A Busy Business Consultant and Mum of Three's Favourite Time Hacks

A Busy Business Consultant and Mum of Three's Favourite Time Hacks

A Busy Business Consultant and Mum of Three's Favourite Time Hacks

If you’ve been keeping up with the OJC blog for some time, you may already know that I have my hands full as a busy CEO who also happens to be a mum of three. If you’re new here and just learning this now, welcome! Something you should know about me is that I love wearing both the hats of mum and CEO. I firmly believe that as women, we shouldn’t have to choose between building our dream business or our dream family. We can have both…it just requires a little planning and a whole lot of patience!

Jokes aside, a common question that I am asked over and over again is how I manage all of my day-to-day responsibilities while running Olivia Jenkins Consulting and tending to my three young babies. As I’ve said before and will continue to say again, it isn’t always the easiest or smoothest process – but over time I’ve discovered quite a few routines and “hacks” that work extremely well for me in managing both work and home life efficiently.

While everybody’s lifestyle, priorities, and routines look different, I’m sure that you can still benefit from some of these tips and tricks if you’re a working mum who struggles to find that perfect balance between babies and business.

Let’s dive in!

Hack #1: Schedule your day based on YOUR productivity.
There’s a lot of advice out there about the “optimal time” to do certain tasks in your routine. And sure, that may work for some people. But others need to lean into their natural productivity levels in order to organise their day most efficiently, and that’s perfectly okay too! I encourage you to take a look at your day and see how you can tweak your schedule to best fit your energy and productivity levels. For example, if you wake up with tons of energy, that could the perfect time to get your most time-consuming and difficult tasks out of the way (as opposed to waiting until you’re already tired later in the day).

Hack #2: Order groceries and prepare meals in advance.
I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, and I’m sure most of the mums reading this will agree with me: mealtimes and grocery shopping can take up so much time if not planned for correctly. You have to find a window in your day to do the food shopping (which can easily take an hour or longer if you have the kids in tow as I often do), decide what to make for dinner, actually prepare dinner, set the table, and clean up. This is downright EXHAUSTING to do on a school or workday. But there is an easier way, and it starts with grocery delivery and meal prepping.

These are two meal-planning strategies that will save you HOURS. You can decide on  a menu for the week (eliminating decision-making after work) and order your groceries online ahead of time. Then, begin preparing as much as possible in advance, so that your overall cooking time for the week is faster. This can be as simple as pre-slicing your ingredients or as complicated as prepping entire meals.

Hack #3: Time-batch your tasks.
When you have a lot of tasks to complete, I’m a huge advocate for a process known as ‘time-batching.’ This is a time management method in which you take a few similar tasks, group them, and work on them in one go without interruptions. I’ve found that this method works especially well with those mundane yet time-consuming tasks that we often put off — such as answering emails or folding laundry. 

Hack #4: Use your breaks wisely.
Let’s be honest — when we’re at work, it’s almost impossible to spend the entire day at the computer with 100% focus. You NEED to take the occasional break to preserve your eyesight, energy, and sanity. So, step one is to start taking breaks if you aren’t doing so already. Step two is to use these breaks to help you check less mentally taxing “to-dos”  off your list, such as scheduling appointments, paying bills, or trips to the pharmacy/convenience store for essential items.

Hack #5: Location is everything.
It is so easy to underestimate the importance of location when you are selecting the places you will frequent, like office spaces, schools, daycares, doctor’s offices, sports centers, etc. But the truth is, the hours in the car do add up. You do not want to lose valuable time to a long or out-of-the-way commute, especially if it’s something you have to do daily (like driving to the office or picking the kids up from school). I understand that it isn’t always possible to select locations based on their convenience, but when it is, I urge you to at least think about it! It’ll give you SO many hours back in your week.

Hack #6: Master your morning & evening routine.

I am a sucker for routine. I truly believe it keeps me on track and allows me to go about my day and unwind at night in a positive headspace. Over the years, I’ve mastered both a morning and evening routine that sets me up for success. You can check out my routines in my Day in a Life blog post here. 

When creating your own morning and evening routine, I encourage you to think about what steps you need to take to achieve your desired goal. For example, the aim behind my morning routine is to get myself and the kids ready and out of the house without feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or crunched for time. The goal behind my evening routine is to spend time with my family, get the kids fed and sleeping, and wind down for the night. Because each goal is different, what I prioritise in each routine looks different too.

Hack #7: Create a cleaning schedule and get the whole household involved or outsource some help.

Ah, cleaning. When we make it a daily priority, it feels like it never ends. When we put it on the backburner for a few days, it feels like the most overwhelming task in the world to tackle. You may be wondering…how on earth is a working mum supposed to keep her house in order?! I’ll be honest, I haven’t 100% cracked the code on this one, but I do have two suggestions that have been a MASSIVE help to me.

  • Create a cleaning schedule. A great approach to cleaning is to divide up all of the tasks that need to be done to get the house sparkling and assign 1-3 tasks to each day of the week. For example: dusting Monday, vacuuming Tuesday, laundry Wednesday, etc. If your children are old enough, you can get them involved in simple chores (such as putting their clothes in the hamper or putting away toys at the end of the day) this way too!

  • Get some help. If you’re financially able, one of the biggest reliefs you can give yourself is to outsource professional home cleaning. I’ve seen families do this once a month, once a week, or even multiple times a week — and it can truly make the biggest difference in the world, especially if both parents are working and don’t have much time to clean around the house.

  • Hack #8: Schedule something for YOU to look forward to each week.

    Let me ask you a question — when was the last time you did something solely for your own enjoyment or pleasure? As working mums, we have so much on our plates that at times we forget to take care of our most valuable asset: ourselves! Moving forward, commit to working one thing per week into your schedule that you can get excited about. This can be a self-care treat like a mani/pedi or massage, or something as simple as a meditation practice or a workout class. All that matters is that you are taking time to focus on yourself every now and then! Something I’ve started doing that I absolutely love is taking the occasional staycation by myself at a local hotel. It’s the perfect reprieve for a night or two.

    I hope you found these working mum tips helpful. As I keep learning and growing, I’ll be sure to continue to let you in on my top secrets. In the meantime, I’m here to chat about all things mum life and time management if you’re craving balance and a practical plan — simply head to my Services page to learn more about booking a strategy session!

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