Celebrating National Small Business Week in St Louis: May 1-7, 2022

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Make the most of your small business during National Small Business week!

 

At St Louis Mom, we are always championing our amazing local mom business owners. So, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate National Small Business Week in St Louis than to help support all of these fabulous tired and overloaded mompreneurs with a few tips about how to really get things done when you’re balancing being a mom and a small business owner.

You may or may not know this about me, but I have kind of a lot going on 🙂

Oh, you too?

Yeah, I thought so.

Aside from being a full-time Certified Life, Business, and Relationship Coach, I also have an e-commerce business. Additionally, I’m a mama to five adult kids and Lolli to one grandbaby with a second on the way. And don’t forget our deaf Great Danes and having quality time with my honey and friends as well as volunteering. All of this means that at any given moment, I have quite a few plates spinning.

I’ve been asked how I get so much done when I have so much going on in my life and business, so today, as we’re celebrating National Small Business Week here in St Louis, I thought I’d peel back the curtains a bit and share how I do it all (and help so many of my busy mama business owners do the same through our coaching relationships).

 

1. YOU MUST DEFINE YOUR WORK HOURS.

 

If you have kids at home, and you work at home, you really want to be strategic about when you’re going to work. This keeps me from working all the time and feeling okay about being disconnected the majority of the day.

So, this is simple: sit down and decide what hours you actually want to work.

  • How many hours per week are you committed to giving your business?
  • What days will be your workdays?
  • Within what time frames?

If you’re reading this and you don’t have kids at home or at work with you, I recommend still setting some specific work hours. I used to “work” all day, and yet I still never got as much work done then as I can now in a single week because I set clearly defined work hours. Really be honest about how much time you actually need to be working to keep your business humming.

 

2. SCHEDULE YOUR WEEK.

 

Running a small business without having much structure is a recipe for wasting a lot of time and energy on things that just aren’t important in the moment.

Go through your “master” to-do list and schedule your tasks throughout the week. This could be in Asana, Trello, ClickUp, or a physical planner.

If you’re not using a project management tool or a calendar of some sort, then I’m curious how you stay productive? You’re much more likely to get everything you need to get done if you actually know what you need to be working on.

Whatever way you decide works best for you to organize yourself, start it today and intentionally ink in time daily as well as weekly to always know what you need to be working on before you actually sit down to do it. You will be shocked at how much more productive you will be as a business owner. At the end of each workday, I always know what tasks I will begin my next day with and I plan out my Monday morning before the new week starts. This is a game-changer.

 

3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR PRIORITIES.

 

What is the most important thing that you need to get done this week?

I know you’ve seen the planners that have a space for the Top 3 of the day, and this is because it’s important to prioritize what you’re working on.

Because I run businesses and juggle all-the-things, I have a lot going on each week. I need to quickly and easily see what’s the most important thing to get done throughout the day / week so I can stay on top of bigger goals while I’m working.

You can easily do this by putting your top tasks at the top of your to-do list and don’t give yourself too many items to try to squeeze into one work session. It doesn’t help to set yourself up for failure, right? I want you to feel amazing at the end of the day from rocking those to-dos and getting your main priorities accomplished!

 

4. DUMP THE DISTRACTIONS.

 

It’s so important to get rid of distractions while you’re working.

Turn on the Do Not Disturb or Focus mode on your computer and phone when you’re doing focused work. This doesn’t necessarily have to be every single task, but you should at least be doing this for your high-priority tasks each day.

Also, if you don’t already, turn your phone over or leave it in another room.

I suggest this to my clients all the time, and I’ve had them tell me they simply can’t be away from their phones because “what if…?”

This is why our phones have loud volumes for the ringer! Don’t even worry about it!

If you can’t leave your phone in another room, at least put your phone in your desk drawer or flip it over beside you.

I also highly recommend you communicate your work schedule to your closest people and how to best get ahold of you during that time only if it’s an emergency. This will help you keep your boundaries high and they won’t be shocked when you don’t respond to them during your work hours.

Tough love: if it kills you to be away from your phone, you probably need to think about a detox …

Also, make sure you’re turning off notifications. You don’t need browser or phone notifications for Instagram or Facebook. You just don’t. Turn those off so you’re not distracted by them when you’re supposed to be working.

Working mom handling her business from home

 

5. FOCUS ON JUST ONE TASK AT A TIME.

 

This is a super simple task, but you will be shocked about how much a game changer it really is.

Multi-tasking really doesn’t work.

Put your tasks in the order you want to do them, and then just work down the list. It’s also hugely beneficial if you batch like tasks together in order to keep you in the same mode when you transition from one task to another.

I realize that a lot of people already do this. Here’s the thing, though: making decisions can be hard. Deciding between a bunch of things that you’re either really excited to do or tasks that you’re not looking forward to working on leads to procrastination.

So instead of spending an hour trying to make that decision, procrastinating, and then finally forcing myself to figure out what I want to do, I just work on what’s on the screen until I’m done or need a break.

 

HOW DO YOU GET THINGS DONE?

Regardless of whether you’re a mama or not, I’d love to hear your secrets to getting stuff done for your business. Leave me a comment below with your #1 productivity tip!

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