5 Tips For Time Management & Productivity

Since having my second daughter, it seems as if everyone and their mother tells me to “Enjoy every minute, they grow up so fast.” Sometimes this statement makes me question if I am actually enjoying my children or just going through the motions and other times it tempts me to punch a total stranger square in the face. But, occasionally I literally stop in my tracks, look at my girls and think, “Am I truly making the most of my time with them?” And while that topic is an entirely different blog, this suggestion has pushed me to ensure I’m leading a life in which I am enjoying, resting, and being present with my family. You may struggle with one of these spiritual disciplines more than the others. For me, it's rest. I know that I must rest in order to deliver my best to my loved ones, clients, strangers {especially those who are at risk of being punched in the face}, and ultimately God. I’ve discovered rest is an act of worship. As strange as that thought may sound, I’ve come to truly believe that rest is our way of saying to God, “You are all powerful and I'm not. I literally lay myself down before you with a gentle and quiet spirit, knowing that you're in control and you are looking out for my good."

Practicing rest and being present can be so hard when you feel as if you’re changing diapers, running to the grocery store, and cooking 24/7. If you have trouble using your time wisely, being present with family, and developing good patterns of rest keep reading.

I want to start by asking you a few questions to get your mind really focused on this topic:

  • Are you too busy for people?
  • Do you feel anxious when you're not working?
  • Do you feel guilty when you're not working?
  • Are you present when you’re with friends and family?
  • Do you feel you need to work constantly?
  • When you're not working are you constantly thinking about work?
  • Are you allowing work to cut into family time, social time, or even self time?
  • Do you allow yourself to go on vacation, sleep, or be unplugged from all devices at any time?

If you’re discouraged about your answers to any of these questions, don't worry, I promise you there is a better way to run a business and your life. It is possible to truly be present with your family, go on vacation, or even have a girls night out while running a successful business. I'm here to share 5 tips that have completely changed our life as a crazy family of four. Oh, and even if you believe you already have an effective schedule, I’ll also be sharing tips for utilizing your time even more effectively plus addressing how to increase value and joy in your life. Let’s waste no more time!


Tip #1: Create a schedule that is family centered.

Hopefully you have a schedule that is pre-planned and in writing {if not, make one as soon as you’re done reading}. I’m always surprised by the number of clients who share they can’t stand following a schedule because it feels "too confining." This statement ignites my super dorky, schedule-loving, type A personality passion because I truly believe that creating structure and front-loading the hard task of creating a schedule, allows you to have freedom and peace of mind later {as in, immediately after you create it}. That being said, sit down and create and/or review your schedule. Make sure your schedule is not only family-friendly, but family centered. Think about the needs of your family and make them first priority on your schedule.* This ensures you’re fulfilling your first calling, as a mom & wife, first. *Make sure you pencil in self-care time as well, so that you can care for your tribe well after caring for yourself.


Tip #2: Include flex time.

Flex time is time in which you can choose to do whatever you want! Sometimes I use flex time to catch up on work, spend extra one-on-one time with my older daughter, or it allows me flexibility to simply push everything forward or back everything up on my schedule if an unexpected event occurs. At the end of the day, your schedule should reflect your love for people and allow you to obey God as his Spirit leads. However, practically speaking, you must have the time to do so. Flex time provides enough room for you to warmly welcome an expected guest in your home or drop everything and go comfort a friend who just experienced tragedy or even “extra” time to bring a meal to someone. Where will you pencil in flex time? How can you utilize this time to most glorify God according to your passions and gifts?


Tip #3: Cut out decision-making.

Decisions take more time and energy to make than you think. Think about ways that you can eliminate decision-making from your daily routine. Decisions such as what you're going to eat for breakfast, what you're going to wear, or even if you're going to shower that day can drain you of energy and also cramp your productivity. Know what you're going to do and then do it. Your schedule will be really helpful in allowing you to eliminate decision making.


Tip #4: Outsource.

If you want to be successful as a mother, wife, friend- whichever roles you play simultaneously with entrepreneur, you must consider outsourcing. Outsourcing simply means allowing someone else to complete tasks for you with the purpose of either saving you time or to be totally honest, completing them better than you could. For example, two tasks that I need to outsource include: Creating workbooks for my courses and organizing client acquisition. What are some tasks that you can outsource in your business? What about at home? {Note: While I am convicted that I am to be the head keeper of my home, without creating an additional expense to do so, you may have the freedom to hire someone to keep your home for you, with one or many tasks (babysitting, cleaning, organizing, dog walking, etc.). Don't look at outsourcing tasks within your home as defeat, but instead your way of taking care of your home.}


Tip #5: Rest between contractions {not included in the video}

When I was in labor with my second daughter {who came after 16 hours of natural labor with Pitocin} the nurse said something to me that made me want to tackle her. {I’m aware I sound like a violent woman, but I promise this character flaw is only exacerbated in rare circumstances. I’ve never actually tackled another woman in my life.} She told me to close my eyes and sleep in between contractions. At first I thought she was simply naïve, being a single young woman with no children of her own. But, as I normally do when someone offers help, I gave it a shot. And sister, let me tell you, I have been practicing resting in between “contractions” ever since. To my surprise, I actually dozed off a few times in between contractions and gained enough energy to complete the task at hand. Obviously I am no longer in labor, but this concept still serves me well in my business. Let me explain...

Even if you believe you have the perfect schedule that allows you to be extremely productive throughout the day & completely present when you're with others, it's important to allow yourself to rest between tasks. I have awful symptoms of what I call "Obsessive Completion Disorder," in which I obsess over following my schedule or start a task and/or list and "can't" stop until it's finished. {Please note: This doesn’t turn out well when you have hungry children, a tense neck, and social events on the calendar.} For me, resting in between contractions looks like allowing myself to close my eyes instead of scrolling through social media while I nurse my precious baby girl. It also means that when I'm in the car I don't check my phone at every stop sign or stop light. Sometimes it even means I don't turn music on, but instead just allow my mind to rest and be present. How can you let yourself rest between the contractions of your life, so that you can have more energy, presence, and joy in life?


If you're an entrepreneur that is struggling with scheduling, look into the Proverbs 31 Mastermind + 1:1 Coaching. October’s topic in the P31 Mastermind is time management and you’re not going to want to miss this. {The next time we’ll focus on time management won’t be for another 6 months. Eeek!}

If you need further help in mastering time management, I will shamelessly plug the Proverbs 31 Mastermind Group until I’m out of breath because it is my conviction, based on my clients’ success with this topic, that I need to regularly offer this opportunity so that other female entrepreneurs can have life-changing success with this topic as well.  

In the Proverbs 31 Mastermind we will focus on:

  • Creating a schedule that works for you and your unique business and family
  • Outsourcing based on your income goals
  • Exactly what to do {and not do} with your time
  • Eliminate decisions that are draining you of time and energy
  • Planning your entire business year, based on your income and business goals, so that you can actually reach your goals while still being an excellent mother, wife, {and any other role that you play}.
  • How to fight procrastination and be more productive than you've ever been in your life
  • And more

The next round of the Proverbs 31 Mastermind starts October 1st.  Click here to sign up. As always, my promise to you is to be honest and give you the BEST next steps for you, not convince you to join a program or invest.

Ali Christian