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Supermoms Systemize Everything! (2 Tips to Get You Started Now)

How to Systemize Everything

If you’ve ever looked at another mom & wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer just might surprise you.

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It’s true.

The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day.

Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, & they create a system to do just that.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get paid a commission if you choose to purchase through them. I only promote producys & services that I use and love.

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No matter what business you’re in & what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:

  • Work faster & produce more
  • Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
  • Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do

The Magic of Templates

How many times do you answer email from potential clients?

What about responding to customer complaints?

Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?

All of these tasks & more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific uses.

Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” set up in your email, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows).

You could even create a template document in Dropbox* or Google Drive to house all of your templates for easier access from any device.

While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email & even sales or other administrative tasks.

Simply instruct your assistant or VA on the proper use of your templates, & you’ll be free to do other, more important things.

Checklists Prevent Mistakes

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over & over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step.

You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back to see it was never completed!

OOPS!!!

But once you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.

You can easily create checklists for all of your common tasks & projects using nothing more than a text document.

I like to create them in Google Docs and be able to have access from anywhere thanks to my Google Drive folders.

If you’re managing a team, checklists shared between team members allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete & which are still outstanding. 

You can create a project management spreadsheet in Google Drive, or utilize a collaborative tool such as Asana or Trello* to streamline communication.

 

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Templates & checklists can turn you into a productivity superstar, & it’s so easy to get started!

  • The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response.
  • The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps.

These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, & best of all, you can hand them off to your future assistant to do instead.

What ideas do you have that make it easy to systemize tasks in your life? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Swipe My Sanity Savers for Stressed Out Moms!

Try these tips to streamline your routines & get started with managing your mommy mayhem today!

As a working mom, you juggle so many things. Swipe my top tips & tools for saving your sanity:

Sanity Savers for Working Moms Cover

Scheduling & Productivity

One of the biggest challenges I face is keeping up with the endless list of to-do’s, reminders, appointments, shopping lists…I could go on but I bet you know exactly what I mean. I have found that utilizing web-based tools allow me to refer back to them wherever I happen to be.

I use Google Calendars across all my devices, but have separate ones set up for different life areas – the cool feature here is the ability to view all or some of your calendars at once, but they remain color-coded so I can determine must-do items versus what I can choose to eliminate. You can even share calendars with other people, so if both you and your spouse set one up, it is super simple to schedule family events! If you use Gmail, then you can add events directly to your calendar from an email.

Trello* is another one of my favorite tools for tracking to-dos. I have the add-on in my Gmail (totally FREE) to allow me to create new task cards directly from an email. Since I have the app on both my phone and my computer, I am able to add new tasks and review my to-dos at any time! I also have a Trello board setup to keep track of all of my blog ideas and tasks.

 

If your house is anything like mine, clutter is a constant battle that continually causes me stress. But the WORST part is when you are trying to get out of the house and you cannot find your keys!

Once, I spent two days looking for my keys and didn’t find them until I was loading the dishwasher – my daughter had put them in the sink and they were hidden under all of my dirty dishes!!! I was determined to make sure that never happened again, so I invested in a Tile key tracker. Seriously – this was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I have been giving them as gifts to everyone I know ever since!

 

Groceries & Meal Planning

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know that meal planning is THE BIG THING right now. My first thought was that if I am already strapped for time, there is no way I can fit something like this into my life – it’s way too complex. Well, I recently jumped on the bandwagon after tiring of eating pizza and takeout almost every night, and I cannot believe I did not try it sooner!

I was not brave enough to try and create my own plan out of thin air (nor do any of us have that kind of time) so I bought 10 Meals In An Hour from one of my favorite productivity blogs, Living Well Spending Less. Not only does it have weekly plans and shopping lists already put together, but it walks you through the freezer prep steps for each recipe! I have some pretty picky eaters at my house, and I was impressed that the recipes were suited for all of us to enjoy.

 

Another meal planning miracle has been the advent of the online grocery shopping services. I use Kroger ClickList because it is so close to my house, but Walmart has also recently introduced a similar service. I save money by not having my kids ask for something on every single aisle, and now I no longer have to spend my entire lunch break grocery shopping! I just add items to my shopping list as I think of them, and once per week place an order to pickup. They put the groceries in the car for you, so no need to wrestle with shoes and carseats and cranky kiddos.

 

I recently enrolled in Crystal Paine’s Grocery University and it has made a huge difference in the way I shop. I thought I was doing a good job saving money on groceries, but this has saved me money AND I spend less time trying to find good deals.

 

Education & Entertainment

I currently spend over 10 hours per week commuting & have recently found a way to maximize that time. As an avid reader B.K. (before kids), I am always disappointed when I cannot find time to read any of the great books I hear about.

