Why a Schedule Is Important For Your Kids And Your Business
One of those things that I get a lot of push back on when I’m talking to small biz mamas is having a schedule. If you’ve left the corporate world to work from home, to start your own business you left it so you could be freer. To not have that schedule or the day to day grind. But now that you are working from home you, your kids and your business need a schedule. It’s incredibly important to put some structure in your lives.
In Episode 22 I talked about Creating Boundaries with Your Clients to help you create some structure.
Why Is A Schedule Important For Kids and Business?
First of all, let's talk about kids. Kids thrive in structured environments. It makes them feel safe. It makes them feel comfortable. Kids like predictability and order. If you want your kid to be more well adjusted, create a routine for them.
I am a big fan of the Montessori method. Maria Montessori mentions how kids go through a stage actually very early in their lives where they crave order. And they want to know that there is order in their lives. You might be thinking that that's crazy, because your little kid dumps things all over the place.
When I watch Erik, he would like to dump things out to pick them up and create order with them. I would often see him line up his cars in a particular way. I often saw that in times where things were kind of chaotic around here or when his schedule changed.
So when the shutdown first started with COVID, he was very much into arranging his cars, arranging his things, arranging his animals to create some order. And this was a time when we used to go to the library once a week and that stopped. His music class was not meeting in person anymore. So as a lot of things changed in his routine, he sought order in other ways.
The more of a routine that you can set up with your kids, the safer they will feel, and you’ll have fewer behavioral problems. I would really encourage you to think about how you can put a schedule in place, especially if you think that your kids are going to be home.
How Do You Put Structure In Place To Create A Schedule For Kids and Business
So how do you do this? How do you put structure in place?
Jeff, Erik and I are home all the time. So what I did for my schedule is decide what are the immovable parameters that you have in your life. For instance, your kid has to go off to school at a certain time. That is an immovable parameter. Your spouse goes to work at a certain time, another immovable parameter.
The first thing you do is look at the things that impact your schedule. Those things that you don't have a lot of control over. All those appointments that are already scheduled at a certain time that cannot be moved. For example, Mondays at 10 am you have music class for one of your children.
Your Child’s Natural Routine
Once you’ve seen all those things that are immovable, then you look at your child’s preferences. What does his/her natural routine look like. Most children have a natural routing. They wake up pretty much at the same time each morning. Breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner are usually around the same time. Nap and bedtimes are also at the same time. All these times form a part of the child’s natural schedule. As you look at your child’s schedule, you’ll see a pattern emerge, and that is the schedule that will help your child function really well
You can tell when you’ve gotten off-schedule. Your child becomes grumpy and you realize that he/she’s probably hungry or getting tired.
So, once you’ve figured out your child’s normal schedule, you will now know where you can plug in your own things. When you can work, and when you need to spend time with your family. Using your child’s natural schedule will help dictate your own schedule. You will have a happier kid, a happier home and life is good.
You might be thinking that you need to make your child’s schedule fit your schedule. We’ve tried that, but it did not work very well. Since we are self-employed we can work around Erik’s natural schedule. As a small biz mama, you too can fit your schedule around your child’s natural routine.
There are always days when this is a challenge. For instance, when Jeff has a doctor appointment, that disrupts the schedule. Or some other thing is going on and dinner will be a bit later. Those things happen and it’s okay. It’s going to be fine. But in general, keep on a schedule and that will make things a lot easier.
Be Flexible With Your Schedule
When you put together your schedule you have to be flexible. You have to decide what is working and what is not working. Figure out how to adjust. How can you pivot? As I mentioned in my last episode (Episode 23), it’s really important to have your home time and your work time and separate those two.
I schedule my day in blocks. I have my morning block which is where I do all the things that are really important and that needs to get done. I have my afternoon block that is more work time. Some days, when Erik does not nap, that block gets cancelled. That is why I schedule the important things in the morning.
When three o'clock hits, I'm in mom mode. When you work at home, it’s incredibly important to make that switch, from work mode to mom mode. Usually from three to four Erik and I just hang out. We play, we do puzzles. This is our really fun time. A time for just Erik and mom. By focusing all my energy on him, we get to have those really special moments. I'm not on my phone, or doing email. I'm not trying to catch up with Slack or Voxer or anything else. I'm just mom and I'm hanging out and laughing with my kid.
If you listened to the last podcast episode, and if you're dealing with breadwinner guilt or working mom guilt or whatever you want to call it, those moments make it just melt away.
Having a schedule in place allows you to do this. It allows you to say: “Okay, I've gotten done what I need to get done in that period of time. So I know that now it's okay for me to be mom. It's okay for me to stop being CEO and just be mom.”
That is what a schedule will allow you to do.
What To Use To Plan Your Schedule For Kids and Business
It’s really simple to just use your Google calendar to plan your schedule. Block off your child’s things on your calendar for the day, and then you know what time you have left to actually work.
You need to be very intentional about what you can get done during the day. For example, if your child has an appointment that day, figure out what you can do during that time. Especially if that is the only time you have. You might see that you have an hour after they go to bed, or while they nap you might have two hours that you can work.
Be very intentional with your time. Figure out what you will do during your work time that will move your business forward. Schedule that time on your calendar. When you decide that you don’t have to schedule it all out, that is when you become unproductive. When you don't get things done and that will not be a good day. Schedules and routines are really good to keep you focused and productive.
Here is a great article on How to Get Your Kids on A Schedule When You Don't Do Schedules Well.
Try this if you have never tried to schedule. Give it a week and see how you feel after a week. I promise you that you will get more done. You'll feel better. You'll feel less stressed. Give it a shot and let me know in the comments how your week went.
You are important and what you're doing on a daily basis in your business and in your life with your family is important.