Mom Office Hours - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

You Need “Mom Office Hours”, Here’s How to Create Them

Do you set aside specific mom office hours to work on or in your business?

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

Or do you just wake up with your fingers crossed hoping you can do some work today? Ever feel like you’re cramming too much into your day? Or like your energy is so scattered you can’t find your rhythm? It may be time to buckle down and create some specific mom office hours. This helps you focus on business building and client serving activities while your family learns to respect that mama’s working right now.

When you block out specific times on your calendar for mom office hours, you are more likely to actually do your work during those hours. Committing to scheduled time to work on your impact-driven tasks makes you more money and grows your community more successfully. Plain and simple.

And when you commit to an appointment with yourself to work, your productivity and focus will increase. When you treat these office hours just like you would if you were leaving the home…by communicating with your spouse, caregiver, or children that you are working and not to be disturbed, you and your family will start to respect your business as a business, not a hobby.

But Mom Office Hours Aren’t for Me

You might be thinking “my life is too inconsistent. I’m better when I just play it by ear and squeeze in work when I can.” Or maybe you’re saying “what I’m doing is working. Yeah, it can be chaotic but we muddle through.”

And muddling through might be fine for now. But when you start to treat your business like a business, you will see greater growth. Just think of the entrepreneurs you look up to…Do you think they are just squeezing it in when they can? Or do you think they are setting aside specific time for focused work?

Designating specific office hours helps you find a flow and dive into tasks that generate more income and reach more potential clients. There’s also a mindset shift that happens when you start treating your business as a business. Meaning you set aside specific time to work both on and in it. Haven’t seen the growth you hoped for with your business? It may be because your brain is subconsciously telling you it isn’t really a business…yet.

These assigned office hours help to feed the Productivity-Fulfillment cycle I like to talk about. When you are more productive, you’ll feel more fulfilled in your work. And feel more comfortable stepping away to spend time with your family in the evenings, on the weekends, or for a vacation. Feeling more fulfilled in your work and home life inspires you to focus and work more productively during your office hours. Because you want to leave your work to work hours and focus on doing what you love with who you love the rest of the time.

5 Steps to Create Your Mom Office Hours

Ready to schedule your mom office hours? Here are 5 action steps you can take to next level your productivity, grow your business, and confidently step away from work to focus on family life each day.

  1. Plan Work Blocks – Look at your schedule for the week and determine when you can “work”. You might base these blocks around when you have clients. You might want to work a few hours each day. Or you might want to have long days where you bust out everything you need for the week. Each one of you is as unique as your business. You know your needs. The big takeaway is to block out that time on your schedule and treat that time as an appointment.
  2. Communicate Your Plan – Once you have blocked the time out, it is important that you let the other people involved know what’s up. The people we live with aren’t mind-readers. So if we need focused time and space, we need to communicate this need with the people around us. Got little people who might not understand “mommy’s working, go play for a while”? You need step 3 which is…
  3. Problem Solve for Distractions – You might to arrange childcare for you kids. Or something as simple as turning off phone notifications. The important thing is to recognize what distracts you while you are doing your focused work. Then create a solution to the problem in advance rather than putting work aside.
  4. Have a Specific Work Space – Once we have the time blocked out, we’ve told our family what’s up, and we’ve limited distractions…We need to go to our workspace. Does this mean you need an office? No, not at all. I built my first business from my laptop at the kitchen table. But I had a specific workspace and a place to organize what I needed to do my work. When you create a workspace, your mind will know the routine. And slide more easily into “I’m going to work now” mode. Plus, when you have a workspace, you won’t waste that precious time you’ve set aside to work searching for what you need to do your work. Whether it’s an office or your laptop with a portable file box full of what you need, designate a workspace.
  5. Make a Plan – Know what you need to work on or your goal for your allotted mom office hours. We don’t want to waste time figuring out how we will spend the time. Look at your to-do list when you plan your work blocks for the week. Assign a specific task to each block. No multi-tasking because we want to focus on completing an impact driven task during this time. And remember Parkinson’s law which states “work expands to fit the time allowed”. That’s part of the magic of office hours…If you say “I am going to finish this project or this task during these office hours”, you are much more likely to finish it during that time. As opposed to giving yourself an open-ended time frame.

Your action steps for today are to create some mom office hours in your schedule for the rest of this week or next week. Look at your schedule and plan the time to work. Communicate with your spouse or children when that time will be. Pre-plan for any distractions that may interrupt you from your focused, productive work. And make sure you have a designated workspace and clear tasks you will work on during your office hours. As I said before, when you treat your business as a business, your brain and the people around you will also see your business as a business.

Streamline and Simplify Your Day - Business Savvy Mama Aftershow

How to Streamline & Simplify Making Decisions

Want to read this post? Make sure you join our BSM Aftershow community for weekly live chats, bonus content, and access to previous Aftershow episodes to help you experience your most fun and fulfilled mom entrepreneur life. You can gain access by visiting bit.ly/bsmaftershow


Protect Yourself from Decision Fatigue - Business Savvy Mama Podcast

5 Easy Ways to Protect Yourself from Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue causing you frustration, stress, and brain fog?

