Management Tips for Work at Home Mom

Freelancing

Working at home offers many benefits over working outside the home, but it doesn’t eliminate the need to use time efficiently.

In fact, because working at home has more distractions, time management strategies are essential to success.

Here are a few tips that help me manage my time while working from home with little ones.

Know Your Family’s Rhythms

When designing your day, consider both your peak work hours and your children’s needs to find a focused work time. My peak work hours are before lunch. Once I eat lunch, I’m ready for a nap. So, I schedule the work that requires the most mental energy before lunch and saves the work that doesn’t require too much focus for the afternoon. Fortunately, when my kids were little, they were in sync with me because they could entertain themselves well in the mornings, but by afternoon, they needed more attention.

Schedule time to work, and then really work.

While one of the benefits of working at home is flexibility, the reality is that routine is crucial to working effectively and efficiently. 

Yes, you can take time away from work to care for a sick child when needed, but you can’t expect to earn a full-time home-based income during nap time.

Schedules give you and your children structure and routine. Everyone knows what’s going on and what will happen next. 

Unlike traditional jobs, working at home situations allow you to design a schedule around the family, so you can work an hour or two before the kids are up, an hour at nap time and two hours after bedtime if that works best for your family. In my case, I worked until 1 p.m. and then I spent the afternoon with the kids, returning to work in the evening by 9 pm while the kids are asleep.

Identify daily time wasters; try to eliminate. Shut off social media, emails, and texts. We all have them. Maybe it’s the TV, the cell phone, or email. What do you get distracted by? Identify these items and make sure to eliminate them as best as you can.

I have learned that if I want to get anything done, I need to turn my phone into silent mode or turn off the television and just play music on my Spotify account. 

Use Systems and Tools

Streamline your work by finding ways to limit the time they take. For example, schedule social media posts, so you can set it and forget it.

Web-based tools such as Dropbox make information, idea, and document storage fast, easy and accessible from several digital devices.

Voice recognition software (standard with Windows) can allow you to give voice commands such as “Open Word” and dictate documents, email, and even online search. You may use Lastpass for Passwords

Google Calendar for the schedule of appointments, reminders, meetings or events of kid’s school activities

Create a designated area for work and play. 

This is so important. I used to work from the dining room table but found I was disorganized and would get more distracted.

Find a place in your home where you can create a workplace. It could be as simple as a small corner tucked away in your bedroom {like I have} or maybe one room dedicated to your work.

Make time for the kids. 

It’s so easy when you work from home to always be thinking about deadlines, emails you need to respond to, posts that need to be written and calls that need to be made.

Trying to work with little kids around is not easy, especially if they feel they are being ignored. I always try to set aside time in my day {morning, mid-day and after dinner} to turn everything off and just be with the kids.

We play, color, read books, and even dance around the kitchen. Then when it’s time to work, they’ve usually had their “mom” fill and are happy to play by themselves.

Set up a time to review their lessons or homework or review them before the examination. 

Most importantly spend time with kids outside the home like buying groceries and spend little time to eat together or go to church on Sundays.

Get Help

No rule says children, spouses or hired hands can’t help a mom out. Hire a student or older woman to watch your kids a few hours a day to get focused uninterrupted work time. 

Ask the kids and your spouse to help with housework or hire someone to come in a clean.  Schedule your laundry and have them done in laundry shops. 

If you don’t have time to cook, you can call and have your favorite foods delivered at your doorstep.  Or you can get a virtual assistant to take care of busy work like social media, email, and PR. 

Reward yourself! 

Mothers have a hard job, no matter if you work out of the house, in the home or do a little of both. We need to stop every once in a while, step back and realize all that we accomplish in a day. It’s pretty incredible if you think about it.

We deserve a nice reward every once in a while to help relax and rejuvenate ourselves. It can be simply picking up a book we’ve been meaning to read, getting a nice pedicure, taking a long hot bath or maybe buying ourselves a new outfit. 

Whatever it is, don’t forget to pamper yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan Layson is a Virtual Assistant and a mom from Iloilo. She’s been helping clients from Australia and UK with Bookkeeping and other admin task.

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