There’s one question that’s almost always on my mind – what’s the best way to manage my time and get more done when I’m working from home without sacrificing being with my son? I’ve been asking myself something along those lines for the past six or so months as I learn to achieve that ever-so-delicate balance we all seem to strive for.
As I’ve started to transition into my new role as a work-at-home mama, I’ve learned a number of things including, but not limited to, the fact that I have to manage my time more effectively and be more efficient than I’ve ever had to before. Here’s a list of the three most important things that I do to get more done when I’m working from home.
- I tend to work a non-traditional schedule. On the days that I work from home, I work for a little while in the morning, but the majority of what I need to do is done after my son goes to bed. Either way, I know that I can count on at least one afternoon nap and generally, these days, bedtime is around 8 PM. I can almost always commit myself to approximately six hours of work each day without having to use outside childcare.
- Speaking of schedules, I’m extremely rigid with ours. I try to do the same things at the same times each day. It makes sense for us to have a routine and for both of us to know what to expect. My son knows that he plays for a while in the morning while I check email. He also knows that after that, my attention is on him until naptime. When he sleeps, I write. There are certain things that are harder to focus on when he’s awake, so I try to keep that in mind as I plan our day-to-day.
- I prioritize what needs to get done on a weekly basis. If I have seven articles due on Friday, I’d really rather not wait until Thursday night to write them. Sometimes, things come up. It’s unavoidable. When it’s all said and done, though, my freelance week starts on Friday and I try to have everything finished by Tuesday. I edit on Wednesday and submit everything along with my invoice on Thursday. Product orders for our Etsy shop are packed on a daily basis and shipped the following morning. Paying work comes before everything else except for my son.
Working from home is, no doubt, a balancing act. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in things that are unimportant. When you sit down and really think about your weeks, how much time do you waste? Mamas who are successful working from home are generally the ones who are very independent, disciplined, and excellent at multitasking.
If you’re struggling with those things, sit down and make a list. Write down everything that you do for a day and how long you spend doing it. When you’re finished, look at where your time is going and make adjustments from there. When you do a better job of managing your time, everything else will start to fall into place and your days will become more productive and less stressful. After all, isn’t that what’s important?
Leave a comment and share your own awesome no-fail ways to get more done when you’re a work-at-home mama.