Enter Audible.

I went back & forth over whether I wanted to spend the money for an audiobook service, but I signed up for the free trial and haven’t looked back. I now can listen to my books at work, in the car, or while I am doing dishes.

Another great option is to subscribe to podcasts on your favorite topics or by your favorite authors. Until I got on ITunes and started looking, I did not realize how many options there were! You can get parenting tips, meditations, inspiration, business advice, you name it and there is a podcast for it. Even better, you can access your (FREE) podcast subscriptions from your phone or computer, and download them for offline listening.

If you are currently enrolled in any online courses or thinking about joining one, many of the teaching platforms are available via your mobile device so you can listen and watch your courses while waiting at the dentist, on your lunch break, or while you are cooking dinner. I love that I can keep up with my learning without being tied to my computer!

 

Last but not least, shopping!!!!

Yes, we live by a budget, and yes, I am a sucker for a good deal as much as you are, but sometimes convenience is more important than scouring all of the sale ads to find the best price.

When I am looking for a last minute gift or if we end up needing to order take-out AGAIN, I will hop on Groupon Local to check for any great deals. When you purchase a Groupon, it is added to your account for use instantly. Recently, I needed to order some sympathy flowers, so I checked on Groupon* before I placed my order and ended up saving $30! There are usually great deals for seasonal and kids activities as well, so I tend to check here for discounted admission before we head out the door.

Amazon is a total lifesaver for moms everywhere. We don’t use the diaper subscription anymore, as my youngest is potty trained, but never having to worry about running out of diapers or forgetting to buy more was priceless. I still use the Subscribe & Save feature for items that we use regularly – air filters are a great example -I know it is time to change them when they show up on that month’s order! Having an Amazon Prime subscription came in handy recently when I didn’t have time to go shop for an upcoming birthday gift, and it arrived just in time for the party!

 

If you aren’t waiting until the last minute to shop, Zulily is an incredible site. I am in love with name brands, and now that we are on a budget, I can still get them in my price range with Zulily. They feature different brands every day (don’t sign up for daily notifications your you might become a shopaholic!), and you can set it up to be notified when brands you are looking for become available. They have amazing customer service, so if anything ever goes wrong, you can be confident they will make it right. That’s the kind of guarantee I need in my life. Even better, you get $15 in referral credit if you share your link & one of your friends signs up!

 

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Do Your Food Expenses Feel Like A Second Mortgage? (5 Budget Tips You Can Use Now!)

Aside from your house payment, your biggest monthly expense is likely food. But unlike most of the rest of your bills, you actually have some control over how much you spend at the grocery store.

How To Keep Your Food Expenses Under Control

Disclaimer: I may recommend products or services for which I am an affiliate; this means that if you choose to purchase through one of those links I may recieve a commission.

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Discover 5 Tips You Can Use to Cut Your Grocery Bills Now!

 

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1. Make A Grocery Budget

Ok, I know it’s pretty lame to start off by telling you to “make a budget,” but this is seriously a game changer! Just start tracking how much you’re spending on food (groceries, meals out, sodas…) for a few weeks.

Additional Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any injuries that occur from fainting once you see these numbers!

Once you have recovered from the shock, come up with a weekly or monthly budget. It doesn’t have to be perfect, remember – every single penny adds up! In these days with our debit cards, it seems to add up even quicker.  Set an amount to spend on groceries & money for eating out (because you know you will) but whatever you do, don’t go over.

After you are used to staying within a predefined amount, try cutting back your budget by $20 per week or month.

Keep it going & see how low you can go. Try making it into a game with your family.

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2. Keep A Price Book

Who doesn’t love a bargain or a good deal? They are all OVER the store, but do you know if what they advertise as a good deal is actually saving you money?

Keep a little notebook in your purse or keep a text document on your phone with the regular prices of the items you buy most often. Not only can you see if that “deal” really is a deal, you can also determine what kitchen staple is cheapest where & adjust your shopping accordingly. You can just walk right by those deals that aren’t really deals.

Your price book will also come in handy when you browse through weekly grocery flyers. You can decide if a loss leader deal is worth driving to the store long before you ever set a foot out the door.

It also helps if you keep a record of what staples you actually need. If you are already packed to overflowing with noodles, you may not need to purchase more no matter what the price. Where would you even put them?

3. Come Up With A Few Frugal Dishes

You don’t have to make drastic changes & eat nothing but rice and beans all week. Or ramen noodles, anyone? Instead, think of a few inexpensive dishes your family enjoys. They may happen to love rice & beans. Or how about a big pot of soup or chili. Often meatless dishes will be your best frugal bet or you can simply use meat in smaller portions on frugal dish days.

