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Juggling your own business & children- a carefully planned operation, I think!!

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ice_jewellery_logoHaving the luxury of being able to run a business from home is most ‘stay at home’ parents dream. But what happens in the school holidays when you just don’t get any time away from your children to concentrate on your work?

Running a business and managing the children in the holidays takes a bit of planning and a certain level of routine. I run my own company www.icejewellery.com with my husband. We have a retail shop, an online website and a thriving Party Plan extension with over 50 consultants all over the UK. I also run my own Party Plan Networking site www.partyplanunited.com too!

My average day consists of trying to answer an average of 30-50 emails, chase potential recruit enquiries, deal with consultant issues, marketing our businesses, attending events, organizing meeting etc. Added to that, managing 3 year old and 5 year old boys and a bit of housework just for good measure! So you can imagine my day is pretty full on even when the children are in school.

I came to realize (very quickly) that if I’m not prepared, NOTHING gets done! Someone once told me “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and it’s very true.

So quick tips, here goes;

  • Plan your weekly activities with the kids so you can book in your ‘Working Slots’, family time and appointments/days out etc.

  • Set aside at least 1-2 hours every day to answer emails and do the most important business items whilst the children are doing an activity (the Wii is great, a DVD or just playing in their rooms/garden). I tell them that ‘Mummy has to work for a little while and when I’m done we will do ____________ (whatever activity you can think of!) I give them a timer and when it goes off they know mummy has to finish. This is great for me too, as it’s so easy to get distracted in social media. If you’re on a time limit you’ll find you don’t chat!

  • iceblogOrganise your emails/jobs/calls etc into an order of importance. If it makes me money, is a customer service issue or has a deadline then that is important, everything else can wait until the next ‘Working Slot’.

  • Try not to look at your computer/phone whilst you are in ‘mummy activity time’ you promised the children! The world won’t end if you don’t answer that email immediately!

  • Use your neighbour’s and friends - If they have children, do a swap, you have theirs for a couple of hours to play then the next time they have yours over for a couple of hours. It’s amazing what you can get done in that time!

  • Use your family – I don’t have any that live nearby but if you do, USE them. An afternoon with granny and grandad is a must.

  • Before bed write a list – things that you need to achieve and things that you would like to achieve. Write it in the evening before you go to bed for the next day. Be realistic & do the ‘Need to Achieve’ first and then start on the ‘Like to Achieve’ if you have the time. Tie in business and child related items. For example, getting school uniform or doing homework is a ‘Need’ that has to be done.

  • Enjoy the time with your children – don’t forget it’s their holiday! They need family time too.

Clare Mutch – Director of Ice Jewellery

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  1. Very good tips and I think most working mums will identify with this post - I certainly do. The list before bedtime tip is one that I always do and it really does keep me sane when I know what I need to do the next day.

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  2. Some fantastic tips, Clare!

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