I have been in business since July 2008 and I'm extremely pleased with business and how it is taking off! Especially since I had a baby right after I started my business in August. I currently have three clients and I am being outsourced by another Virtual Assistant. Because of this, things have been a little disruptive in my home life to say the least! Now, my husband has just received a promotion at work as a detective which means longer hours for him and in the end, longer hours for me too! I'm so used to him coming home at 3:30 pm and relieving me of my motherly duties for a little while on the days that the kids aren't in daycare, but those days are over for awhile!
So, I've been trying to do somethings that help the whole family stay sane! So here are a few of my thoughts and tricks that work for my family; will they work for yours?
1.) Take full advantage of $1 happy meal or other kid night meal nights. They are a low cost and easy! Of course it's not always the most healthy thing in the world, but a cheeseburger from Mcdonalds is not going to hurt my two year old every other week.
2.) I love food and I love to cook, but I need something that will save me time. Enter Let's Dish. There are other types of these food-preparation places all over the country, but Let's Dish is my favorite (www.letsdish.com). Anyway, let me tell you how great this place is: Let's Dish offers a fabulous menu that you can choose 4. 8 or 12 meals to make. You order your meals online and then show up and make your meals on a designated night that you choose. On that night, bring a friend and a bottle of wine! You show up, put on your cute little apron, tie your hair back and get to work! You prepare all of your meals, bag and label the food that you make. You don't cook the food there though; you bring it home and throw it in the freezer. When you are ready, you pull out a meal here and there to prepare for your family. It is some of the yummiest food (and healthy too!) Major time-saver for me!
3.) I mentioned this on a fellow Findvirtual.com's blog I think...but anyway, I'm not sure if this is the Early Childhood Educator in me or what, but every Saturday night, I get online and find ten activities that me and my son can do together throughout the week. One activity is one that he will need help with (so I have no choice but pull myself away from the computer for a bit) and the other that needs minimal assistance. Just recently I also picked out five books to read throughout the week. I try to schedule themes for him to make the week fun and educational also (okay, it is obviously the Early Childhood Educator in me!) For instance, of course, this week we did a bunch of fall activities and next week we are going to work on Shapes. Doing this helps me stay grounded as a work from home mom! Here are some of my favorite sites for looking up activities and crafts: http://www.wondertime.com, http://www.marthastewart.com/, and http://familyfun.go.com/.
4.) Last, I downloaded this really neat application on both my PC and my laptop called Cozi. You can get Cozi at Cozi.com. Cozi is a bunch of things: it's a calendar for the whole family, a family journal, a list maker and it also includes a photo collage screen saver that my son loves! Every time my screen is idle for a while, the screen saver pops up with pictures of friends and family and what's planned in the next 24 hours. It also syncs with my Outlook! The family journal feature is a huge plus for any work from home parent. I love to scrapbook, but don't have the luxury to spend my days scrapbooking because I'm working instead. The family journal gives me the opportunity to write little snip-its of my life down that I would have forgotten otherwise. I'm able to write anything from my daughter's milestones to my son's keen observation of the world around him.
Well, it's late and that's all I got for now! I wanted to share my few time saving tips. What are yours?