When I started my digital content writing business, I felt overwhelmed.
As a new mompreneur to two toddlers, the little working time I had left me scrambling to prioritize and actually get anything done.
Every time I sat in front of my laptop, I panicked, thinking about how much work there was to do.
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, sales funnels, email lists, product development – the to-do list went on forever.
Add to that the thousands of pages of freelance writing advice and cue the information overload.
Like most mompreneurs, I felt like I had to do it all myself, do it now, and put my children first.
It took me a while to learn to be honest with my mom life about what I could realistically do in the time that I had to work.
So here, I’m sharing eight tips that have helped me avoid overwhelm as a new mompreneur.
By adopting these strategies, you’ll feel empowered to make the most of your working hours and achieve your business goals.
Mom Life & Mompreneur Overwhelm
1. Set Aside Time
Am I right when I suggest that the only way you’re going to get time to work uninterrupted is if you schedule it?
Setting aside time to work on your business is so important because otherwise, you’ll feel torn, frustrated and scattered.
Some moms are miracle-workers that can multitask with the best of them.
In my case, I need to sit quietly to write without distraction.
Carving out time can be challenging so here are a few tips:
- Write down how you spend your time. For a week, diligently jot down what you are doing when you’re not with the kids. Like most of us, you might find that you spend more time than you think on social media or doing things that could be done later. By writing down your time, you’ll see pockets (even 10 minutes) where you can get smaller tasks done – post to IG, write your blog post outline, return emails, pin to a few boards.
- Look at your schedule to see where you can get more time-consuming tasks done. Naptimes tend to offer a larger window, but if your kids aren’t nappers, then evenings or early mornings might be better for you.
- Share your needs with your support system. Who can help you during the time you need to work on your business? Friends, in-laws, a caregiver, daycare? Whoever it may be, share your needs with them!
Once you identify pockets of time and commit to them, you’ll be far more likely to stick to the plan. We have to maximize our precious time as working mamas!
2. Set Realistic Goals
Wow, this one hit home for me! Before becoming a mom, I worked in high-pressure jobs that demanded I deliver. I rose to the occasion because I’ve always been self-motivated and results-driven.
Motherhood didn’t change that, but it did change my priorities and my lifestyle. A few months into my business, I realized that I set myself up for failure with unachievable goals.
I expected myself to progress as quickly and efficiently as I had before motherhood. I wasn’t realistic about what I could achieve with the time and energy I had in my new role as mom.
I was also so focused on the bigger picture that I neglected the smaller steps I needed to take to reach my long-term goals!
The lesson? By focusing on attainable day-to-day goals, I’m making more progress, and I’m less stressed!
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I still sit down at my laptop to type with absolutely no concrete plan for the day.
On those days, I find myself scrambling to get a single task done because I have ten to-do lists and a head full of ideas!
One of the most useful ways to avoid overwhelm as a mompreneur is to plan for your business the same way you prepare for anything else in life.
Are you going to the zoo today? I know you’ve made a list in anticipation of every possible need under the sun!
I know I have to approach my business this way, too. It’s counter-productive to work on the fly. Plans and achieving business goals go hand-in-hand.
When it comes to planning, it’s personal. I like bullet-journaling and using automated apps to help me (more on that below).
I make plans aligned with my goals daily, weekly, and quarterly. When I’m organizing my day, I think about the following:
- Top priorities
- Schedule (hour by hour break down)
- Client calls
- Any urgent follow-ups
- Batch work schedule
Are you wondering what batch work is? Read on!
4. Batch Work
If you are familiar with batch work, you know how helpful it can be to get the job done.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, batch work is when you dedicate chunks of time to a specific task.
It works like this: you dedicate a few hours to do a specific task and only that task. If you’re writing, that is your focus – no emails (turn off the notifications!), no pinning, no social media tasks, or client calls.
Here are some benefits to batch working:
- Better focus
- Increased productivity
- Planning is done for you (Monday – write a weekly email, content plan for the week, etc.)
- Relieves stress because you’re organized
- Sense of accomplishment
If you’re wondering how to batch work, here are a few pointers:
- Identify your priorities and work on those first
- Break out the mini-tasks that go into completing each priority task. For example, if you’re writing a blog post, you’ll likely have these mini-tasks: brainstorm topic, research, write a detailed outline, write the post, source image, optimize for SEO, etc.)
- Organize your batch work based on deadlines
- Assign a block of time to each task
- Follow through on your batch working plan
Once you get your tasks done, it’s time to automate!
Can you use a little help with ALL the content production, scheduling, posting and repinning? I sure could.
And, luckily, most CMS and apps have the option to automate everything from emails to blog posts to social media updates.
By automating your tasks, you can set it and forget it. You can batch work your social media and schedule it, so you don’t have to stress when 8 pm rolls around, and you haven’t posted to Instagram.
I’ve been there!
You may be thinking: I don’t have time to network on top of everything else!
I get it, but I’m going to go a little further and recommend you schedule it to ensure you do it.
Why? Because having peers that you can bounce ideas off, learn from and relate to is essential in avoiding that paralyzing feeling of overwhelm.
Building a business can be lonely, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t see other adults that often!
It is so valuable to share how your week is going, good or bad, with someone who understands your world. You’ll find encouragement and motivation, and likely some leads!
7. Avoid Information Overload
When I first started my business, there was (and still is!) so much information about blogging and content writing.
I ate it all up because, even though I was a published writer, blogging was a whole new writing way for me.
Pretty quickly, I was sitting at a desk with a million PDF print-outs, highlighter in hand, thinking, can I do this?
Granted, learning from those who’ve come ahead of us is vital. Still, it can be overwhelming to seek out information from too many sources.
If I took the time to read everything I came across, I would never do any work.
I found it helpful to identify successful mentors that I trusted and only follow them.
I’m confident I’m getting the reliable, actionable guidance I need, instead of acting on advice that doesn’t align with my goals.
8. Be Kind to Yourself
Can we just get it out there that being an entrepreneur is a LOT of work, regardless of whether you’re a mom or not?
Add to that, little humans reliant on you for everything, and you’ve got the balancing act that is mompreneurship!
It took me a while to realize that ebbs and flows happen for all business owners. It also took me some time to recognize that everyone started at zero, even those with millions of page views and followers.
Now I choose to think: I’m not failing, I’m learning.
Overwhelm and Mompreneurship
It can feel as if overwhelm is a necessary part of mompreneurship, but it doesn’t have to be.
Dedicating time, setting realistic goals, and sticking to a plan has changed my business approach for the better. I hope you find some of these tips helpful, too!
Your turn – How do you avoid overwhelm as a new mompreneur?