Fellow Crew mom Lisa Tanner Writing has a neat new product - Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. This online course contains 30 lessons in the following units, all of which you have immediate access to once you purchase the course.
- Building Your Foundation with the Basics
- Minimize Your Decisions
- Minimize Your Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan
- Sustainable Growth
- Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
- Boost Your Productivity
- Closing Thoughts
While the essence of the course is designed to teach you to balance building and running a business while simultaneously running a house and a family, you don't have to run your own business in order to benefit from what this course has to offer. Replete with "baby steps," or small things you can do to maximize your efficiency in home and business, there are tips here that almost anyone would find helpful. The course is entirely text-based (so, no videos, which is great news if you read really fast and like to get the facts quickly or if you have a bad Internet connection) and you can work through it at your own base. In theory, you would implement the baby steps as you move through the course, but in practice, I read through the whole course in one sitting. It's great that you have access to the whole thing right away so you can work at your own pace.
There is a lot to like in this course. The ideas that Lisa has regarding how to balance home and business are very useful. I have essentially had my own business for more than a decade as I, like Lisa, am a freelance writer. Many of the ideas that Lisa advocates are things that I have come to on my own over the course of my career. Some of her ideas, like the annual meal plan, are things that I would never consider, just because I don't work well with things set in place so far in advance. Although her annual meal plan allows for some flexibility, my life requires much more flexibility. I have four teenagers, all of whom have multiple extra-curricular activities, and two of whom are at community college classes two full days per week. I am not at home nearly as much as I was ten years ago, and that probably accounts for much of my resistance (for lack of a better word) to some of Lisa's ideas. One thing that Lisa advocates is something that I have done for years - having your kids help you with your work. Because I create worksheets for a website, I have always used my kids to help me brainstorm ideas and to check the appropriate level of my worksheets.
One thing that I don't like about the course is purely a technicality. No matter how much of the course I did, when I log on to the website, it tells me that I have completed 0% of the course. Whether that problem is unique to me, I don't know, but the overachiever in me is resistant to seeing that I have completed 0% of anything I set out to do!
For someone like me who is well-experienced with working for myself while raising and homeschooling a family, Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is interesting, but not particularly helpful. For someone who has a younger family and/or is just starting out in her own business, I think this course would be tremendously helpful. For my own part, I know that I would have gotten much more out of this course ten or so years ago. With age comes experience, so if you are lacking in either one of these areas, I think that Lisa's course might really be beneficial.
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