Enjoying frugal meals even just a handful of days during the month combined with using up any and all leftovers will make a big difference in your grocery budget. Try to include these frugal dishes in your meal planning.

You could make “Frugal Friday”  a game – who can create the cheapest recipe? Try it with your kids if they are old enough, or as a contest between your mom friends!

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4. Cut Out The Extras

Make a list before you head to the store and stick to it. All those little extras like the fancy bread from the bakery or the candy you grabbed at checkout start to add up.

Get in the habit of skipping those extras unless there’s a good reason to buy them. If they happen to be marked down for quick sale, then you have permission to stock up. Otherwise, stick to your list & you’ll cut your grocery bill by quite a bit each week.

It’s amazing how all those little extras add up.

5. Plan Ahead to Prevent Last Minute Trips

The biggest grocery bills you will run into are the ones where you run to the store several times in a week to “just grab one thing.” It is never just one thing that makes it home with you!

This can snowball even quicker if you stop by the corner drug store or have to purchase something when it is not on sale because you accidentally run out.

By planning ahead for everything you will need to replace ahead of time, you can avoid paying full price or worse – higher prices due to convenience.

Give these tips a try & see if you don’t start to see big savings on a weekly basis in your food expenses.

What you do with all the extra money each month is up to you!

Save up for a fun summer vacation, pay off those credit cards or start building your financial safety net.

What other tips do you have to quickly reduce your food expenses and make extra room in your budget?

 

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Price or Power – What to Look for in Your Mailing List Provider

Price vs. Power: Choosing Your Mailing List Provider

Aside from time & location freedom, the biggest benefit to starting an online business is the lack of start-up funds required. You don’t have to buy inventory to stock a store, you don’t have to spend a lot on equipment (I got this desk at Amazon for under $30 – but it is so cute!), & you don’t have to shell out cash for employees & insurance & all those other costs associated with brick and mortar businesses.

But being too focused on that low-cost mentality can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture, too.

While it is possible to start a business without spending any money at all, it’s truly not a good idea. Your free hosting account will no doubt have downtime issues & support issues not to mention the mess of ads they’ll serve up to your visitors! Social media accounts are great, but what happens if your account gets locked or deleted? All of your contacts are GONE!

So, while bootstrapping your business is a good thing, making business decisions based solely on cost is not.

Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to choosing an email list provider.

Deliverability Issues

Here’s the biggest problem you may see with low-cost providers: deliverability. Email services such as Yahoo, Gmail, & others vigorously defend their users’ accounts against spam & will often mark your legitimate email as spam, simply based on the IP address it originates from.

Larger email service providers have the resources to fight these false spam reports & keep your deliverability rates high. That’s what their users are paying for. But if you were to choose a free or low-cost provider, you might get sent straight to spam. Over time, you’ll see your email deliverability rates plummet!

Limited Features

Deliverability aside, many lower priced providers can afford to charge lower rates because they limit the features available. For example, you might only be able to collect 500 addresses before being upcharged, or you may only be able to send a certain number of emails each month. Even worse, you may not be able to segment your list or automate your emails without incurring extra fees – if they even offer that option at all!.

Before you make the impulse decision to use a low-priced or free email provider, be sure you fully understand the limitations of the account. While some limits might be okay with you, others might put a serious cramp in your business-building efforts & journey to a new lifestyle.

ConvertKitI used MailChimp for about a week before deciding to switch to ConvertKit in order to have access to their features. They even offer great getting started tutorials on their website, free of charge, along with One Month Free for New Users!

 

Finally, keep in mind that changing providers later (when you’re “ready”) can be a huge undertaking.

You’ll have multiple landing pages & opt-in forms to edit, connections with your shopping cart, webinar host, social media accounts, & countless other integrations to deal with. Hopefully you’ll have a big list of names to import to your new provider, many of which could either opt-out or be marked as undeliverable at your new host.

Rather than go through all that trouble, the best option is to choose the right provider from the start, & if cost is an issue, create a plan to cover the expense instead of settling for the wrong service.

Personally, I opted to enroll in a course by a professional blogger in order to ensure I was using all of the features in the best possible way for my business.
Redefining Mom Email Welcome Sequence Swipe File Convert Kit Masterclass
If you are interested in learning more, check out this Free Welcome Email Swipe Sequence from Monica at Redefining Mom, which also provides information about her ConvertKit Masterclass Course.
Quick Tips to Build A Business

Build A Business, Not Another Job

Do you dream of building a business, working for yourself, being your own boss, & having the freedom to only take on clients and projects you love?

Do you want to build a business that will not only bring in the income that you need but provide you with a creative outlet for your passions?

