You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

8 Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs With Kids Waiting for Them to Get Home Parenthood makes your priorities crystal clear, though scheduling does get more complicated.

By John Rampton

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

MoMo Productions | Getty Images

My entrepreneurial journey wasn't always the smoothest. It took a couple of years of being an entrepreneur before I finally had a system, structure and schedule in place and was doing well professionally.

Then, my first child was born. Becoming a parent showed me how much time I wasted being unproductive. It was nice to come home after work and veg on the couch to watch some TV. After all, I could watch a show or movie and then read before bed. Parenthood made me change my priorities. Now, spending that hour or two watching TV isn't an option. There's just not enough time. More importantly, there are better ways to spend my downtime.

Putting in 10 or more hours a day at work wasn't going to cut it with a baby at home. It wasn't fair to my wife for me to be gone that much. I needed to be around to lend a hand and give her a break -- and I wanted to see my daughter. How could I spend less time at my startup and more time with my family?

Related: 7 Life Lessons From My Entrepreneurship Journey

1. Use the Ivy Lee Method.

This is a productivity hack that's been around since 1918. It's a daily routine that only takes around 15 minutes but will help you achieve peak productivity.

Every night, after the kids are asleep, jot down the five or six most important things you want to accomplish the next day. List them in starting with the most important task first thing in the morning. Don't list more than six items.

The Ivy Lee Method is so effective because by planning your day the night before, you reduce decision fatigue and reserve your energy for your most meaningful work. You wake up knowing exactly what you'll be working all day instead of wasting valuable time and energy making decisions in the morning.

Related: Multitasking Doesn't Work. Use This 100-Year-Old Method to Get Stuff Done.

2. Wake up before everyone else.

Much as been written about the benefits of being an early riser. It enhances your productivity, reduces stress and keeps you healthy because you have time to exercise and eat a proper breakfast. Perhaps the biggest advantage is you have some much-needed alone time.

I wake up before everyone else in my house. This gives me time to dive into my morning routine, read, clear my inbox, reflect and review my calendar. If I have something really important to work on, I even start while everyone else is asleep. This prevents anyone from distracting me.

Related: After Getting Up at 5 am Every Day for a Month I'm Less Stressed, More Productive and Generally Happier

3. Prioritize your daily tasks, and set a schedule.

Go back to the first hack, and assign a precise amount of time to each one. Block off this specific length of time in your calendar, set a timer and eliminate any distractions -- shut the door, and turn off all notifications.

The Pomodoro Technique is a tried-and-true time management technique that can help you with this. You work for 25 minutes and then take a short break to grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk. After four pomodoros, you take a longer break of 20 to 30 minutes. This gives your brain a rest so you have the energy to start the next task.

Related: The Surprisingly Simple Productivity Time Saver

4. Bundle tasks.

One of my all-time favorite productivity hacks is batching. This is simply bundling similar tasks together so you're not switching mindsets. For example, if you have three blog posts to write, do them at the same time. Cooking Sunday night dinner? Prep your meals for the entire week.

Batching is so effective because it prevents you from multitasking, gives your week structure, makes you feel less stressed and helps you stick to a schedule. It also saves you a ton of time. Think about cooking your meals for the week: It may take all Sunday afternoon, but now you don't have to worry about what you're making each night for dinner. An added perk is you won't have to clean cooking utensils every day. You can spend this time with your family or even stay a bit later at work.

Related: Optimize Your Daily Schedule for Maximum Productivity -- Here's How

5. Sync your work with your child's routine.

This is a key point to remember when you have a baby; after all, babies have their own rhythm. The sooner you get in sync with his or her routine, the easier your life will get. Infant expert Magda Gerber wrote, "Infants who do not need to adjust to too much unnecessary stimulation will eventually regulate their sleeping and eating patterns. This regularity will, in turn, give parents some predictable time for their own needs and interests."

As your children get older, you'll still have to adjust your work habits to their routines. If they are done with school at 3 p.m. and have to go to soccer practice immediately after, you need to be "off the clock" by then. If practice is an hour, you might be able to do some light work, like responding to emails or calling clients.

Related: This Entrepreneur Schedules Time to Play With His Kids. Here's Why You Should, Too.

6. Outsource and delegate wherever possible.

Between meetings, networking, developing your product or service and being a teacher, doctor, chef and chauffeur for your kids, life can get hectic. Rather than worry about every single task, outsource or delegate. You can hire a virtual assistant to organize your calendar or schedule your itinerary for an upcoming trip. You could hire a bookkeeper to keep your finances in order or a cleaning service for your home or office.

Get your kids involved with chores at home. When they're old enough, have them help out with laundry, prepping lunches, cleaning dishes, gardening or walking the family dog. Saving 15 or 20 minutes on each of these household chores can add up to a big win.

Related: 4 Tasks Successful Leaders Should Delegate

7. Have a dedicated workspace.

What if you work from home and the kids are off from school? Have a dedicated workspace separate from where the kids play and watch TV -- the more separate, the better

If you don't have the room for a dedicated workspace, consider swapping kid duty with friends, family or neighbors. On Monday, your kids may have a couple of friends over, but on Tuesday, they can go to a friend's house. This way, you can work in peace and quiet at home or work in a coffee shop or co-working space without worrying about the kids.

Related: Put Your Family on Payroll Before the End of the Year to Save Big

8. Unplug

This isn't exactly a productivity hack, but to make it for the long haul you need to occasionally unplug. This means turning off your electronics so you aren't plugged in 24/7. Use this time to meditate, go for a hike, take the family camping or read so your brain recharges.

Being a parent doesn't mean you have to pull your entire focus from your business -- and vice versa. By implementing these hacks, you can ensure your kids -- and your business efforts -- get what they need.

Looking for more tips, here are several time management tips to help you to becoming the best you possible.

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Travel

Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.