papers for the next 25 minutes”. “I am going to clean out the pantry for the next 25 minutes”. What comes into play as we assign a specific task to a specific time period is Parkinson’s Law. It states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. If you give yourself a lot of time to do something, it will take a lot of time. If you give yourself a specific amount of time complete a task, you will get more done in less time.

You might be thinking “that is totally me! If I’m on a deadline, I work so much better. Or if I know someone needs it, I do it.”

I am TOTALLY the same way.

That is how the Pomodoro technique can help you with everyday tasks to move you forward. Get it done. Or get a chunk out of the way. Take a break. Get more done. Take a break. Rinse and repeat. You actually get more done because you are working in focused chunks applying Parkinson’s law to those chunks of time.

And as you start to train your brain to work in the short, focused segments, you’ll notice you complete more in less time. As I mentioned in my episode “Limit Distractions to Increase Productivity”, a 2014 study at George Mason University found that quality and time of work significantly increased with the participants were interrupted. And interruptions are less likely during 25 minutes of focused work than you are during a 2-3 hours span.

And if you’re a mom entrepreneur like me trying to juggle kids home and working, those 25 minute segments work great. It is almost exactly one kid shows length. Try this if you need some focused work time while the kids are around: Set up Rescue Bots. Set your timer. Check in when it goes off. Then back for another pomodoro.

Using the Pomodoro Technique

Here is how you can start incorporating the Pomodoro Technique into your daily work routine. Break your to-do tasks down into small chunks. For instance, you probably can’t plan all your social media content for an entire month in 25 minutes. But you could research quotes you want to use. You might not be able to write an entire blog post. But you could research your SEO title, outline your post, and gather your affiliate links. The more you work in defined chunks of time, the better you will get at determining if it can fit into one segment.

If you’re “in the zone”, keep going. Have an uninterrupted expanse of time where you can do some great deep work and stay focused? By all means do it. You don’t HAVE to take breaks. Or you can use the Pomodoro technique for those times when you know you need to work in shorter segments.

Remember time management is a skill. The Pomodoro technique trains your brain to work in short, energetic bursts to complete tasks quickly and in a focused manner. Like training for anything or developing any skill, it is going to take a bit of time and practice…Both in staying focused and figuring out how much you can actually accomplish in your pomodoros.

Ready to uplevel your time management and complete tons of work in short, productive bursts? Start with your to-do list. See what tasks or part of a task you can complete in roughly 25 minutes. Then plot out 4 pomodoros or segments of 25 minutes. Be sure to take those five-minute breaks in between to stretch, go to the bathroom, get some coffee or water. But come right back for the next pomodoro. And remember…after those 4 pomodoros, you get a longer 20-30 minute break. So work hard and stay focused. Your break will be here before you know it.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Ashton Brackett - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Ashton Brackett – 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

Meet mom multi-preneur Ashton Brackett…

Subscribe & Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

I’m blown away by the ambition and focus of today’s guest for “5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur.” At just 25, she’s a mom to 2 and works on 3 entrepreneurial ventures from home. I’m tired just thinking about it. 😂

Ashton works from home as the Director of Marketing and Sales at Milrich Virtual Professionals and owns TJ Elite Contracting with her husband. She recently started Homegrown Momma to create a community for moms to cover all things motherhood. 

Ashton lives just outside St. Louis, Missouri. Her family is the definition of “on-the-go”. She and her 2 toddler boys often travel with her husband who plays competitive softball all over the US. When she is not working or traveling, she can be found surviving on coffee, in the gym, or going on daily outings with her boys. The love the local splash pad, story time, petting zoo, to a trampoline park

Check out more “5 Questions with a Mom Entreprenuer” weekly chats here…

You can listen to my conversation with Ashton at the link above. Or get an overview below.

1. What do you do in your business and why did you choose it?

For Milrich, I am the Director of Sales and Marketing. My role is to get the word out about how we help businesses. We assign virtual assistants of all specialties to large and small corporations.

I am a co-owner of TJ Elite with my husband. We do flooring installation services all throughout Missouri. My husband handles the man power while I do all things marketing, book keeping, and handling operations.

I chose to work in both roles as I have the flexibility working from home to spend time with my family. With our frequent traveling, I can work from anywhere. So this gives me a sense of responsibility outside of mom life, while also allowing me to put my degrees to use.

2. What is your greatest strength when it comes to running your business?

Productivity and time management. In all of my roles my greatest attribute is that I have developed a true sense for keeping organized and ensuring all tasks be completed on time, at a high quality level.

Ashton Brackett - 5 Questions with a Mom Entrepreneur

3. What is the area entrepreneurship where you could grow the most?

Delegating. We all know that true leaders have an innate ability to delegate mundane tasks. But unfortunately I suffer from the “I can do all” or “superwoman” syndrome.

4. If you were to start your business over today, what piece of advice or lesson learned would you emphasize to yourself?

Give yourself time. You don’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to get there tomorrow, just breathe.

5. What is your best advice for balancing business and home life or creating intentional family time?

Time blocking. I am a huge advocate for the pomodoro method. So I create time blocks of when certain tasks will be done.

Where can we find you online?

Website Homegrown Momma

Facebook Homegrown Momma

Instagram Homegrown Momma

Milrich Virtual Professionals

TJ Elite Contracting


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!