Looking for tips on how to be more efficient when working at home with children? Check out this informative guest post from Wendy Dessler.
Having three active kids and working from home for years, will elicit one of two questions; “Is that even possible?” or “How will anything get done?” While flexibility is an enticing word, most people do not think they have the discipline to make home office work become productive. They are worried about the distractions of neighbours, family, social media feeds and everyday household chores.
Well, most mums are already busy with the household responsibilities – they cannot possibly find time to squeeze in paying work! However, 38 percent of American employees work from home at least one day a week. With advances in technology, you too can become a Work-At-Home Mum (WAHM); here are four strategies that will help you stay productive.
Have a Schedule
For the creative mums out there, you might have an aversion to deadlines and schedules, which is very understandable. Nevertheless, try it for just a week and you will be amazed by the results. Have a specific time slot dedicated to your business instead of only working whenever inspiration hits, when you have the energy or when the kids are busy. A schedule works even if you only devote a single hour a day to your enterprise.
Using online time management tools like Clockspot, you and your online employees will know exactly what that hour is and what needs to be done. A lot can be done in 60 minutes of focusing on work. However, if you try stealing 10 minutes here and there, you will find yourself stuck on the same task for weeks.
Reliable Childcare Services to the Rescue
When you have a large assignment from a big client and dealing with a baby, for example, the first thing you would do is plan your time perfectly. You plan to commit at least two hours, everyday, to the project – during the baby’s naptime. All of a sudden, the perfect napper decides not to sleep every afternoon; and after weeks of misplaced anger and frustration, you end working on the project while the baby is watching TV.
The scenario above is all too familiar for many work-at-home mums. However, if you are committed to running your home-based business and your kids are not yet school-going age, consider hiring a reliable and consistent form of childcare. You could even organise swapping playdates with friends.
Never Compromise on Sleep
Remember, when you got your baby, the doctor said that you should always take naps as the baby slept. Of course, there is the dirty washing to deal with and you still haven’t had a chance to take a shower all day. If you were smart, you took the doctor’s advice; a cranky mum does no good for anybody!
The same truth holds now; burning the midnight oil when the kids are in dreamland should stop, immediately! Lack of sleep will eventually catch up with you, and when it does, you will find yourself unhappy and sick. From the experiences of many WAHMs out there, you will be a much better and effective mumpreneur when you have had enough sleep.
Get Out of the House
For many mums with small kids, getting out of the house is one of the hardest things to do. After all, they chose to work at home because they want to spend more time with their families while bringing in some money. However, running a work-at-home business can become quite lonely.
While connecting online is still a good thing, real relationships are fostered in person. You can leverage your free time to spend it with your most loved ones and not jeopardize your friendships and relationships. For example, if your close friend is getting married, you can have your a bridesmaid dress ordered from here in order to save time shopping. That’ll give you more time to devote a whole day to your special friend!
Add to your schedule attending events, conferences, networking meetings or shopping with your girlfriend. These are all areas you can meet potential clients, mentors, colleagues and friends who will support you on your journey; and the change of air is not too bad either!