Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Staring at Mommy's Shoes

This may sound strange to many of you, but one of my greatest time management tools in my life as a WAHM is my shoes. I know, I know... many of you were probably expecting me to say my planner, my watch, a timer, or anything else traditional thought of when one mentions time management. (Though I love all of these too).

It is true though my shoes are vital to my sanity as I try to constantly juggle my competing roles and mom and business owner... let me tell you why:

Before I launched Simple Organized Sanity in the early month of 2009, I worked at home in numerous different capacities while my children were very small. I am thankful everyday for those early experiences because many of the tricks that I learned in those days have become the foundation of my now evolving business.

One day, when my oldest son was about three years old I told him that I had to make a work phone call and do some computer work. I asked him to please watch his video quietly on the couch while I went just a few feet away to the dining room table. As I was walking away I clearly remember him saying to me... "You can't go to work Mommy... you don't have any shoes on."

Out of the mouth of babes. From this simple observation made by my toddler I began a tradition that I still cling to this day. I told him he was right and I marched into my closet and put on a pair of shoes and along with them my mindset that I was changing roles and "going to work". He watched his video and I did my work... when the video ended, I kicked off my shoes and resumed my role as mommy.

Now that my kids are older... the concept has remained even though the application has changed slightly. Over the years I have discovered that if I really want to feel like a successful business woman... I need that mentality shift so I now keep a pair of old heels under my desk. Every time I set down to work I slip them on my feet (unless of course I already have a pair of "work" shoes on) it is that simple act of changing my shoes that also allows me to focus and change my mind set. Not only that... it keeps me on task, I am less likley to shop online, chat with an old friend, or get lost in mindless google searches if I have made that mental adjustment of changing my shoes.  This visual reminder is a great way to help me make the most of my often limited office time.

The shoes do not only serve as a reminder to me, my kids have grown used to this routine as they have gotten older. I have often caught them looking at my shoes to see which hat I am wearing at that moment... Mommy or CEO... and more often than not they respect that time and know that I will be done soon and able to meet demands and help fill needs.

You can establish a visual reminder in your own home office it can be shoes like mine or maybe a special lamp that you turn on when you are working.  It could be a sign that you hang on your door or an item of clothing that you put on.  Whatever item you choose to use will work as long as you use it consistantly.
I can't tell you how thankful I am for that day so many years ago when my son stated such a simple observation that transformed an entire line of thought and approach for me... therefore creating my favorite time management tool out of a simple pair of shoes.

1 comment:

Small Burst said...

I work from home most days with little ones at home. I'm gonna have to try this shoe trick. Maybe they'll be a little more quiet while I'm on the phone.