Find more time - Business Savvy Mama

3 Ways to Find More Time for What Matters

Trying to find more time for family? Self-care? Your spouse?

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Today, I’m talking to the mamas who feel like they never have enough time. I am going to help you find or create more time in your day. And yes, I am a magician. 😉

Here’s the trick…Are you willing to make some choices with where you spend your time? Are you willing to work on figuring out your priorities? Then you will start to find more time to do the things you love.

And this is great because you have the power to start right now. Today. As soon as you finish listening to this episode. You have always had this ability and it will cost you nothing to get started. Win and win in my book!

Incorporating and practicing today’s time management tactics will help you find time in your day and schedule for what is important to you. You will start to feel like you are less stressed on a daily basis because your to-do list is getting to-done. And you can actually find some time to do something for yourself…if that is one of your priorities. Which it absolutely should be. 😉

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

And your family will benefit from you being less stressed and more available to them for focused, family time. Sound like something you can get on board with? Yep, I totally agree.

Pick Your No’s

Your first tip to find more time is to Pick Your No’s.  Whump-whump…as in the things you say “no” to. I stole this bit of parenting advice I received when I was pregnant for my first child. But I think it applies well here as well. So often when we feel overscheduled or stressed about time, it’s because we have said “yes” too often. “Yes!” I will do this for a client on short notice. I will absolutely enroll my kids in 7 different activities. “Sure.” I will agree to make cookies for the school fundraiser and deliver meals to a friend who’s had a baby. And run a business. And have a family life…

Just to be clear, I am not saying any of these things are wrong or that you shouldn’t do them…unless you feel overwhelmed by your schedule and that things are slipping through the cracks. When you start to feel that way, you have to pick your no’s and figure out where saying yes is important and where you need to say no.

Make Your Priorities a Priority

Picking your “no’s” goes hand-in-hand with my second tip to find more time…Make your priorities a priority. Know what is important for you to focus your time on. Get those activities on the calendar. Do what’s important first thing when you sit down to work or with your family when you wake up each day.

I often see a vicious cycle where moms are frustrated because they feel pulled in too many directions because they aren’t clear on what is important for their business or family life. And because they aren’t clear on what’s important in their business or family life, they do all the things trying to make sure every base is covered…all the while stressing out themselves and often their family.

Getting clear on your priorities helps you focus your time and energy on the things that truly matter in growing your business or spending time with your family. And if you have time for other stuff, that’s gravy.

Ask for Help

My final tip to find more time is to let someone help you. And I know this can be hard. Believe me. I am the queen of thinking I can just do it all myself. Or that I can do it so I should. Or that I can do it right and I don’t want someone to mess it up. But letting go of a little control and allowing ourselves help will go a long way in helping us buy time, move forward, and spend more time with our families. You cannot be the only person who does all the things without cracking eventually.

And getting help doesn’t mean surrendering all control. This may mean your spouse puts the kids to bed so you can work on your priorities in the evening. Or everyone pitches in for a 10-minute cleanup session every afternoon. Yes, your spouse might not read The Pout Pout Fish the way you do. And yes, the toys might not make it into the exact right bin you’ve labeled. But sometimes done is better than perfect. Especially if you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

If you feel ready and inspired to find more time in your schedule for what is important and what you love, I want to you take action on the steps I’ve given you today…

  • Pick Your No’s and start saying yes only when something is a priority.
  • Make your priorities a priority. Get those urgent and important things that help you grow your business or spend more quality time with your family on the schedule.
  • Ask for help if you are still struggling to fit it all in. Figure out what you can have someone in your family help with or hire out tasks that don’t require your direct involvement.

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

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Combat working mom guilt - Business Savvy Mama

Combat Working Mom Guilt Like a Pro

Let’s chat working mom guilt.

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Mom guilt something that I dealt with since I became a mother. I have always worked since I had my kids. I stayed home for about 14 weeks with my first son. When I went back to work and had three different part-time jobs during the first year of his life. So I totally get the working mom guilt thing.

I’ve developed a couple of strategies because I believe that kids need us. But I also believe there is something to be learned in learning patience or maybe even a little boredom.

