By now, you’ve probably heard the news that working from home is an efficient way to make money. It’s becoming more and more normal these day’s for mom or dad to be working from home with little kids around.
It’s not without its perks, but it does take some effort to adjust your mindset and develop a productive work from home schedule. But once you are able to do so, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a flexible schedule, while still being productive at home and taking care of your kids.
Whether it is something you are doing as a hobby, or something you are making an income from, it’s HARD WORK to carve out the time to do it when thing’s seem like they are in a constant state of chaos.
Right now, I’m sure you are trying to design your future or present work-from-home-mom schedule. It’s not easy to do, but taking time out of your day to set yourself up for success and set realistic expectations will make you all that more successful in accomplishing your goals of working while also maintaining your home and entertaining your kids. I promise, It will be all that more rewarding in the end.
It has taken a lot of time and patience, but here is what I have done so far to be more efficient and organized at home so I can get more work done even with little ones around.
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Knowing where to start when you are a work from home mom can be the hardest part
Working from home has its own set of challenges due to the fact that we are not in a professional setting, add a few kids into the mix and you have yourself a whole new level of chaos. When I first started working from home I had a seemingly different idea for how things were going to go. I finally realized that I needed to throw my expectations out the window and find a schedule that fit’s my (and my families) new reality.
1-Create a schedule and stick to it
I never realized how important this was until I started working from home. It’s not like my work is dictated by someone else anymore, it’s up to me to get it done. This can seem like a daunting task when you aren’t working designated hours. You may be working sporadically throughout the day while also trying to manage your kids schedules. Create a schedule so your kids know what to expect, and you have a realistic idea of how much you can accomplish in one day.
2-Work in blocks of time
Like I said above, set your expectations aside. You will probably have to squeeze work in where you can instead of having a designated time for it. Working with kids around is a whole different monster. You may not get a large chunk of time, but rather 10 minutes here or 20 minutes there. If you can align nap or quiet then you may have one chunk of time that you can count on but for some, that may not be enough.
3-Work when you are the most productive
If you are a morning person, consider getting up a few hours before the kids so you can get some designated quiet time to get some work done. Some people are more productive in the evening, so skipping your normal Netflix binge to accomplish some work instead might be right for you. This will alleviate some pressure during the day knowing that you already got some work done or are planning to after the kids are in bed.
It’s important to not only work when you are productive, but also do the most important tasks when you are the most productive. This will give you a little sigh of relief knowing that you will have accomplished the important stuff because you have made those a priority.
4-Finish tasks productively
This has been my biggest challenge. I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, especially because I am self employed. However, if you divide your work between naps for your toddler and quiet time for your infant it can be very helpful to stay focused without getting too overwhelmed. Maybe focus on laundry for 30 minutes, dishes for 20 and then work on your freelance writing project for an hour. Use the times you have to work as efficiently as possible! If not, you might find that you haven’t accomplished a lot because you were overwhelmed by everything that needed done. I have been in this situation more times then I can count.
5-Create a designated work space
Nothing hinders productivity more then trying to find a space to sit between all the toys collected on the couch. When you have a few minutes to sit down and work it can be so much more productive to have a space to be able to do so. It will be more motivating and a better way to manage your time when you are not fighting for space.
6-Distraction hinders productivity
When you have the opportunity to work try to resist the opportunity to open facebook or instagram (I know, I’m guilty too), because before you know it you will have taken yourself down a rabbit whole and wasted an entire hour scrolling social media. That is one hour that you will never get back where you could have potentially gotten a lot accomplished.
7-Use nap time (or quiet time) wisely
If you have multiple kids (which I do) I find it so helpful to align nap and quiet time if possible. If you have only nappers, great! Try to get them on a schedule so they line up or at least overlap to give you a block of time. If you have an older child who doesn’t nap, get them used to some quiet time. You can start off with 10-20 minutes of quiet time and work your way up to a full hour. I consider quiet time to be to be anything they would like to do quietly in their room. Reading books or playing with “quiet” toys are great activities and they know they aren’t supposed to come get me until the time is up (unless of course there is an emergency). I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot!
8-Don’t forget to take breaks
Working from home gives me a lot of freedom because no one is watching my clock, reminding me I should be going home, or leaving at a certain time, and there is no designated lunch break. This can be a blessing and a curse. Being a stay at home mom is hard enough, adding work into the mix can can be even more overwhelming. Make sure to care for yourself, make yourself breakfast and lunch, drink water, and rest when needed. Being healthy (and sane!) will help you accomplish more in the long run.
9-Work when you can
Like I said above, work when you can. If your child is sleeping and there isn’t a lot of noise going on around you, I try to take advantage of this time and get some work done. Even if the kids are awake and entertaining themselves I might get in 10 minutes of work to answer some emails, that is something! If I know my husband will be home soon, and my baby starts getting fussy, I know that my quiet time is almost up and it’s time to switch gears. Try different ways of working at home until you find the one that works best for your family (and your business).
10-If all else fails (or if it doesn’t), hire some help
As much as I would love to be able to do everything on my own, sometimes we need help! There is nothing wrong with that. If it is something you are financially able to do having someone come help with the kids for a few hours a week can be a game changer. The anticipation of knowing you will get 2 hours to accomplish what you need to can be just the motivation you need.
It may not be cost effective for you to hire someone but if it is, it can free up a lot of time and give you the opportunity to work on your business.
The tips for a productive work from home mom schedule are not all about time management. It is also important to take care of mental health, physical well-being and personal relationships in order to have the best possible life at home with your family.
11- Don’t forget to make yourself FEEL productive
IF you are working from home, then act like it! Get out of the sweatpants, wash your face, and dress like you are going to work. You don’t need to put on a full pant suit, but make sure to change out of your pajamas. I promise this will make a huge difference in your day!
It is possible to create a successful work from home mom balance that work’s for you
We hope these productivity hacks will help you create an enjoyable yet efficient day that leaves room for everything else you want or need out of this experience as a work from home mom (or dad). It will take some time and patience to find your groove, but i’m sure you will get there in no time. Let’s make our days more fulfilling and productive! Let me know in the comment’s if you have any work from home productivity tips!
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