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

Chances are very good it is. We are faced with hundreds if not thousands of decisions every day around everything from what to wear and what to eat. To where to live and vacation. To what to watch or which podcast to listen to. Our brains are constantly in some sort of decision making mode. And frankly, it can get to be pretty exhausting. But is there a way cut down or cut back on decision fatigue without losing productivity. Or eating the same thing 3 meals a day? Actually there is. And that is what we are discussing today.

Making a conscious effort, dare I call it a decision, to redirect your decision-making energy can help you reclaim and redirect that energy in both your work and home life. When you utilize one or more of the 5 tips I’m giving you today help protect yourself from decision fatigue, you will free up energy and time to focus on bigger, more important decision that can impact how your business grows, how much money you make, and how you spend time with your family.

Before now, you may not have given much thought to how many decisions you make in a day or how it could affect your energy. You may even be thinking “It really doesn’t bother me that much”.

But let me ask you this…do you ever feel totally drained when your kids ask you what’s for dinner? Like unnecessarily irritated? Or do you struggle with what to do first when you sit down to work? Maybe you wish that someone would just give you one choice so you didn’t have to spend so much time researching all those options? If any of this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from decision fatigue.

Benefits of Curbing Decision Fatigue

When you make a conscious effort to streamline the less important decisions, you see a major impact on larger decisions you face. Mostly because you transfer your focus, effort, and energy to those larger, impact-driven tasks and activities.

You’ll no longer waste energy deciding what to wear or what to eat because you create a routine or system to offload that decision. You arrive at your desk fresh and ready to tackle your work or decide what needs to be done.

And not to mention…humans actually love the comfort of routine. So while the thought of a routine like Taco Tuesday may seem boring to a mom who loves to cook…There is comfort in knowing exactly what you need to get from the grocery store. And your kids knowing exactly what will be on their plates.

Easy Ways to Protect Yourself from Decision Fatigue

Reducing your decisions is easier than you might think. Here are 5 easy ways you can start today to help cut back on decision fatigue.

  1. Decrease your options. Sometimes more just means more stress or information overload. And I don’t have to tell you that a tired mom entrepreneur doesn’t need more stress. Often, having too many options actually makes the decision harder. A study at Stanford found that when grocery shoppers were offered six different flavors of jams, 30% of shoppers purchased a jar of jam. In contrast, when shoppers were given 24 different flavors of jam, only 3% of shoppers purchased a jar. Reduce the number of options your choosing between to help you make a decision faster and easier.
  2. Limit Your Distractions. As we’ve talked about in previous episodes, any way you can improve your focus will improve your productivity. And as entrepreneurs, so much of our day is making decisions. What we are going to sell in our shop. How we are going to promote our offers. What we should blog about this week. Distractions like cell phone notifications, email pop ups, or even noisy kids can pull us away from our decisions. And increase the time it takes to work AND the stress around the decisions we are making. While eliminating all distractions may be impossible, look for places you can make a change to help you focus. This can help you make decisions faster and easier.
  3. Make Your Important Decisions First. There are lots of numbers thrown around on the interweb about how many decisions we make during the day. And while I couldn’t find a definitive source or number, it’s safe to say we are faced with LOTS of choices every day. Let’s make a little analogy. Say you’re going to work out. You start by running 3 miles on the treadmill. Followed by 30 minutes on the bike. And another 20 on the elliptical trainer. After over an hour of cardio, you decide to try to bench press twice your body weight. Chances are, it may have been easier to start with the bench press when your energy sources weren’t tapped. And the same is true of your decisions. If you know you have a big day making big decisions, schedule decision-making time first thing. Rather than waiting until you’re tapped later in the day.
  4. Create Routines. So routines are a specific pattern of behavior in a specific sequence. Like my morning routine: wake up, let the dog out, go to the bathroom, let the dog in, feed the dog and cat, get lemon water, meditate, and gratitude journal before I start my work. Every weekday morning the same thing. Most mornings, I am up for 60-90 minutes before I make my first big decision. Because I’ve got a bit of autopilot action going on.
  5. Create Systems. In the same vein, creating systems helps you create a pattern of repeated actions for a specific outcome. Like my podcast publication system. I have a specific checklist for each episode that contains all the necessary steps. From writing the episode to recording and editing to graphics for various social media platforms. I do have to make some decisions within the system like topics or photos. But I don’t have to recreate the wheel and decide what steps I need to take to publish each episode. I have already decided the steps, I just need to act.

And speaking of acting, your action step to help you protect yourself from decision fatigue is to employ one of the decision curbing tactics we discussed today. Decrease the number of options you research or create. Limit distractions so you can stay focused. Make important decision making your first priority in when you start to work. Create a routine so your mornings or evenings or meal planning can run on autopilot. Or create a recorded system for regular activities. Then don’t have to decide what to do each time you publish a blog post, post a new item in your shop, or create a sales email for your community.