Today’s podcast episode helps all you mamas out there feeling like you can’t ever get anything done because the minute you start to write an email or unload the dishwasher, a tiny human starts crying that they need your attention. The tips I share help the mamas who can problem solve for the fits and tears before they happen…and who can work on a healthy mindset about what your child can learn by playing independently.

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

Up until now, you may have tried asking them to play quietly or told them you needed some space without actually creating a plan for spending quality time either before or after you work.

My tactics may be different from what you’ve tried in the past because they require a bit of pre-planning…both in your work schedule and in your thinking around how you will confront those guilty feelings that creep up when your kids are crying but you need to get work done.

If you implement these steps you will start to create confidence in your kid’s ability to play independently. AND your ability to work (even if it is just for short periods of time). You’ll feel much less of that mom guilt because you are actually building quality time with your kids into your schedule.

Creating a routine around when you work helps everyone know what to expect when mom needs to work. You’ll hear me say this a lot…kids and adults love structure and routine.

Another fun fact, you benefit by getting work done and spending quality time with your kids. Your kids will benefit by spending quality time with you and learning some independent play skills…what’s not to love. Here are three of my strategies for combatting working mom guilt like a pro.

Start with Quality Time

First, start out your work session with some quality time with your child before your quality time for work. This helps to assuage any mom guilt because you know you’ve spent time with your kids. If you’ve got younger kids, start out by having them pick out to short books or an easy game. You’ll read or play with them. Then say “all right, Mommy needs to work now and when we get done we can do something else.”

Spending quality time before takes the working mom guilt off the plate because, ta-da, you already have spent some time with your kids. Start with short activities that might take like 15 or 20 minutes prior to your work session. This will help to tamper those guilty feelings of taking time to do the work that you need to do.

And that “work” doesn’t need to be sitting at a computer and answering emails. That work might be putting away laundry or I’m cleaning the bathroom. You can totally use the same sort of tactic of starting out with intentional time one-on-one time with the kids. And then move into your work, whatever that looks like.

Give Them a Carrot

My next tip is offering them a carrot…Try saying “if you give me the time I need to get this work done, then we will do something you want to do.” Like we will go on a bike ride. Or we will go to the park. Or we will do something that will take a little bit more time.

This works really well if you have analog clocks in your house. As a professional organizer, I often encouraged my clients to have analog clocks. They really help for kids (and adults) to see the passage of time better. In this instance, you say to them “if you give me till a certain time, we will do something that you want to do.” Then you are able to point to the clock and say “the big hand is on the three. If you give me to work until the big hand is on the 12, we will take a bike ride.

Analog clocks give a visual way to see this passage of time. It helps to know when they’re going to get that thing you are offering them. This tactic can also buy you time for work that you’re doing in your house.

Boredom is Good for Kids

My final tip for tamping down mom guilt while you’re trying to be productive is that boredom is actually good for kids. And I know that that sounds crazy to think about but it actually encourages problem solving and creativity. The idea that you have to be 24/7 available to meet the entertainment needs of your kids just isn’t true. And there are plenty of studies to back this up.

A 2014 study from the University of Michigan observed how kids react to having more options to play with and guided play versus less options and independent play. They found when they gave kids fewer toys and allowed them to play independently, it encouraged problem solving and creativity. Because it forces them to exercise those brain muscles.

And the same is true if you are trying to be productive and get stuff done around your house. Telling kids they need to go figure out for themselves what they want to play with is a great way for them to create those neurological pathways. It allows their brain to be creative and to solve problems. Don’t feel like you have to spoon feed your kids entertainment every single day…Especially if you are trying to be productive.

How will you pre-plan to combat working mom guilt? What are your techniques for creating healthy mindset around working in front of kids? Share below to help a mama who may need your strategy. 😀


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

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Screen-free play ideas

Screen-Free Play Ideas So Mom Can Work

You’ve gotta work. Is it possible to get your kids to play…screen-free?

Why yes it is. I got you, mama. I’ve reached out to some of my working mom/blogging friends for their best screen-free play ideas. Whether you’ve got toddlers attached to you ankles or 10-year-olds with video game controllers attached to their hands, there is an idea for your family.

