Twenty-four. The number of hours we have in each day. No more. No less. That’s it.
Everyone has the same number of hours. So, why does it seem that some people are more productive than others.
It’s probably because they figured out their most productive time of day and how to use it to its fullest potential.
It’s hard to believe, but not all hours are created equal. Some hours in the day are super productive and others not so much. Since we all only have 24 blocks of time to achieve our goals, how do we figure out which of these hours are perfect for our success. Let’s them your most pro
Being a creative business mom means that you spend your time taking care of your family, honing your creative talents and managing your business.
You have to think about school drop offs, play dates, field trips, volunteering and sports’ practices. The list goes on and on. And that might only be for one child. You do not have the same open ended day as other “single” entrepreneurs.
I love reading about successful bloggers and business owners who do not have kids. Many time they get up early and work until very late. Their entire day is consumed with business related tasks. (Or crazy fun things like scuba diving in Fiji that I couldn’t do even if the time and money existed.)
Their lives seem to all have one thing in common. No daily interruptions. At least not in the same way a mom does.
I’ll admit I have a twinge of jealousy sometimes just thinking about it. What would it be like to get up in the morning and just work all day long? Not have to drop someone off, pick someone up, chauffer to the next activity or help with homework.
Boring. I think it’s juggling the crazy time commitments that make my business and life more exciting. I actually get a bit sad thinking about not having all of those interruptions. It just means that season is over.
Rumor has it that a person working in an office environment is only productive three hours of the eight hour work day. Imagine if you could figure out your most productive time of the day and apply your three hours then.
According to that study, you could be as or more productive as a regular office worker who is putting in eight. The other five you could spend with your family and managing your household. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
But how do you find your most productive time of day? This time is when you get the most things done and can achieve the best success toward your business goals.
So even though you might not have all the hours in the world as everyone else to work, you work during the most productive ones.
Here are some ideas for figuring out your most productive time of day.
Figure out when you get the Most Accomplished
Think about when it is most quiet in your work space. When can you focus the most on your work? I remember blogger Ashlee Marie used to work well past midnight on her blog. She was usually still sending out communication about writing assignments (Pacific Time) when I was just getting up in the morning (East Coast Time). This allowed her to get work done when her five kids were sleeping. Pretty amazing.
Figure out if you are more productive in the morning or the evening. I love getting up at 5 a.m. to start the day before the kids are up. It’s when I am the freshest and the house is the quietest. But by 9 p.m., I am ready for bed. Whichever way you are programmed – morning person, night owl, or mid-day tackler – know your best working time.
When do your Business Sales Happen
Many creative online businesses work on a 24 hour sales schedule now (meaning that you are never actually closed). This can be to our benefit, but can also create confusion on when to produce and ship orders.
If you are a sales based business, choose your business’ golden hours at the end of your busiest business sales hours. This way you can process your sales, answer questions and manage the business all at the same time.
For example, most of our sales occur during the evening and mid-morning hours. My business’ golden hours are early in the morning and right after lunch. This let’s me process the orders from those two busy sales periods. By batching my tasks during these times I am able to get more work done and answer customer’s questions faster.
When your Teammates are also Working
If you have other people that you collaborate with, your business’ golden hours might fit best when other people on your team are also working This helps with collaborations, answering questions and working together as a group especially with large freelance projects or if you work with brands.
It is easier to answer teammates’ questions in real time and be able to contribute to the project as it is happening. I have found it sometimes frustrating when working on freelance graphic design projects and half the team works in the middle of the night. It takes twice as long to complete the project because you have to wait so long for answers.
When in doubt, Pick Naptime
If you are a mom of small children, selecting your business’ ideal golden hours might not be a choice. When all else fails, choose nap time. This is a guaranteed (in most stay at home families, but not always) quiet period where you should be able to get many business tasks accomplished.
No more nap time? As the mom of a child who refused to nap after 2, I completely understand the frustration. I recommend instituting a mandatory quiet hour (although sometimes it’s a quiet 2 hours depending on the tasks that need to be accomplished). Your child can play in their room, read a book or color. Most importantly you get the hour(s) necessary to get your business tasks done.
Write It Down
Once you figure out your business’ golden hours, schedule them in. If necessary, find childcare during them (either a babysitter, preschool program or even child care exchanges in your neighborhood). Plan quiet time during those hours. Whatever you do, find time to be productive on your creative business during those hours. It’s the best way to see your business grow while still being a mom.
Remember, find the hours when you are most productive. Make sure that you choose hours that you are awake, functioning (even before the coffee kicks in) and that you can communicate with others.
If your golden hours are in the wee hours of the morning or you can burn the midnight oil in the evenings, that’s great. But those hours might not be your most golden. It doesn’t help anyone if you are getting up at 5 a.m. to work and sending out client proofs riddled with mistakes. (Believe me – been there.)
After your business’ golden hours are in place, you have set yourself up to be quite productive. You and your business are sure to flourish.