Do you find yourself busy but not actually getting anything done in your business? You’ve heard of being a good steward of money, but what about time? If God is calling you to have an online business, then it makes sense that He’s also wanting you to be a good steward of the resources He provides you, including time.
As moms, we don’t have a ton of time to spend working on our businesses so the time we do have must be used wisely. You know this business isn’t just a random idea but a calling God has placed on your heart. Therefore, it’s important to diligently and efficiently work on your business and be a good steward of your time.
You’re probably thinking that this is great and all, but you already feel like you’re putting a ton of effort into this business and you already don’t have a ton of time to put into it to begin with. So how are you supposed to get more done?
I hear you. I was right there with you until God opened my eyes to how I was really using my time.
My entire schedule had a huge shift so I had less time to work yet I got more accomplished than I had in months.
If you’re wanting to really honor God with the time you’re using for your business, then this article is going to show you how to be a better steward of your time as a mom entrepreneur.
Evidence that you may need to re-evaluate how you’re using your time
I know it’s not a fun conversation to realize that you might not be a good steward of your time, but I promise you that you’re reading this right now because God needed you to see it.
I was in complete denial for years so I understand if you’re resisting this idea. If you were to ask me why my business wasn’t growing at the rate I wanted it to, I would say something along the lines of “I just have so much to do ” or “I don’t have a lot of time with my son and then taking care of the home but I work when I can.”
And these weren’t simply excuses. They felt like they were true.
But as I prayed for God to bless my business and show me how to be the person I needed to be for this work, He showed me that I wasn’t actually as busy as I thought I was. Instead, it was that I was getting distracted when I was “working”. *ouch*
I don’t like hearing that sometimes I might not be able to really use the excuse that I just don’t have enough time.
It’s a common one though. Something that a lot of moms will relate to, so it’s easy to throw out there.
But God was showing me differently.
When we’re called to do something for God, He is going to have to transform our character and build us up to be successful. That might mean owning up to areas that need improvement.
For me, this showed up with a big change in my schedule. I went from having multiple days a week to work on my business for 4+ hours to suddenly only having a few hours a week.
Yet when this shift happened, I was able to accomplish more than a normal work week with days set aside to work.
Something didn’t add up.
Here are some clues that showed me that I wasn’t using my time wisely and maybe you can see if these will help you discern that for yourself:
- The spring break test- I had less time to work on my business and KNEW that I couldn’t work in long springs uninterrupted so when it was work time it was GO TIME! No time for distractions! I did all the things to make sure I was getting the job done.
- I mapped out the tasks needed to really move my business forward and estimated that time and it only took about 6 hours a week…when I looked at how much time I actually had to work, it was a lot more than 6 hours.
So these presented some pretty clear evidence that I wasn’t using my time wisely.
Has this ever happened to you?
Be careful about letting shame sneak in
Before I go into how to fix this time issue, I want to talk about feeling shame around this vs seeing it and committing to improving your situation.
It’s really easy to start shaming yourself when you realize that you haven’t been using your time wisely. Maybe there’s a part of you that always knew you weren’t working quite as efficiently as you could and maybe there’s a big part of you that really thought you were doing a good job.
Either way, shame doesn’t have a place here.
Shame keeps you stuck and doesn’t let you improve.
Shame starts saying things like “Why didn’t you just get your act together” or “How could you have wasted so much time?”
We know that shame doesn’t come from God.
Instead, the Holy Spirit can convict us and show us the way. This is done from a place of love. So when you realize that you haven’t been working the way you wanted, simply see it, acknowledge it and then commit to improving it moving forward.
This is going to actually help you succeed in how you work vs shaming yourself.
Simple Way to Optimize Your Time to Work Efficiently
For some of you, it might be just as easy as seeing the deficit in the amount of time worked and actual product that was created and then fix it.
For others, like myself, I had no clue where my time was going. Because in my mind, I was “busy” so I wasn’t really sure what I was actually doing with my time.
So I set up an experiment and the results of this were amazing and really told me what was going on so that I could figure out how to steward my time better.
To really figure out why you’re not working when you’re supposed to be, set the experiment up like this:
- Create a work schedule for your week
- Look at the week ahead and map out every hour you have to work on your business. If you’re getting up early, if you’re working during nap time, whatever it is that you normally do, mark it off on your planner (I love the Living Well planner)
- Plug in all of your necessary business tasks into these spots into these work spots. Note here that to start off with, only track the minimum tasks you need to do. If you’re a blogger, then write down what it takes to get one blog post out a week, send one email and put up one pin or post one social media post. The things that you know are the base level that you need to do week after week go on your calendar for this test.
- Work according to the schedule. This might sound simple, but if you’re like me, then you’ve created a million schedules before and you never stick to them. This time, you’re testing why that is so you have to put forth a lot of intentional effort to make sure you’re working on the specific tasks you’ve assigned for the specific blocks.
- Note anything that comes up that prevents you from actually finishing the tasks you put in each block.
- Are you procrastinating? Can something be more efficient? Did you find yourself on social media or doing other work instead of the work you wanted to do?
- Don’t just yourself. The goal is to simply notice what’s going on so you can figure out a solution and be more efficient the next go around
- For me, I noticed I was taking way too long to do social media graphics. I found that having too many options was causing me to have to decide too many things. So next block for social media, I gave myself 3 template options so only choice was which one of these templates do I want to use.
Why this is important
While this might seem like a lot just to figure out how you’re using your time, it’s really important to know what’s stopping you from actually being a good steward of your time.
If you don’t, then you can go months and months without getting much of anything done in your business. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated with this pattern because you have goals and you want this business to move forward.
What we don’t want is for you to start questioning if this business is really a good idea in the first place. For the doubt to start creeping in and the frustration with not making any money start to overshadow the whole reason you were doing this business in the first place. When really it’s not about the business or the money-making part but it’s really that you’re not using your time well.
And while that’s the practical side, I also want to encourage you to pray over this process.
Ask God to open your eyes so you can see what’s getting the way.
Then pray for help overcoming whatever shows up during the test.
That’s the amazing thing about God that I think we forget sometimes. When we are struggling with something that we think we “should” be able to handle, we can literally ask for help in areas of our weakness. Where we are weak, He is strong.
We don’t have to try to muster up the willpower to make it work. Learning how to be empowered by God to take the action you need is so powerful.
I really hope this helps you feel less overwhelmed and actually get more things done in your week so you can grow this business that God has put on your heart.
In summary, look for clues that your time could be used better (you probably already feel this deep down), don’t let shame keep you stuck, set up your work week with specific tasks, stick to the schedule and notice what is blocking you. Create ways to overcome those obstacles and pray for God to reveal where you’re getting blocked and how to overcome it.
I’d love to hear the results of your time stewardship experiment over on Instagram @ mamawithacalling so send me a DM or tag me in your stories if you share about the results.
To hear the podcast version of this and to hear more on the topic, listen to Episode 14 of the Mama With A Calling podcast.