Time Management, To-Do Lists, and Other Things Practical

I’m sitting in the office I share with three other women, thinking about what I want to write about this week. Lately, I have been at a loss for topic ideas, because I look around the blogosphere, and see how much truly wonderful stuff has been written about all things birthy.

It came to me that I haven’t really shared a lot about what it’s like to be a doula and childbirth educator who is homeschooling four young children and has a husband to feed and care for.

It’s interesting.

The understatement of my life!

I have discovered in this line of work that my ability to manage time is critical. When I was just “me at home,” I could fudge a lot more with time than I can now that I have a “real job” to do. Even if it is mostly home-based.

I’ve gotten a lot better at time management, actually, as I get more and more into the simple habit of just writing things down, putting them in my phone, and setting alarms for myself. It’s amazing how much more incentive there is to remember things when you’re getting paid! Ahem.

(That reminds me – I need to set an alarm really quick that will remind me to take meat out for our dinners. One sec. Okay. Done. Where was I?)

An electronic and/or paper brain works far better than my own grey matter. It’s sad, but true. And hey – if it makes me a better wife, mother, doula, and childbirth educator, then I’m all for it! There is no shame in using crutches if you’d be limping otherwise.

What I’m still needing serious improvement in is the nitty-gritty, paper-and-pencil, business-y stuff.

Remembering to make copies, file stuff regularly — not to mention figuring out HOW to file all this business stuff — make time for phone calls, emailing and updating clients, and working on curriculum are all things where I need some work.

Take today, for instance.

When I went to bed last night, I had a pretty long list of things I wanted to get done at the office today. Did I write them down? No.

*facepalm*

This morning, when I got here, I tried to remember it all, but could only come up with a few things. I’m running through that list pretty quickly, actually, and I think I’ll end up taking some time to read The Greatest Pregnancy Ever, which came in the mail a few days ago.

After that? I’ll probably head home, and take the girls to go get some Easter dresses for Sunday. Woohoo!
I was supposed to begin a new Home Birth Prep Series tonight, but since it’s frigging WINDY and COLD today, (there’s a winter weather advisory in effect until midnight too), I decided it wouldn’t be nice to make pregnant mommies come out in this crazy weather, and cancelled for tonight.

So, I have even more time to figure out what I’m supposed to do “at work” today. I will not remember everything else that was supposed to be on my list until bed time tonight, I’ll wager.

As tricky as it is to manage all the practical ins and outs of my days, it seems to be working so far. I’m procrastinating less, learning more, and growing. Not without setbacks, of course, but I celebrate every step.

What tricks and tips do you use to help you figure out what you need to do in your daily routines for work? How do you organize paperwork in your birth business? What works best for you?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

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