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I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #sharpieclearview http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


For me and many other busy parents the start of a new school year also means making adjustments to our work schedule. Today’s post will show you how I get the job done with a four day work week (Fridays off) while also managing the needs of my family. There are certain tools of the trade that are essential to my organization like Sharpie highlighters (broad and fine tipped), a planner/appointment book, and pens. I picked up a few from my local Walgreens while shopping for the kids.

In order to be at peak productivity without the mommy guilt, I must PRIORITIZE, PLAN, AND DELEGATE various tasks.

Let’s take a look at how I get it done.


To be clear, my top priorities are spending time with my family, earning a living to support them, and practicing self care.

When working from home, time is money. It’s the same as when you are working in a traditional office setting, but harder and with many more distractions.  Tasks during work hours should be dedicated to money-generating activities. Your livelihood depends on it.

For me, every work hour is scheduled whether I’m designing for a client, conference calls, writing an article for another site, writing a blog post, or engaging on social media. Each of these tasks helps to generate income for my family therefore I fiercely protect my time. Chatting with friends during work hours is a big fat no-no. It takes a little while to break them from calling you during their lunch hour or when they are distracted at their own jobs. After all, a 5 minute chit chat can turn into a 30 minute gab fast. My closest friends understand my schedule and respect my time. However, they know I’ll run to their aid in case of an emergency!

When I sit down on Sunday evenings to make my schedule, here’s what I have in front of me.20140818-183737-67057344.jpg


If you have been hesitant about getting on a schedule, consider this quote:

“There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.” – Jim Rohn

Let’s get about the business of being discipline, but knowing you have to make room for sponteneity.

Here’s an overview of my week:

Schedule: Monday- Thursday

5:30-6:00am Prayer/Meditation

6:00-7:00am Get kids dressed, fed, and on school bus

7:00-7:30am Shower and dressed

7:30-8:00am Breakfast / check emails

8:00-12:00pm Work

12:00-1:00pm Lunch

1:00-3:00pm Work

3:00pm-5:30pm Homework (toss in a load of laundry, run quick errands if permissible)

5:30pm-6:30pm Dinner prep and mealtime

6:30pm-7:00pm Clean kitchen

7:00-8:00pm Bathe kids, read stories, bedtime

8:00-9:30pm Spend time with hubby

9:30-10:30pm Work (planning for next day)

Schedule: Friday (Off Days)

Yes, I take Fridays off! I use Fridays for self-care days, i.e. get my hair done, mani-pedis, lunch with friends, or to catch up on sleep.

I assign each task a Sharpie color. Green is for my main income-generating tasks (design business), the dark blue marker highlights my writing assigments, the yellow marker highlights my business-oriented tasks that may not generate immediate income, i.e. responding to client inquires. The light blue marker symbolizes time allocated for self-care. This includes feeding myself lunch!



The post it notes are for scheduled appointments, but we know on occasion that people’s plans do change. Instead of having to strikethrough my appointments, I write them down on mini-post it notes that are either tossed once the appointment has taken place or reassigned to another date.


I use my broad tip Sharpie Clearview highlighter to spotlight new client appointments in an instant. This is also helpful when I review my calendar and follow up with leads towards the end of the month. Notice the see-through chisel tip is great for precise highlighting, underlining or writing notes. The Smear-guard ink is specially formulated to resist smearing when highlighting over many pen and maker inks. The neat-freak in me looooves this!!


If there is a task that does not require my personal attention, I will find a way to delegate the duty. For example, a housekeeper visits our home twice per month for a deep clean. In the interim, my husband, kids, and I maintain during her off week. She and her team can clean, fold laundry, change beds, etc. in about 2 hours. It costs me less money to pay her to do it than it would for me to do it myself.

Another way I save time and money is ordering my project samples, certain household supplies, and even clothing online. We lose countless hours running from store to store and sitting in Atlanta traffic. Ugghhh!! That can seriously ruin your day. I usually schedule outings on Tuesdays and Thursdays and work in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays.


When you PRIORITIZE, PLAN, and DELEGATE you have time for making sweet memories like taking your daughter for her first mani-pedi. Here’s Ava learning from Mommy about self care!

How will Sharpie Clearview Highlighters get you closer to having Fridays off?





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Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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