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The 19 Habits of Successful Parent-Preneurs

The 19 Habits of Successful Parent-Preneurs

Running a business with children running around can be chaotic at the best of times. Talented parent-preneurs know that discipline, focus, and drive is needed to advance a business towards success. Being self-employed means that a flexible working schedule can be developed, and priorities can be juggled at any time of the day or night.

The following successful parent-preneurs tell us the habits they practise to stay successful at work and at home.

Habit #1: Communicating Effectively

I had stresses in business going on and they were affecting me at home. I realized that I was difficult to be around for everyone, but especially my wife. I make it a point to let her know what’s going on in the business now, even if she finds it boring. The most important part isn’t what’s happening, but how I feel about what’s happening. So even though she might not understand what’s going on, she understands that it’s making me stressed (or excited) and she feels like she’s more connected with me and I feel the same with her.

Nurture your family as much as you nurture your business. Your business may take care of your family but your family will care about you.

Brian GattiPartner & Consultant, Inspire Business Concepts

Habit #2: Saying No

I tell my clients that the definition of balance is not trying to get to a perfect 10 in every area of their life. Rather, it’s figuring out how they want their life to look in each area and putting the plan in place to get there.

My #1 tip that always works for me is to pause and consciously choose what I want to say yes to and what I want to say no to. When I don’t do that, I can make choices without realizing that saying yes to this thing really means saying no to something else I may not want to say no to.

Elene Cafasso, President & Head Coach, Enerpace Executive Coaching

Habit #3: Scheduling Family Time

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    Devote one entire day to family each weekend and put away all technology. What I find that my kids want the most from me is quality time. It’s much better to set aside large chunks of time to play, talk, and explore the world and everything else can wait for a few hours (or a day).

    The easiest way to do this is by setting expectations with your clients. In the digital marketing world, it’s tough not to be always on, but communicating when and how you’re available to clients can mitigate any problems.

    Aalap Shah, Co-Founder, SoMe Connect

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    Habit #4: Loving What You Do

    You have to love what you do so it doesn’t feel like work but like a hobby or passion, because you will put your blood, sweat, and tears into your business.

    Kelley Kitley LCSW, Owner, SERENDIPITOUS PSYCHOTHERAPY, LLC, Author of Autobiography, My Self

    Habit #5: Focussing Attention, Not Time

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      You may think you have five hours to work and then wake up to a sick child. So, learn to focus only on the task at hand when you have time. You’ll find yourself much more productive if you do so. If you want to focus on your business while raising kids, you have to become a high performer. That means developing the ability to focus on what is in front of you and be present in any moment. And it means developing clarity, persuasion and productivity skills, and a sense of purpose.

      Nina AmirChief Inspiration Officer & Inspiration to Creation Coach, Pure Spirit Creations

      Habit #6: Taking Care

      Keep your energy up! You can’t help your children or your customers/clients if you have no energy. Take care of yourself first so you can care for your kids and your business. (This is just like the oxygen mask on a plane. Put it on yourself first!)

      Nina AmirChief Inspiration Officer & Inspiration to Creation Coach, Pure Spirit Creations

      Habit #7: Using The 20-3-20-10 Rule

      I work for 20 minutes, then do 3 minutes of quick chores (loading laundry, making coffee, etc.), then 20 more minutes of work, followed by 10 minutes of movement (stretching, prepping dinner, etc.). I use a headset whenever on a call and walk around the house if possible, or load or empty the dishwasher. When my little girl is home, she has a schedule with rewards, extra time with mommy for cooking or reading together, if she doesn’t interrupt me on a call, etc.

      I will say having a child in a kid-focused business is great! Her friends served as preliminary focus groups for my gaming app and she comes up with a lot of great ideas.

      Melissa Halas-Liang, Founder, Super Kids Nutrition

      Habit #8: Writing a 5-Minute To-Do List

      Make a list that you keep on your phone called “5-minute to-do list.” These will be things that take 5 minutes or less to do. Every time you get an extra few minutes, whether it be waiting at the dentist’s office or standing in line at the grocery store, look at the list and do one of them. They can be things like merge your multiple contacts in your phone or search for clients’ birthdays on facebook so you can start a list and make sure you wish them happy birthday next year.

      Amber Dolle, Real Estate Agent

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      Habit #9: Practising Balance

      Being a working mother is a true blessing. I’m showing my children, especially my daughter, that it is okay to work, be a wife, and a friend all at the same time. Aside all the busy trips, meetings, and calls, the moment I walk inside my home, I put down my phone and step away from the computer. Turning off notifications goes a long way and helps remind me that at that moment, nothing is as urgent and important as family time.

      Sometimes it’s easier said than done. In that case, I explain and show my daughter what I’m up to and why I’m on the phone. It’s a great way to converse, bring her in, help her understand and appreciate the work I’m doing. I understand that there’s more than one way to be a good mom. Being confident and balanced in life, I’m showing my children that you can be whatever you want to be without sacrificing the people and things you love.

      Harriet Mills, CEO & Founder, Wine & Design

      Habit #10: Identifying What’s Important

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        Do something every day to move your business forward. Growing a business takes time, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Doing little items everyday will add up to success.

        Heather Christian, Stressed Mommy LLC

        Habit #11: Including The Family

        Being an entrepreneur is typically a 24/7 commitment and therefore, my habit for success is consistently educating and including our son in our business. I wanted him to have some understanding of why we work so hard and have him feel some ownership and pride as well.

        As a parent-preneur, it’s difficult to separate work from home, so giving him an opportunity to participate and learn some business skills made it truly a family business. In the process, he has set up trade shows, packed boxes, worked on our database, met with clients and worn an eagle costume!

