8 tips for moms who work from home (and still keep a smile on your face!)
How do you balance working from home?
Are you a work from home mom? Or juggling office work with a side hustle from home? Working from home with kids may not always be sunshine and lollipops, but a few helpful tips can make it a whole lot easier! I promise 🙂
As the internet brings us more opportunities than ever before, Work-At-Home-Moms (WAHM) are fast becoming a popular option. This platform offers flexibility, balance and, ultimately, freedom from the daily 9-5 grind.
And if your still just dreaming of working from home, check out Carly’s (from Mommy On Purpose) list of 21 stay at home mom jobs that make real money.
Top tips to help Work-At-Home-Moms
Just looking for the quick version?
- Plan your day
- Swallow the frog
- Use the 80/20 rule
- Track your time
- Remove distractions
- Schedule in some flexibility
- Use To Do lists
- Ditch the multi-tasking
And if you’ve got time, let’s check out these tips for moms who work from home
1. Plan your day
You know what they say – if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail! So take ten or fifteen of your precious minutes, and think about what you need to get done. Today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week. This is most effective if you’ve already articulated your goals and know exactly what you need to achieve (you can read how to write SMART goals here).
Group tasks that can easily be done together, perhaps you need to get to the post office, drop onto the bank to sort an account and buy some groceries. Make sure you’re not doubling up on trips unnecessarily, and if you’re already in the car after the school drop off, take your list with you and knock those jobs off first thing in the morning.
2. Swallow the frog
Wait, what? What does that even mean? Well, we can thank Mark Twain for this colorful description.
This means that if you have a hard task, an unpleasant task or something you just don’t want to do… you’re best to just get it done first thing. That way you don’t spend the day procrastinating, finding other smaller and unimportant jobs to keep you busy while you put it off.
And if the day really turns belly-up, at least you can rest easy that you’ve got the hardest job done!
3. Use the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Rule, means that around 80% of the outcome (the effects), are driven by only 20% of the action (the cause). The best way to figure out how this can work for you, is to take a look at what tasks you complete that have a big impact on your work.
Tidying up email accounts, filing paperwork or browsing Pinterest for inspiration 😉 will always need to be done. But on the days when your time is limited and you just can’t do it all, they won’t give you bang for your buck.
4. Track your time
And you just might be surprised! This is one of the most effective ways to find some extra minutes and hours in the day. If you’re spending 2 hours answering emails a day, try limiting it to 30 mins and prioritize other tasks more.
Or you might find yourself filling in “spare time” with a few chores like vacuuming, or cleaning. Consider how much time you spend actually doing these tasks and then how much time you want to be spending doing these tasks. Maybe you need to think about how often you’re doing these activities. Can you save time by batching activities, and doing them every few days rather than on a daily basis?
5. Remove distractions
You’ll know if you’re the kind of person that is easily distracted. And once you’ve taken on tip #4 there’ll be no denying it! Whether it’s the t.v., your phone alerts beeping or your emails popping up on your screen, if it interrupts your train of thought, it’s slowing you down.
Get to know yourself and what most distracts you from getting jobs completed and then take action to remove those distractions from your work space.
6. Schedule in some flexibility
There are two main reasons you want to remain flexible. Firstly, sometimes unexpected things just do crop up. It might be a sick kid, a last minute appointment change or your computer crashes. Being able to turn to Plan B and still keep crushing tasks is important for keeping the stress levels down, and come back to the original plan when time allows.
Secondly, sometimes it’s just easier on yourself to be able to swap tasks around. If you have planned to do some writing in the morning, or draft up a new design but you’re really not in the mood – just take a break and do something else. There’s no quicker way to kill the creative flow than having to be creative when you’re not feeling it.
7. Use To Do lists
‘To Do’ lists are a great way to keep track. When you make your plan for the day, you can also prioritize the important tasks. Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting to the end of the day and having a few tasks left that you haven’t ticked off yet. Just ask yourself if they are still important and get them up the top of tomorrow’s list.
But if they don’t feel pressing and you don’t want to prioritize them above other tasks you have planned, maybe they don’t need to be on your list at all!
8. Ditch the multi-tasking
OK, so maybe you don’t want to ditch it altogether! If your kids need a quick hand with something, it might be just as easy to take a break from a tedious job and lend them a hand. But the days of multi-tasking all day are long gone and studies show that focusing on a single-task is much more effective at getting things done.
And sometimes it’s not even your kids pulling on your attention, it might just be you trying to accomplish too many things at once. Pick one task, and keep going till it’s done and you can tick that one off.
Hopefully you have found a tip or two in here that you can start using right away! And if you have very little ones, Robin from The Balanced Life has some great tips specifically around baby schedules, nap time, and meetings with a pram in tow.
Working from home definitely has it’s challenges, but with a few handy tips up your sleeve and a bit of practice, you’ll nail the juggling and benefit from all the great rewards of being a work at home mom.