[clickToTweet tweet=”There is a huge difference between building a business & being self-employed. ” quote=”One thing you may not realize is that there is a huge difference between building a business & being self-employed.” theme=”style1″]

Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours.

Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.

Discouraged yet?

Don’t be.

Every business owner starts out self-employed. But you don’t have to stay there.

These tips will help you build a business instead of just another job.

Quick Tips to Build A Business

Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself

Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents & time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—except in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.

As you grow, separate your tasks into those that you love & are especially suited for (such as marketing) & those you dislike or aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those tasks off your list of things to do. Fiverr anyone? If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all at once, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time

The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. That means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day & your home life – especially once you throw kids into the mix!

Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family.

You can help avoid this by:

  • Setting—& maintaining—clear work hours or time blocks
  • Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done (if you’re lucky enough to have an office!)
  • Scheduling time into your calendar for family & other activities
  • Taking time for yourself each day

I am in LOVE with my Carpe Diem Planner – this is the one I have, & I also added the “home” insert set… & stickers because 🙂

         

Vacations and Downtime Are Important

Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available more, even if it’s just to respond to comments & emails, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time. Isn’t that the whole point of starting your own business anyway?

While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in.

Sound impossible? It’s not.

With some forethought and planning, you can create the systems you need to successfully run & grow your business without becoming overwhelmed & overworked.

 

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Breaking Bad Habits to Promote Your Wellbeing

Who doesn’t have a bad habit? I know I have plenty! So why is breaking your bad habits an important part of wellbeing?

It would be hard to find someone that you know that doesn’t have some type of bad habit. These habits can be related to your health, your relationship or to your business.

One of the hardest things about breaking a bad habit is getting enough motivation to actually take the steps required to break it. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to get started, but there are plenty of other methods as well. Read on to find out what method of breaking bad habits will work best for you!

Disclaimer: My posts may contain affiliate links, which means that I receive a commission if you decide to purchase through them. I only recommend products that I personally use or have researched carefully.

Some of the most well-known ways to break a habit include:

  • Quitting cold turkey
  • Setting a date to quit your habit
  • Replacing the bad habit with a good one

All of these methods can easily work for you if you are truly ready to commit to breaking your bad habit & have found your WHY.

Would you say that you currently have the desire to quit your habit?

Or is it something that you keep putting off until next week?

Our lives are busy & filled with distraction –  this is why quitting cold turkey or setting a quit date doesn’t always work. The minute you tell yourself that you can’t have or do something, you end up thinking about it all day long.

Small children are a fantastic example of this. When you tell them that they can’t have something, they drive you nuts asking for it. All. Day. Long.

So what can you do instead? Your approach to breaking your bad habits needs to be a little different.

Let’s say for example that you want to quit eating sugar. The minute you place this item on an ‘I can never have it’ list, you constantly crave it!

 

Eggs and Butter

 How about tackling it this way:

Get up tomorrow morning and tell yourself that you are just going to get through one day without eating sugar. You will find it much easier to say no when offered a sugary treat because there is always tomorrow.

What you will discover is that when tomorrow comes, you only have to get through one day without eating sugar & it will be a little easier than the last. Again it will be much easier to manage and you will find that your motivation increases. Within just a few days you won’t be craving the sugar as much & you will start automatically saying no when offered cake or cookies!

Now that’s not to say you can never eat a piece of cake again. Honestly, who doesn’t want to have a piece of birthday or a slice of wedding cake when offered? All you’re doing is not making sweets treats a huge part of your life.

Instead- you can easily reserve these things as ‘treats’ for a special occasion, as they should be!

Here are some steps for you to try to start breaking bad habits today:

1. Try and determine what it is that makes you perform your bad habit. Do you have a trigger? Is it getting upset or frustrated with someone? Write down the reason and keep it somewhere that you can see it.

2. Don’t let your habit rule your emotions! If you are letting someone’s reaction to something force you into eating, drinking, or something else, try switching your automatic response with another action. Maybe go for a walk, have a cup of tea or coffee or call up a friend.

3. Is your bad habit affecting your health? Do you feel stiff and sore or know that you are putting on the pounds, but hate to admit it? Think about how you will feel if you continue in this way- are you going to start feeling even worse about yourself? What is one thing you can do today that would make a difference?

Breaking a bad habit is not going to be easy.

While you do need to be consistently aware of the choices you make, you don’t want this to become an obsession.

Take one day at a time and get through those 12 or 14 hours at a time.

No doubt you’ll agree that this seems way more doable than using another method. Plus if you do fall off the wagon, you have only missed one day and can get back on track tomorrow!

What bad habits are you working to break right now? Have you found your WHY?

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