Episode 51: Jenn Uren on 3 Essential Systems for Your BusinessJan 25, 2022
Sometimes as mompreneurs it feels easier to make things work better at home, but can be harder to know where to start on the business side. Jenn Uren shares 3 business systems to support your growing business. And like with any good system, making just one change is enough to move you forward enough that it begins to feel more manageable.
Today's episode of This Mom Knows will tell you exactly what these are so you can decide where to start with supporting your business for growth.
This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Episode - 51
Last week, we talked about the three foundational systems to support your home. And I mentioned that when home is running well, then we have the foundation to support work life balance.
Because we're mompreneurs, the needs of our family will always be top of mind. And that's why we start with home. When home is running well, it frees us up to shift some of our energy and capacity to business. But all too often we sit down to "work", only to find that we fritter away our time, playing at work. We sit down wanting to make the most of our work opportunity. And when it's time to stop, we wonder, what did we actually accomplish?
So today, we're going to talk about the three foundational systems to support the business side of your mompreneur life. These are your workspace, your email, and your calendar.
So let's start with your workspace. Now, what are we even talking about here? Well, a workspace is anywhere that you do your work. And a good workspace supports the work that you need to do. It has all the tools that you need, and it has them available when you need them. This workspace will look different for all of us. It could be a permanent private office. It could be a dedicated desk in a shared space. It could be a portable setup, something that you move around within your home. It could be a workshop or a craft room. It could even be your car. The important piece is that you have the tools you need where you need them. The more transient the workspace, the more containerized you need it to be. We currently live - my family - in a home that is 960 square feet. And so the desk is in the master bedroom. And both my husband and I work from home. So there are times when we each need the privacy and convenience of a desk behind a closed door. So what we have is a work surface with a monitor. And it has the basic tools like pens, pencils lamp, but our computers and our work tools live in our backpacks, so that we can move to the kitchen table or go to a coffee shop. So here's a tip for you. If you have a cord that you need at home and when you're on the go, order a second one so that you can leave one permanently plugged in and the other permanently in your backpack. There's nothing worse honestly than showing up to work and not having the power cord or charger that you need. So you can apply the same principle to anything else that you use that when you move your computer and phone are really the only things you have to remember. You already have the pens, pencils, highlighters, scissors, tape, notebook, whatever it is in your bag, so you don't have to grab it.
The next business system that we're gonna talk about is email. Now, email is really it encompasses our communication. So you could include any messaging apps in this as well, even voicemail theoretically. The difference between reading 10 minute emails as they come in one at a time, ding, ding, ding, versus reading 10 emails in one sitting is pretty significant. Reading them one at a time means that you were you were interrupted and interruptions stop your train of flot thought and your workflow. And if you're doing this 10 separate times, that's a lot of starting and stopping. I read once somewhere and I'm sorry, I can't tell you where, but it said it takes about 15 minutes to transition back in to what you were doing after an interruption. So think about that - 15 minutes, 10 interruptions mean that's like two and a half hours of wasted work time. And in that interrupted state, you might also become distracted and watch some reels or follow another rabbit trail. And so it leaves your work time disjointed. But when you check them all at once, when you have a set time to stop and look, it keeps you focused on those emails with one disruption. And it's not actually disruption because it was a planned event. And you probably end up with fewer distractions. It's more efficient. But here's the crazy part. By spending less time on email, you are more likely to stay on top of your communication. The more often we stop and look, the easier it is to say, "I'll do that later." And then we don't do it at all. We think frequency equals urgency but in reality frequency diffuses urgency. When you can batch email, it's less disruptive to your thought process. And that's going to keep your energy focused on the things that you want to be focused on. Therefore, you want a system around your communication that will allow you to use your time productively, while still having that good follow up in place.
The third system that we're going to talk about is the calendar. So while email focuses on communication, the calendar focuses on how you use your time - your obligations or commitments. These are either external obligations, like meetings or client calls, or they're internal obligations of maintenance and creative work. And so one way to systematize your calendar is with block scheduling. So for example, if you have a 7am appointment, you might decide to get up at five and use between five and seven to do some of the more mundane tasks that need to be done every day. Maybe that's when you upload to social media, the images you've already made, or you get caught up on any accounting issues, or you use this as your first peek at email for the day. Maybe you have a lot of energy in the morning. So you actually use those two hours to do more creative work. It's less about what you do and more about a plan, having a plan for what to do. And remember, in addition to matching up tasks with your energy level, you also need to match up your blocks of time to what is required. So the more mundane and maintenance generally the smaller block of time you need. So that lets you reserve the bigger chunks of time for the creative products, projects, the things that really require your focus and concentration. And remember that time can double up - you can plan to do more mindless things while you're sitting in gymnastics watching your daughter, while you're sitting in the carpool line waiting to pick up your kids, or even while you're enjoying a movie as a family. And of course, don't forget about using wireless headphones so that you can listen to something - an audio book a training a conference call - while you do something else, like go on a walk, drive somewhere or even sneak in some household work and fold the laundry.
So those are the three foundational systems on the business side of things. All the rest, how you do a particular task will fall under one of these areas and will be much easier to implement and execute with the structure that these three provide.
Now if you're still not sure how to design a system, I have a resource to help you. It's a template recipe card style to help you pull together a system that will work for you. And if you'd like to get that I'll have a link in the show notes or you can hop on over to this mom knows.com/system