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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Time Management Problem - Possible Solution


I've only been blogging for a few weeks, and I learned about CVS-ing a week or two before that. So, all-in-all, I've been at this for a little over a month now. As I've learned more and gotten some excellent deals, I find myself being drawn to my computer more and more. I've been careful to not sit at it when my daughter is awake, so the issue is the time I have to work with when she's at preschool or sleeping.

Unfortunately, this draw has cost me some valuable time that should be spent elsewhere. I run a small business, and I'm a little bit behind on my orders right now. I have some designing to do for some customers, and it got put on the back burner a couple of times this week. That's not good for my business!

Part of me says, "But I'm saving money for my family by learning more about CVS-ing and printing coupons from the Internet!" But the other part of me says, "You could also be bringing in more income if you would take care of your customers in a more timely manner." Granted, my customers still think I'm quick, and they're all very satisfied. But I pride myself on getting things to them BEFORE they expect them. Then they think I'm beyond quick and definitely come back!

So where's the balance?

I work outside my home three days a week. I also run my small business (an invitation/stationery company) and do some grading for an online school when I'm home. I run my household (with a TON of help from my work-at-home husband), and I try to spend as much time as humanly possible with my three-year-old daughter. That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for blogging and printing coupons, does it?


I think I've decided to start scheduling my days. I talked to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, and she also runs a home-based business. She said that she started keeping a calendar for each day. She literally scheduled in time to unload the dishwasher, check e-mail, walk the dog, and everything else that needed to be done. Things certainly got moved around a little as each day needed, so it wasn't so strict that she didn't get to sit down and relax during the day. I'm giving this some serious thought.

I think I could plan in blocks of time. For example, when my daughter is at preschool (one morning when I'm home during the week), I could do my CVS-ing, sweeping, and dusting. My daughter hates the sound of the sweeper, so that would keep her quite happy! When she's home with me, then I could schedule tasks like blogging and making invitations while she's napping. Done wisely while allowing myself some grace, I should be able to plan better and get more accomplished....

...leaving me more time to read everyone else's CVS scenarios!

Seriously now -- Has anyone else found any creative solutions for getting it all (or almost all) done?


Carrie said...

Well, I try to get more things done while my children are with me, and save tasks that need my full concentration for after they are sleeping or when the older one is at preschool.

For instance, I rarely go to CVS without at least one kid, usually both, with me. This can be challenging as you are learning the ropes, but at this point I can often just grab the things for my transaction, get the coupons out and do it right, chatting with the preschooler and reining in the baby all the way. Also, both kids adore helping me use the coupon machine.

Also, I don't see any problem with doing some computer work -- and of course housework -- while keeping an eye on the kids. Actually, I think it is good for them to learn to entertain themselves with their toys, look at books on their own, etc. I'm not talking for hours at a time, but for the half hour it might take to do a medium-depth blog post, I feel just fine about it. Personal call, of course, but I always think about parents of the past. No one has ever devoted all their time and attention to children. Mothers have always had work to do while home with them.