And just to be clear…my kids play on screens. We have tablets. And we have Netflix et al. We even have a Nintendo Switch. But I definitely look for ideas to break up their screen time with some screen-free fun.

One quick suggestion before we dive into the screen-free play ideas you might use…spend some quality time with your kiddos before you need them to play independently. It may be reading a book or having a tea party. Or sitting with them at breakfast without a phone or laptop. It doesn’t have to be hours. Sometimes just 15-30 minutes before your start your “work hours”. Engaging with kids before you need them to play independently will help you start your work knowing you’ve given them some undivided attention. Good for your family. Great for your mom guilt. 😉

For more on teaching your kids independent play skills, you can check out my “Independence Skills for Independent Kids” course. But now, let’s jump into the fun stuff…

Screen-Free Play Ideas from My House

I’ll start with a list of favorites from my house. My boys are 7 and 9 but I’ll include some of their favorites from their younger years. 😭

  • Kinetic Sand (preferred over Play-Doh)
  • Hot Wheels Cars (be sure to check out the super cool track idea from Emily below)
  • Figure Play with Dinosaurs and Transformers
  • Large Floor Puzzles featuring Dinosaurs and Space
  • Duplos/Legos/Kid K’nex (my boys have played with this set for 6+ years)

We keep a fairly minimal household when it comes to toys so don’t think you need more to occupy your kids. One thing that helped me was to look for open ended play like the figures or the cars. That way they weren’t running to me after 10 minutes when the puzzle was finished or the game was done. Open ended play allows them to create a story with no end (well, hopefully.)

Schedule Your Screen-Free Play Times

My good friend Rose Lounsbury is a keynote speaker and minimalism and simplicity coach. She is also mom to 11 year old triplets. #handsfull She says they stick with the tried-and-true old faithfuls like sidewalk chalk, Legos, simple art supplies that make kids do most of the work (aka markers and plain paper), craft kits that kids can do on their own, books, trampoline in the backyard, bikes and scooters.

At 11, Rose’s triplets are able to do more independent play than younger kids but she’s found that the key is creating a SCHEDULE they can stick to and come to rely on. They brainstorm the schedule TOGETHER so they have ownership and honestly, her kids just follow this every day. Sometimes she will remind them if they start to slack on it but they’re so used to following a schedule that it’s second nature now. Check out an example of her schedule below. And you can connect with Rose on Instagram and Facebook.

Summer Schedule - Screen-Free Play Ideas
Photo Courtesy of Rose Lounsbury

Screen-Free Play Ideas for Toddlers

Next, we jump to Kristen Holland who blogs at Gracefully Busy. One of her favorite ideas was to set up an indoor obstacle course. She encourages her 2-year-old son through the course a few times and cheers him on. Once he’s burned out some energy on the obstacle course, he will spend time playing with it on his own. Check out her obstacle course below.

Obstacle Course - Screen-Free Play
Photo Courtesy of Gracefully Busy

Kristen has lots of other great ideas for screen-free and independent play ideas for your toddlers in her post “9 Activities to Keep Your Toddler Busy at Home.”

Screen-Free Play Ideas for All Ages

My friend Emily from Happy Organized Life is no stranger to keeping kids occupied. Along with writing a successful blog and homeschooling, Emily is mom to 7 (well, nearly 7…#7 is due this fall but close enough 🤣) I love Emily’s round-up of ideas for pool noodle fun. Especially with summer winding down and what could potentially be a long fall and winter, she features great ideas to repurpose your stockpile of pool noodles for outdoor and indoor fun. As a mom of Hot Wheels loving boys, I especially love the idea of the Hot Wheels tracks pictured below.

Photo courtesy of Ramblings from Utopia

You can check out Emily’s full round-up of pool noodle ideas on her post “Fun Pool Noodle Activities”. She also featured a slew of electronics-free play ideas in her post “How to Have Fun Indoors Without Electronics”. One of my favorites is this Mission: Impossible-style laser maze made from streamers. What a great way to use up the ends of the streamer roll from your last birthday celebration!

