Have you ever googled, “how to sleep less” or “how to have more time” As a mom and adult coloring business owner, I know I have! I didn’t find an online store that sells extra hours to busy moms. (If you find one, please send me their way!) Thankfully, I do have an ace up my sleeve.
What do we do when we can’t buy a certain thing? We make it! And just like that, I’m here with a DIY tutorial on making time.
You might be wondering: who am I to teach you this? My name is Anna and making time out of thin air is my second nature. I’m running a successful adult coloring business over at Anna Grunduls Design. I illustrate super-intricate coloring pages and manufacture stationery to color in.
The business itself is a lot and on top of that, I’m taking care of my 6 months old baby boy. My company is flourishing, my baby is healthy and happy and I even get to meet up with my girlfriends! WAHM goals, am I right? I’m here to share my secrets, so let’s not waste another minute and get into it.
You will need:
- A little bit of patience for yourself. Making time takes practice!
- Belief. You can do this!
- A whole lot of letting go.
Step 1: Acknowledgment. You’re the queen of your time.
Do you ever say “I don’t have time for this?” What if I told you that’s not true? Anything you spend time on is a choice. It doesn’t feel like a big decision, because you make these decisions subconsciously. They’re based on your habits, emotions, and patterns.
That’s great, you don’t need to overthink your every move. But there’s a catch! Your habits and patterns are not always supportive of your goals.
The truth is – you have time for anything you want, but it’s limited. So the first step to filling that time well is acknowledgment. You need to realize that your time belongs to you only and no one else. You decide what to spend it on.
There’s a simple trick that can help you become more aware of how you manage time. Don’t say “I have no time for this.” Instead, change this phrase to “I choose not to make time for this.“ What a huge difference!
These few powerful words change everything. If there’s one thing on this list that you’re going to make happen in your life, let it be this one. Change your wording and it will change your perspective.
Step 2: You can’t do it all. Let go.
How do you make time for it all? You don’t.
As I mentioned before, your time is very limited. Sure, there are a million things you think you should do. There’s folding laundry, cooking dinner, washing the dishes… And who’s going to sterilize the baby bottles?
Even if you could do it all, don’t.
Moms are often bad at letting go – let’s fix that here and now. Make a rule that you will let go of one big thing every day. Don’t beat yourself up over this, be proud! Tell yourself “I’m proud, that I chose not to make time for this”. I promise it will feel good!
Here’s a fair warning: It can be hard at the beginning. You might even feel a little guilty. It will take a few days for you to realize that the world did not fall apart because you skipped one task each day. In fact, everyone’s ok and you’re happier about it.
What will you let go of today?
Step 3: Ask for help
My adult coloring business taught me an important lesson that all moms should learn.
It’s ok to have others do your work! It’s called delegating.
You may feel out of place asking your family and friends for help. Maybe you feel like you’re the one “sitting at home” all day, while they go out to work. But you know what? It’s not a race. It doesn’t matter how full your schedule is. If you need help with something, you need it.
Whenever you feel the overwhelm creeping up on you, go ahead and ask for help. Don’t wait for people to volunteer their time, ask right away. If they can’t help you at the moment, they will tell you – no big deal. It doesn’t hurt to ask and most of the time, you will actually receive a ton of love back.
If your financial situation allows for that, consider hiring professional help. Focus on what you do best and delegate the rest!
Here are some things that you might hire out:
- Cleaning up
- Cooking baby foods (You can buy pre-cooked meals too. There’s no shame in that.)
- Babysitting (Even if it’s for a few hours every week.)
Fun fact: Going back a few years, we would spend every Saturday cleaning up our apartment. It took us a full day and I started to hate Saturdays SO MUCH. It was at the same time that my adult coloring business, Anna Grundus Design started rapidly growing. I decided that I’d rather work more and hire a cleaning lady than keep making myself unhappy.
Turns out, the cleaning lady only needed a few hours to clean up the whole apartment. When she finished up on her first day, she asked me if I was happy with the work she did.
I actually told her that I will recommend her to a renovation crew. Our apartment didn’t just look clean. It looked like it was brand new!
Fast forward to today, we still outsource cleaning to a professional housekeeper. I’m not ashamed that I can’t keep up with cleaning up. I choose to not make time for it. I’m proud of that. It means I made time for something more enjoyable or more important.
Step 4: Make yourself a priority.
Now that we freed up a few hours here and there, it’s time to bump you up on the priority list. No more “I didn’t have time to shower today” or “I didn’t have time to eat breakfast.”
Imagine saying this in your new wording “I chose not to make time for shower and breakfast.” Did it make you cringe? I hope so!
Girlfriend, you are important!
I don’t want to hear that you made time for laundry and didn’t make time for yourself. Laundry can wait and your happiness can not. Make a rule that you will do something for yourself every day. For example: Get dressed and drink a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you wake up in the morning.
The morning is a perfect moment for your daily ritual because it sets the tone for the entire day. Make something for yourself before you tackle housework. It will boost your self-esteem and can even make you more efficient.
Step 5: Plan!
Ok, it’s time for the final piece of the puzzle: Your daily plan. Scrap your endless to-do list. It’s time to get started with realistic time blocking.
A common mistake moms make when time blocking is blocking each day full of random tasks. Then, when a block falls out, their entire plan is out of place. Yet, mom-life is full of spontaneous events and putting out fires. So what’s the trick? Block time in your daily calendar for the unexpected.
I usually block nine hours every day. Six hours are blocked for my adult coloring business, Anna Grunduls Design. One hour is blocked for housework. Two hours are blocked for unexpected emergencies.
Ok, but what if there’s no emergency on a certain day and you have two extra hours planned for nothing? Well, I’m 100% sure that you will use these two hours for something awesome.
Moms always have something to do! Believe me, you’ll never be sorry that you have some extra time. It’s a much better feeling than being behind schedule due to unexpected events.
Now it’s time for you to make your plan!
Write down the tasks you need to do tomorrow. First, block out time for tasks that are the most urgent and simply cannot wait. Then, add in your “unexpected emergencies” block. You can always push it down during the day and move the blocks around as needed. Finally, add your other tasks to fill up the schedule.
My favorite tool for this is Hourstack, but you can also do this completely free in Google Calendar. (Side note: I am not an affiliate of Hourstack. I genuinely love the tool.)
Estimate the amount of time you want to make for each task. In some cases, it’s hard to tell how long a task might take. In this case, plan too much time rather than too little. If you plan less time than the task actually takes, it will bother you. If you finish up faster, you’ll have extra time in your schedule and you’ll feel very accomplished.
Once your schedule is ready, make sure that your time blocks don’t add up to something ridiculous. Be realistic, your day is only so long.
I really hope that these tips will transform the way you think about time and operating your own business. If I can run an adult coloring business, take care of my baby and have a social life – you can do it too.
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