May 12, 2012
Editor’s Note: This blog post has been excerpted from an article that was originally published by Lori McNee on her blog. We’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day by offering some lessons for the busy “mompreneurs” out there.
Busy, creative mompreneurs never seem to have enough hours in the day. I can speak on this subject with authority because my own art career developed between loads of laundry, during my kids’ naptimes, and often into the wee hours of the night.
Here are 7 tips for my fellow mompreneurs:
1. Self-Discipline. I often get asked, “Lori, how do you get so much done in a day?” Self-discipline is what keeps me on task and helps me accomplish my goals. Without it, mompreneurs struggle and the lines get blurred between the two jobs. Fortunately, self-discipline also leads to better work ethics, self-esteem, and mental health. It is a valuable skill and habit that we can learn.
2. Build Clear Boundaries. Working from home sounds easy, but issues arise when the workplace is just steps away from the family space. One form of self-discipline involves building clear boundaries. Try to set work hours and stick with them; take advantage of “free time” when the children are napping or playing. If working every day is overwhelming, take the pressure off and pick 1-2 days per week. Once your children are in school, you can work more.
3. Work in Small Increments. Efficient mompreneurs know how to make the best of spare moments. Have you ever told yourself, “I’ve only got 5 minutes,” and then been impressed by how much you accomplished? When time is limited, try working on a task for 5 minutes. Believe me, I’ve built my art, social media, and writing business in “just 5 minutes.”
4. Limit Distractions. You won’t get much done unless you limit distractions – which is easier said than done for the mompreneur with a home office. Distractions include phone calls, TV, Internet, chores, social media (oops), and even spouses, partners, and children. Distractions cause attention to spread and decrease attention to detail.
5. Stop Multitasking. The best multitasker may appear to be handling more than one task at a time. But according to studies, we now know that productivity drops during multitasking because the brain cannot fully focus. Multitasking mompreneurs actually take longer to complete tasks and are more predisposed to error. The lesson? Do your best to focus on one task at a time.
6. Set Goals. As a self-employed artist, I focus and stay motivated by setting personal goals. The mompreneur should set specific and clear goals, with a deadline. This will help lead to greater output and better performance.
7. Make “Me Time.” Being a creative mompreneur is a rewarding but exhausting experience. We need to replenish our energy levels, and the best way is to create some alone time or “me time.” Devoted mothers often find this tough, as feelings of guilt creep into our minds. But rest assured, taking care of yourself will make you a better mom and businesswoman.
Remember, every day is a Mother’s Day – but I hope all you mompreneurs have an extra special day Sunday.
Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of OPA and PAPI. Lori also ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter and was named a TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She has been a talk show host for Plum TV, and has written for publications including Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses.
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