If you’re a first time mom, hopefully, I’m not the first to break the news: Life as you know it is about to change forever…in the best way possible! In fact, I remember my dad telling me when I got pregnant with my son, Noah: “You will never pray the same, and you will never sleep the same.” He was 100% spot on!
Entrepreneur life doesn’t come with maternity leave…but we need it! So here are my top 5 tips for your business to run “business as usual” while you enjoy a slower work season and all the snuggles, joy…and exhaustion a baby brings.
1. Work ahead as much as possible.
Even though I “knew” what to expect when my second son was born, I remember feeling overwhelmed with the “constantness” of newborn life. Anything you can do to get ahead (without compromising your priorities, of course) will be beneficial. For example, as I’m typing this, I still have a baby in my belly, and while you’re reading it, Shea is several months old. Blogging is a re-occurring task of mine, so before Shea was born, I wrote all of my blogs for the remainder of 2016.
2. Empower your team.
Spend time delegating and giving tasks away in the months before having a baby. As I mentioned earlier, your time is going to be more cramped, and you will not be able to do everything you’re doing now.
But don’t just “drop” a task on someone. Do it with them first. Then, let them do it, and provide feedback to help them. Then, when you review their work and it doesn’t require any revisions from you, you’ve empowered them to take the task themselves. That’s delegation that wins!
3. Do a “systems” check and re-boot.
Systems are your friend always, but they will reach BFF status when “mommy mode” is in full gear. Every reoccurring task in your business needs a system that answers the following questions:
Who does it?
How is it done?
When is it done by?
Where does it go when it’s completed?
With team swHw, we aren’t just passionate about communication; we’re passionate about over-communication. When something isn’t discussed, details get missed. So look over all the systems you have in place, tweak old systems for improvement, and create new systems that are missing from your current structure. The more systems you have, the more you’ll be able to do in less time.
4. Start using a project management tool.
With multiple teammates who all play a role in accomplishing some tasks, we’ve found that having a product management tool has been immeasurably helpful. As entrepreneurs, we all also work on our own schedule. To ensure we don’t invade one another’s personal time, the majority of our work-based communication is done via the project management tool (But we still blow up one another’s text messages with baby spam, prayer requests and emoji’s.)
There are several options to choose from, but we’ve had a great experience using Basecamp. Depending on the size of your business, you might even be able to get away with using the free version. Check it out!
5. Plan for a slower season for after baby is born.
You will not have the same hours you did before baby was born. Even if you have a ton of help, you will be amazed how captivated you will be just by watching your sweet one sleep. The newborn stage passes quickly; enjoy it. I promise when you watch them step into their kindergarten class for the first time, graduate high school, or walk down the aisle at their wedding, you won’t be thinking you wished you’d spent more hours working.
Congrats on your new blessing!