Every day is different, whether at home, as a mum or working in an office. There are components that make up our day and things that we just couldn't function without. The elements are the same but the tools used as a mum are very different from what I use in business.
The important things in my day...
Every day I do a quick plan. In business, I use a ‘Today List’ that shows me how I am going to use each minute to get my recurring tasks, breaks, my one-off tasks and my meetings accomplished. As a mum, I take 30 minutes either the night before or at the start of the day when no one else is up to plan. I write more about this in my "Plan to start the day the right way" blog, but essentially I need some quiet alone time to think and prepare for what is ahead. Although I may not make a list of everything I want to get done that day, I will make a mental note of the two or three things I need to achieve to make the day a success.
At work, I batch my emails once in the morning, just before lunch and once in the afternoon. This helps to structure my day. The same goes for baby's sleeping and feeding times. I can get things done in between the feeds and when she is asleep. I also know that she is often awake in the afternoons so that is a good time to get out of the house and do something.
2. Take a break
This is so important. In business, to keep the mind alert and ideas fresh we have to take breaks. I would typically take a 10 minute morning and afternoon break and 20 minutes for lunch. As a mum, I am always on the go but in order to maintain my energy and grace levels, I have to take some time when the baby is sleeping to just switch off. This is my "Me Time". A time when the housework can wait and I can do something for me. Usually, this includes eating, sleeping, working on my blog or doing exercise. I try to limit my use of the phone when the baby is around too so I will use this time to catch up on social media and emails.
3. Organise your day
When I am working, Outlook is my best friend. It is such a helpful tool to help organise my day. My emails are there, my calendar is there for appointments and my reminders are there so I do not forget anything. I have my one go-to place where I know I can find what I need. In the ‘mum world’ this is my changing bag. It will have everything I need in it for a successful day. It holds the nappies, changing mat, change of clothes, bottles, dummies, medicines and more. Everything I need to keep baby happy. I knew this piece of equipment was going to be very important to me so I took a while to choose it. I ended up with a rucksack as it makes carrying the baby and bag so much easier. It has all the compartments I need to organise my things and my husband isn't embarrassed to carry it.
4. Team work
Within business you are often part of a team and delegation is a vital tool to use. You must make use of those around you to be truly productive. Many mums try to do things on their own and don't ask for help but if you have a partner it is really important that you work together and delegate different responsibilities. Over the past 4 months, there have been times when I just needed to be baby free. Although as a mum you are rarely alone, it can be very lonely and you can feel like you are having to reinvent yourself into your new role. Sometimes you just want some time to do things on your own (like have a bath or read a book). My husband has often taken the baby out on a Saturday morning just so I can have some personal space. This has been so appreciated. As he is busy working in the week I don't like to wake him in the night but at the weekend he is happy to take the baby so I can catch up on sleep and feel more human again. We have to work as a team. When he gets home at night one of us will do bath and bed time whilst the other makes the dinner. When she was first born we tried to eat before baby was asleep and it never worked. Concentrate on baby first and you can have the evening free to concentrate on each other.
Hope your days can include these things too.