Working from home sounds like the ideal, right? You get to stay at home in your jammies, get some work done, maybe a load of laundry, hang out with your kids. Easy peasy? Nope. No, it's not.
Working at home, especially with kids, is a fine balance of time and home management. It's all about telling your time where to go.
Just like at the beginning of the month when you make a budget, you also have to budget your time. In order to see business growth and success this is something you have to do daily.
1. Make a prioritized to do list.
This is pretty simple. I just take a notebook and on the left side I have my business objectives for the day and on the right side I have my home and life objectives for the day. I have them on order of most to least important.
I actually do this the night before. That way when I start the day I already know what needs to get done.
2. Start your morning right.
I have to get up a little earlier in order to make my day successful. I realize that everyone on the internet is talking about getting up earlier. And I realize that the mere thought of getting up earlier probably makes you want to slap me. But I am not talking about hours, I am talking about minutes.
Here is my theory, one hour in a quiet house to a mom is four hours to a normal person. So just see if you can get up just 15 minutes earlier. This will give you time to glance at your to do list, throw on the laundry and maybe send an email or two.
3. Set focused time.
I tried to just wing it and it didn't work. I tried to just work when my kids were busy playing or when they were eating breakfast. And it didn't work. I felt distracted, unfocused and frankly, a little guilty.
So I just set up FOCUSED time each day when my kids are asleep or after my husband gets home when he is occupying them and I get work done.
4. Don't procrastinate.
You are talking to the QUEEEN of procrastinating. I was going to do a blog post on just that, but I never got around to it. However, I have learned the hard way that procrastinating doesn't work.
Inevitably the day you HAVE to get things don't your child won't nap, a storm will come through and lightening will strike your modem.
So give yourself a little margin. If your deadline is Friday just decide you're going to get it finished by Thursday. That way if it doesn't work out you still have time.
5. Dress for success.
I have never accomplished much in my pajamas. Sorry. I am not saying you have to put on a suit and heals, just put on something that isn't pajamas. Today, as I type this I am wearing a really cute top and some yoga pants. I had on jeans, but the heat index is 102 and I got hot.
I also take just five minutes to brush my hair, put on lipstick and mascara and put myself together.
6. Set limits for email.
I always told myself "I will just check my email one more time." Cut to 11:30 at night and I am still working. So now I set a limit at 8 p.m. That way my night time is mine.
7. Sync your tech.
Your smart phone is fun, it's great to have apps for shopping and Instagram for sharing pics of your kids, but this technology was created for business. I use Google calendars to sync up my todo list with my phone and my email. That way I can schedule my time and stay on track.
8. Get off Facebook.
No, I don't mean delete your account. I mean limit your distractions through out the day. Your time is precious. You don't have time to get on Facebook 12 times or check Instagram or pin things that aren't business related.
If you are using social media for business like I do then use a free service like Hootsuite to track your Facebook and Twitter posts and engagements.
You can hop on there, see how things are going and hop right back off.
9. Remember work isn't everything.
I once saw a quote I loved, "work is a slice of life, not the entire pie." Remember why you're doing this. Is it to pay off debt? Stay at home with your kids? Pay off your house early?
If you're constantly working, but not spending time with your family; ff you're bringing a steady income but your health is suffering due to a lack of sleep then it might be time to reprioritize.
What about you? What would you add to this list?