As many of you know, I am a Work At Home Mom (WAHM). I run 3 small businesses from home.
DPK Virtual Assistant Services – Online Virtual Assistant Business
DPK Graphic Design – Graphic Design Business
Surfaces with Paint – NY Based Decorative Painting Business
I have 3 small children under the age of 5 and am pregnant with #4, so my life can get pretty hectic trying to balance it all. Over the years (and a few breakdowns later) I have had to learn how to balance my life through staying extremely organized.
The main thing that helps me to keep my life together is that I keep a weekly to do list, and I am not talking about just a simple bulleted list. I actually have it written down in categories and broken down by subject. Here are examples:
(List Each specific Client)
- To do list for that client
This is my longest section on my to do list. I sometimes have 10 clients in a week who have several different projects. Once a project is complete, I cross it out. Once all a clients work is done, I cross out that clients section with a diagonal line.
Next on my list is:
People I need to Email
This list can get pretty long. I include anyone from clients, friends, family, bloggers, facebook, etc. I get over 100 emails each day, oftentimes more, and I tend to forget who I need to respond to. So, if I keep a list I can stay up on this. I may not get the email out for a few days, but at least it helps me to remember that it needs to be done.
(List Each specific Blog)
- Subjects to post on
- Reply to Comments
- Giveaways / Product Reviews
I list all of my blogs and what I need to post about. This is a running list, because I will come up with ideas and not always get to them until weeks later. I try to post on my blogs at least once a week. My Painter Mommy is my main blog, so I post there more often and have more to do as far as responding to comments, running giveaways, etc.
Home Chore List
- Anything that needs to be done around the house
- Calls that need to be made
- Dr. Appointments
- Church mom’s group stuff
This list changes each week. I try to do one major chore in the house each week such as clean out my fridge, pantry, go through the kids clothes, clean the bathroom, dust, etc. It has been hard to keep up with this in the summer with all the kids home, but I try to squeeze these things in where I can. Once the kids are in preschool full time in September – I am hoping that I can get back on schedule with my home chores.
I keep this list on one large sheet of paper in a special notebook that has 12″ x 12″ lined paper in it. I love it, because I split the paper into 3 sections with lines and then have two sections for clients, one section for the home stuff, blogging, etc.
I start my list on Sunday afternoon or evening in preparation for Monday. I go over the to do list for the previous week and carry things over. I go through my emails to see what work needs to be done and who I need to respond to. I think this is great because then on Monday morning I can immediately get started without wasting time planning the week out.
Keeping an extensive to do list really helps me to stay balanced and to always remember what I need to do. I breathe easier having a plan. When I see it all in front of me, I can stay focused on the task at hand. At the end of each week, I feel so good seeing all the things that are checked off and completed. It is a feeling of true accomplishment.