Working from home can be hard for anyone. It can be challenging not having a set work time, a set office, set rules and regulations, but when you have kids and you’re working from home it can be even more chaotic. Managing life between working from home, taking care of the kids, and taking care of all household tasks can be daunting. So how do you do it?
Well first let’s talk about should you do it. I’ve always been very adamant that anyone could create their own business, work from home as an employee or entrepreneur, but there are definitely some traits you should have. If you do not have these naturally, I still believe it’s possible to teach yourself and change habits if you are really motivated to do so.
You should be….
… and you should have Good Communication Skills!
If you are already all of these what are some tips for keeping organized and managing life as a work at home mom?
Set up a Workspace
It can be hard to stay motivated and focused when you’re working from a couch or a bed or a floor even. Of course, each person is productive in different situations, find what works best for you and set that space up as your workspace. Keep your workspace organized and clean.
Now, I’m not saying you have to dress formally while working from home but get dressed. In the morning do your routine as if you were leaving the house. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, put on your make up, brush your hair, put on deodorant…. You get the idea. The more you’re up, dressed, and ready for the day the better you’ll feel and more motivated you’ll be. It can be too easy to slip into laying on the couch watching tv if you’re in your pajamas all day.
Make a List
Write out everything that needs to get done. As a work at home mom this will include work tasks, kid tasks, household tasks, everything. Once you have the list prioritize it. What’s the most important thing to finish that day?
Do not burn yourself out because when you do you lose motivation. Often times it can be hard to regain it. Take breaks when you feel your attention and motivation slipping. Stand up, go on a walk, take the kids to the park for an hour, get some coffee, anything to give yourself a rest then get back at it after, refreshed and motivated.
Embrace Routine BUT Be Flexible
It can definitely be hard to stay on task when you’re working from home. Set up a routine and schedule and stick to it. However, be able to be flexible. Working from home can be frustrating if you’re not because there will be days when the kids are sick, hurt, or tired and the focus will need to be in different areas those days. Be okay with change and reorganizing the routine when necessary.
Most of us have heard of multi-tasking. Many of us do it without really trying. However, multitasking can actually harm your productivity. Time blocking is better.
What does it mean to Time Block?
Time blocking is where you schedule your time and set out blocks of time for specific tasks. When you schedule a task to be completed in that time you only focus on the task at hand. Time blocks makes work a priority when you schedule it and it helps you work distraction free (as distraction free as you can get as a work at home mom).
How do you time block?
You know that to do list you created of everything that needs to get done? You know how you’ve already prioritized what’s the most important?
Now what you need to determine is when you are most productive versus least productive. If you are motivated and most productive in the morning, then create work task time blocks in the morning. If your children nap, create a time block for work. When your children are just home from school and doing homework create a time block to help them. If they don’t need the help, then switch to a household task like the cleaning the dishes or laundry.
Time blocks is great when it comes to creating that routine. Get in the habit of when you work, when you take breaks, when you do household tasks versus work tasks and stick to it.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of working from home?