Photo courtesy of Brassy Apple

If you want more ideas for a Happy Organized Life from Emily, you can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

What are your favorite screen-free, electronics-free play ideas for your kids? I’m always looking for new ideas…share yours below!


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

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Free Self-Care Ideas for Moms

10 Free 10-Minute Self-Care Ideas for Moms

Self-care…you know you need it. But do you actually DO it?

I am the first to admit that self-care is often pushed to the back burner by kid needs, husband needs, house needs, work needs, client needs, pet needs…all the needs. Self-care always seemed more like something I would get around to eventually if I had time. But I never had the time.

Then last Fall I felt like I cracked. All this putting out but never stopping to refill took its toll on my mental and physical health. Ok, universe. Lesson learned.

Want to know a great part about slowing down and recognizing my need to take care of me? I realized it didn’t have to take a long time. I realized it didn’t have to cost a fortune. Of course, it could. And of course, I should treat myself. But there are also things I can do on a daily basis that can help me care for myself that take very little time and no money. They are things I can do with my kids so there is literally no excuse.

And that list of 10 free 10-minute self-care ideas I brainstormed last Fall is what I would like to share with you today. It helped me with my mental and physical health at the end of 2019. It helped me maintain a positive outlook during quarantine. And it will continue to help me take care of me into the future. So I can continue to take care of everyone else.

Watch or read below…

Mindset Self-Care Ideas

Mindset work is crucial to my daily well being. Not sure why it took me so long to realize how much my thoughts, positive or negative, influence my daily actions. But once I realized this, I knew I needed to work on my mindset regularly to stay healthy, stay positive, and move forward in my business.

  1. Meditation – This has truly been the biggest game-changer for me in terms of mental health. I used to be afraid of quiet. However, now I see it’s necessary. Call it what you want: meditation, prayer, stillness, quiet time. Just take time each day to breathe and stay present. Don’t focus on what did happen or what will happen. Focus on now. I use the Calm app but there are several options out in the forms of apps, YouTube videos, and podcasts to help you quiet your mind.
  2. Gratitude Journal – It is so much easier to recognize and invite in abundance if you take time each to show gratitude for what you have. It can be as simple as writing 3-5 things on a sheet paper before bed. It can be a discussion around the breakfast table with your family. I personally use the 5 Minute Journal app on my phone. Above all, recognize what you have, big and small. It brightens your mood and helps boost your immune system. Who doesn’t want that?!?
  3. Writing Affirmations – Wanting more is a great motivator. But not when it grates on your self-esteem or ability to show thanks for what you have. You need to appreciate who you are. All your abilities. Affirmations go hand in hand with gratitude to show you how blessed you are. They help you see all the positive traits you can share with the world. And they can reprogram your subconscious mind in a positive way and help you achieve the life you want. (All that from a little daily dose of affirmation…wow!)
  4. Writing Goals – While writing goals may not feel like it falls into the traditional “self-care” category, it does if you write them as if they already happened. Just as with affirmations, writing goals in the past tense will train your brain to believe you already have accomplished that goal. Rather than inserting the doubt that you can complete it. What amazing thing did you do this week?

Physical Self-Care Ideas

Don’t worry…they aren’t all exercise-related. 😂 These self-care ideas include physical activities that you do to help get the blood flowing and improve your mood. But speaking of exercise…

  1. Move Your Body – Even if you aren’t a fan of traditional exercise, moving your body is an important form of self-care. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Set up an obstacle course with your kids. Stretch. Dance. Park your car at the end of the parking lot. Swing on a swing. Rearrange your furniture. Do jumping jacks. Raising your heart rate release dopamine which makes us feel good. But raising your heart rate doesn’t need to be running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or taking a spin class. If you’re feeling disconnected or in a funk, move your body.
  2. Deep Breaths – On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are times when we feel stress and anxiety that we need to slow down. Sitting quietly (you can hide from your kids in your car, I won’t tell) and taking 5-10 really deep breaths while focusing on the inhale and exhale will help to increase your oxygen supply. It helps to lessen stress and anxiety. It can improve your attention span and lessen physical pain. Next time you feel that flutter in your chest, you know the one, find a quiet place and breathe.
  3. Laugh, Really Hard – When was the last time you had a good, hearty laugh? It seems so easy and yet we underutilize this form of self-care. I mean, when was the last time you were stressed, anxious, or sad after watching your favorite comedian or funny movie? Studies have shown laughing can help boost the immune system, ease anxiety, relieve stress, and diffuse anger (I’m looking at you, social media). Take a few minutes to watch funny animal videos or your kids make faces. Watch your favorite funny movie. Read a funny book. Laughter truly is the best medicine. 🤣🤣🤣

