By Christina Tseng (Perth, Australia)
Time is one commodity that is very scarce in a busy mum’s life. Especially if the kids are under the age of five as they just need more hands-on care and attention.
So how can a mum manage a business and still find time to do all they need to do for their kids?
The key is be absolutely anal about managing your day. And to maximize every minute of your waking hours.
The beauty about network marketing is that it allows you to work the business around the kids’ schedules.
One tip that helped me a lot in my business was something I learnt from a very successful stay home mum in my company. She was a single mum with five children, two of them with a debilitating lung condition.
Yet she was able to grow her business into a global multi-million dollar business.
If you are a mum with very young children under the age of 3 for example, this would mean working the business when the kids are having their nap. That one hour block can be used to make calls to your contacts, or to talk to your team. Another chunk of time would be when they are in bed at night.
Because women are excellent in multi-tasking, you could also be making your calls while doing housework. Most housework is mindless activity anyway. You could do most of it automatically.
So for example, you could be doing the laundry and still make calls. I used to do the ironing with baby playing in the same room while I made calls. It actually made that chore which I hated, more enjoyable because it made that time extra productive and that same hour was creating income from my business.
Other nooks and crannies can be found whilst mums are socializing with other mums. I really enjoyed my time with my little toddler going to playgroups and attending baby gym, baby swimming classes and music awareness programs. My toddler was exposed to all these great activities which gave her excellent stimulation.
At the same time, I was meeting new people and extending my network. Because we were all mums, it was so easy to connect with them as we all faced the same challenges. So it was natural for them to ask how I coped — balancing a business whilst being a mum just like they were. When they learnt how I did it, they wanted what I had and some of these mums later became my customers and business partners!
Another key to managing your time is learning to do selfdevelopment whilst on the go. With so much mobile technology now available to us, there is no reason to have any downtime. Mums spend many hours on the road ferrying kids to school and their various activities, doing grocery shopping and even on vacation road trips. These are great opportunities for selfdevelopment and learning.
Download audios into your phone so could have your mobile university with you wherever you go – when doing your exercise, walking the dog, watching your kids in the playground. I had hours of learning and self-development during these times.
Another great tip is to have set routines in your days. Kids need routines anyway and they behave better when you stick with consistent patterns of activities.
This allows you to plan your “working hours”. So for example, if you know there is swimming on Monday and little Johnny usually has a snack, a bath and a nap after, you could spend the swimming time networking with the mums at swimming and then when Johnny is napping, use that time to catch up with housework and make your follow-up or inviting calls at the same time.
That was how I did it and it worked extremely well.
So when you have a block of time when the kids are finally in bed for the day, plan your schedule for the next day. Have a list of names you will call, follow-up with and team members you need to contact. This way you don’t lose a single minute with the “free time” that you have.
Managing your business gets easier when the kids go to school. Then you have more time to work on your business. And if you have learnt to cope whilst you had toddlers at home, you will find it’s a breeze to work your business with the kids at school!
Our business also allows us to have the kids “come to work” with us. When you have other mums with kids as business partners, it becomes a fun community of mums who can hold home meetings while the kids play together. One mum could be the babysitter for the group whilst the meeting is going on.
Learning to delegate is also another important time saving technique. Get your partner involved in housework and get them to be responsible for certain chores. Train older children to help with chores they can manage. It teaches them responsibility and encourages them to cooperate. Engage paid help to do jobs that can be outsourced for example, the cleaning or gardening.
Keep a timer. Use this all the time so you will know when to move on and not take too long on each task. And be really disciplined in doing this.
Discipline is really important in being successful in managing our time. Be consistent and develop really good time efficient habits. Be a list-maker. Make lists for everything so it keeps you focused.
Lastly give yourself a pat on the back when you are able to achieve success. This is so important. This is not an easy business but it’s not impossible. So keep focussed on your plan for the day and work that plan. And celebrate each and every success.
Christina Tseng is an Emerald Director and can be contacted at www.christinatseng.com