Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of my computer as I was planning out aaalllll my 2017 tasks in just a few days. Yes, that’s right, an entire year’s worth of projects in about one week. And people freaked out. Rightfully so! I know how crazy it sounds, 12 months of work scheduled out on a calendar is a little control-freak-ish right?! It’s okay, you can say it. But this method helps me brain dump all my ideas + plans for the coming year in an organized way so I can actually accomplish the things I set out to do on January 1.
I’ll be honest, 2016 has gotten off to a rough start. I try to be transparent in my corner of the Internet, not to glamorize anything I do (because trust me, it is rarely glamorous), but to be totally honest about what the life of a single mompreneur actually looks like. And so far this year it’s looked like a strong-willed toddler, an unexpected breakup, and one very worn out mama. Post-divorce dating is a whole blog in itself, #amiright?! Someday. As much as I’ve tried to be prepared for this new year, I’ve had a lot of other things on my mind and frankly haven’t had the energy to poor into elaborate business goals and strategies to reach them.
As a creative business owner, I’m guessing you have a million ideas shooting through your brain at all hours of the day. Don’t worry, you’re not alone :) I can't seem to get my brain to shut off either, and I recently found myself feeling scatterbrained and unable to move forward with business ideas or decisions because there was so. much. stuff up there. Google Drive was overflowing with random, unorganized notes and lists, and my desk was overrun with scraps of paper and post-its. Enter Evernote.
Ok folks, we’re back at it with part two of learning how to balance motherhood and business for creative entrepreneurs and work-at-home moms. Let’s cut the small talk (ain't nobody got time for that), and get right to the last 3 tips for mompreneurs.
On my to do list today is write a blog post. I’m quickly finding that writing is becoming a creative outlet for me to get thoughts, feelings, and ideas out of my head. It’s like a therapy of sorts. For the last hour and a half, I’ve been struggling to get Poppy to sleep for her morning nap. I’m at the point where if she starts crying one more time, I’m just throwing in the towel on the morning nap and hoping for the best this afternoon. Any other mamas reached this point lately?! I find that I easily get frustrated by her fussiness and lack of sleeping because it means time away from my work. Next comes the guilt for feeling this way. And then the reminder, usually from a fellow mama’s Instagram post about a similar struggle, that my daughter should come first, and my business second.
I don’t know about you, but as a creative entrepreneur, my mind is always planning and dreaming about the next project for Paper + Oats. I lay in bed at night thinking of ideas to make existing products / services better, ways to collaborate with other business owners, and lofty dreams I have for this little business of mine. To be sure I don’t let a single task slip my mind, I use two tools every single day to keep my projects, ideas, and tasks organized.
If you’ve been following Paper + Oats anytime in the last month or so, you’ve probably heard of Batch Day – it’s a quick little idea I had to create community around productivity. In a nutshell, Batch Day is a one-day productivity challenge for creative entrepreneurs. Here's the plan: you’ll dedicate an entire day's work to one topic, eliminating all distractions so you can make the most of this hyper-focused time. Hold yourself accountable, learn from your peers, and get a healthy dose of motivation throughout the day with other creative business owners using #POBatchDay on social media.