        Mickey Swortzel, Owner/CFO, New Eagle Consulting, LLC

        Habit #12: Scheduling Work Hours

        jann

          If you work from home, this is the time of day that you need to be up, dressed, and ready to go. The start time may flex depending on what else is going on in your life, but keeping to a schedule gets you in a regular work frame of mind. Conversely, be sure to schedule time with yourself, your partner, kids, and your friends in your calendar.

          It might seem too rigid to schedule fun time, but often if we don’t schedule it, then the time gets away from us and it doesn’t happen.

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          Jann Fujimoto, Speech-language Pathologist, SpeechWorks

          Habit #13: Remembering Happiness Brings Success

          I try to be a generally happy person. Success does not bring happiness, it’s the other way around: happiness brings success. If you are generally an unhappy person and feel sorry for yourself, if you’re constantly engaged in negative self-talk, you won’t be successful. If you are generally happy, give yourself positive feedback, and believe in yourself, you are more likely to be successful.

          Jesse Harrison, Owner, Zeus Legal Funding

          Habit #14: Being Disciplined

          Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.53.30 AM

            When I had an 8-5 job, I use to think I was so busy, but starting my business has really put things into perspective. I wake up around 4 am to get my training done by 6:30. At 6:30, I respond to emails and do client work until 7:30 (when my girls wake up). After taking them to school (they go for half days), I rush back to the house where I fully focus on work for 4 hours. Then off to get the girls, run errands, take them swimming, make dinner, bathe them, read them a story, and then get them to bed.

            After that, I enjoy my glass of wine while doing some more work.

            Olivia Jaras, Founder & CEO of Salary Coaching for Women

            Habit #15: Learning To Switch Off

            I have to consciously open the app and refresh the screen in order to download new emails. That means, on a Saturday morning, I stop and think before I hit refresh and I ask myself: how will I feel after I see my emails? If I believe an email could trigger a stress response, then I usually justify waiting till another time.

            I have also moved the email app from my home screen to the last screen of my iPhone so that, again, I have to consciously seek it out to check it.

            Katy Martin & Krista Smith, Web Designer Beauty School

            Habit #16: Embracing a Flexible Schedule

            joey4

              When moving from full-time employment to self employed, I kept my working day the same, starting between 8 AM and 9 AM through to 6 PM. I kept the breaks to a minimum and did my best to focus and get as much done as possible. So, all I’d done in this change is heap a load more pressure on myself for the same routine. Gone was the security of an employer paying me and there seemed to be no upside of being self employed.

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              After a while, I decided to relax the schedule and give myself a break if I wanted one. Not just a 5-minute coffee, but an hour or two with my son or a breakfast out with my wife, knowing I could catch up those hours this evening or at the weekend and no one was there to tell me otherwise.

              Ben Hitchens, Founder, Older Dating

              Habit #17: Expecting Respect

              Even though I look like a stay-at-home mom, I am not. I run a business from home. They must respect the fact that I work, so if I am on the phone, they must be quiet and respect my clients. In return, I respect their needs of me. When it is their time, I am devoted to them. Very little cheating is involved. No guilt.

              They also need to know and buy into the fact that this work feeds, houses, and clothes all of us, so they are part of this enterprise. I ask them to play their parts, do their best, and show up professionally like I have to for my clients. They come and help out at my events, they see themselves as part of the message and the business.

              To celebrate our accomplishments, we go on cool vacations. My daughter knows what I make, how my work helps other women, and feels the pride in that.

              Mai Vu, Author, The Divorced Mom’s Guide to Dating

              Habit #18: Taking Baby Steps

              Don’t be disillusioned that your business will be an overnight success (unless you’re very, very lucky or well connected). It takes hard work, focus, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears. I set myself weekly goals and keep a huge to-do list and stick to it. I’m constantly re-prioritising my to-do list and I work on the quick wins first. These small steps will eventually get you to your end goals.

              Lucy McShane, Owner, Real Wedding

              Habit #19: Multitasking

              Multitasking is a necessity. Multitasking is also a family event. Sometimes, my kids are right next to me at Panera or Starbucks while I am sending a few quick emails. I can listen to business podcasts while also cooking dinner. Any opportunity I have to get business done during family chores/tasks, I take advantage of that time.

              Heather McCarthy, Owner, Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books

              Featured photo credit: London Scout via unsplash.com

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              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

              We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

              So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

              While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

              Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

              What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

              How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

              But what does being productive actually entail?

              Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

              Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

              It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

              Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

              9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

              1. Avoid Multitasking

              Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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              Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

              If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

              2. Turn off Notifications

              According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

              Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

              The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

              Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

              3. Manage Interruptions

              There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

              Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

              If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

              By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

              4. Eat the Frog

              Mark Twain once famously said that:

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              “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

              What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

              We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

              Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

              5. Cut Down on Meetings

              Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

              You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

              The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

              But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

              If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

              6. Utilize Tools

              Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

              If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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              And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

              Some examples of tools that could be used:

              Communication
              • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
              • Samepage for video conference software.
              • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
              Task Management
              • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
              • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
              • Wekan for an open source option.
              Database Management
              Time Tracking
              • Clockify for a free tracker.
              • TMetric for workspace integrations.
              • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

              You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

              7. Declutter and Organize

              Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

              Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

              Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

              Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

              8. Take Breaks

              Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

              As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

              Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

              Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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              9. Drink Water

              Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

              Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

              Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

              A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

              If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

              You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

              The Bottom Line

              The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

              After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

              In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

              A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

              Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

              More About Boosting Productivity

              Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

              Reference

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