As a work at home Mom, it is actually tough to organize our work life and have it distinct from our personal and everyday life. Working from home is actually tough, it is not a walk in the park with the never-ending distractions that come every other minute; hubby, the kids, and the fact that you have to prepare lunch/ dinner and also keep the home sane.
Here are a few tips I use to keep myself organized and focused while working from home.
Have a designated workspace:
Just because you are a work at home Mom, shouldn’t mean your work should be all over the place. Set up a little home office, it might just be a little table set up in a corner, this should be Mommy’s working space so the kids stay off it (let’s just pray they do). Restrict your work to this space, it gives you this feeling that you are actually at work, so once you are there you are focused with minimal disturbance. You can add life to your space, by having a nice decoration that matches your personality and also motivates you to work.
Have official working hours:
Pick working hours that would best suit you and your family, and stick to those hours, once working hours are over, just leave everything at your desk and continue the next day. I say this because since we work from home, there’s the tendency to work late hours, and this affects your overall productivity. Initially, I used to work till about midnight every day, but I had to stop that and place definite closing hours regardless of work undone. I still work at night cos it’s best when the kids have gone to bed, but I work fewer hours now. Leave time to bond and focus on your family, keep doing the things you do normally to make you happy after all the idea of working from home is to have time to bond with your family.
Develop task and time management skills:
I used to be super disorganized, I am really a grab and go kind of girl, last minute girl, I just figure everything out as it comes, but over time I realized this was dampening my productivity and affecting my clients. Now I am getting better at managing my time and organizing my tasks. I structure my tasks ahead of time and batch them into time slots, write a good old to-do list and check off tasks as I accomplished them. I don’t allot time-based on the task to be performed but rather on the goals, I want to achieve. For instance; instead of writing I would focus on my blog for 2 hours, I would write; I should complete writing a blog post in 2 hours, or deliver a client’s job to her within the allotted time frame.
Once you start a task, you should focus on it and complete it, reduce distractions, minimize the number of opened tabs on your computer, cos trust me that could be very distracting, focus on the task at hand if not you could find yourself jumping from task to task without completing any.
Here are some apps to help with organization, there is Trello which is a task management app it has everything you need to organize projects of any size. There is Evernote, Google Keep and a host of others which includes apps for social media management and all. A book that has really helped is Brian Tracy’s “Eat that Frog” I learned a lot about time management from it.
Dress the part:
Just because you are a stay at home Mom, aka Work from Home Mom doesn’t mean you should spend the day in your pajamas or loungewear. Dress in the way that would motivate you to work more and in the right spirits, wear makeup and even heels if you feel this would give you the extra boost and motivation you need.
Hire help if you can:
If it is possible to consider the option of hiring a nanny, babysitter especially when school is on break or a housekeeper. Hiring a nanny or babysitter would help as he or she can be with the kids and keep them occupied while you work. Hiring a cleaner or housekeeper could also help with keeping the house clean while you focus on work and the kids.
Find an alternative workspace:
If the house gets too distracting and you really have to focus on work or you have a deadline to meet, you can make use of an alternative workspace outside your home, if you have someone to be with the kids. You could check out libraries, coworking spaces, quiet cafes, basically somewhere that’s quiet with a desk and electricity so you can plug in your laptop and focus on work.