Activity Self-Care Ideas

In conclusion, we will discuss activities you can do by yourself or with your family. It’s less about strengthening your mind or getting your heart rate up, and more about doing something you love. Perhaps even with people you love. Or alone…trust me, I’m not judging.

  1. Reach Out to Someone You Love – When was the last time you got non-bill mail? Or a phone call instead of a text? We are simultaneously more and less connected than ever. Feeling disconnected? Phone a friend. Want to express gratitude? Write a thank you card. Miss social interaction with friends or family who are far away? Schedule a group call. Take the next step to create that connection. Social interaction helps to maintain mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Communication with those we love releases dopamine to improve your mood. But we can’t sit and wait for people to reach out to use. Make the call. Send the email. Send the letter.
  2. Make Something – Lots of wiggle room in this suggestion based on your idea of fun. For instance, you could bake something. Craft something. Sew something. Color something. Paint something. Build something. Write something. Engaging in creativity can boost your mood and help you feel accomplished. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The simple act of creating boosts your immune system and increases your happiness.
  3. Read – If you’re a reader, do you make time for it? Reading improves your focus, mindfulness, and connection with your family. By reading fiction before you sleep, you can help improve dreaming (which is important for your brain). Reading with your children establishes quality time and builds a positive relationship with reading and books for them. Not to mention, if you enjoy reading for whatever reason, you should do something you enjoy.

And there you have it. Ten ideas that won’t cost you a dime that you can do it 10 minutes or less to improve your mood, relationships, and overall mental well-being. Which one will you do? Is there something on your list that I missed? Comment below and share how you will incorporate self-care into your routine or other ways you can improve how you take care of you.


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

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Working Mom Mindset - Mom Guilt

How I Flip the Script on Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is real.

Like for real, real. But recently I started to reframe this working mom guilt I had in a more positive light. I can tell you that my husband does not feel guilty about working. So why should I feel guilty about setting aside time to work on my business or work with clients when my kids are around?

That’s what prompted me to explore reasons why I love the idea that my kids see me working from home. You can watch or read below…

1. I want them to see an entrepreneur

My kids know I wake up early. They see me working on my laptop when they sneak out of their beds at night. They know I work hard at my business because they see it day in and day out. But they also see that my dedication pays off. I love that they can see the return on my investment in hard work. And that when they grow up, if they have an idea for a business, hard work and dedication can lead them to their own successful business doing something they love.

2. Every day is “Take Your Kids to Work” day

It’s not just one day a year that they get to see what I do or learn about the different aspects of my job. It’s nearly every day. I can teach them about editing podcasts or videos. We talk about how marketing works (and why we won’t let it work to buy that toy they want. 🤣) I demonstrate time management (some days better than others) because I have “work” hours and “family” hours. Every time I work in front of my kids is a chance to teach them a skill they could use in the future or inspire them to learn more.

3. It teaches them patience

As a work from home entrepreneur, there are times when mama’s just gotta work. I can’t settle every little argument or drop everything to play race cars. And that’s ok. I make time for these things. I’m more intentional with the time I spend with them because I focus on being present during “family time”. Teaching them to wait or hold on has had great benefits. They can entertain themselves like no other 6 and 8-year old I know. They know if I say “when the big hand gets to the top, we’ll go to the park” that I am true to my word. Trust me, there is no accountability like a 6-year-old who knows there’s a park visit in his future. They learn to give me space, respect my work hours, and we enjoy our time together when mommy’s work is done.

Do you struggle with mom guilt? Do you have a strategy for keeping it at bay? I’d love to hear more about how you balance working mom life with family mom life in the comments below.


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

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.