Many moms (and dads) are trading in their 9-5 job to work from home in hopes that it will bring balance their work and home life.
At first, everything is hunky dory. But then the real fun starts when they add kids, school, doctor’s appointments and after school activities to the mix. That’s when they find out working from home is not as easy as it looks.
I’m not saying working from home isn’t all that – every who does will tell you they love it. But like everything else we do, there are pros and cons to this way of life.
My kids are grown now but I still remember how crazy my schedule was. When I started blogging I had three kids in school. Two were in high school and the youngest one was still in middle school. And all three of them had different schedules.
There would be times I literally had to be at two places at the same time. And there were occasions when I would get home from dropping off a kid only to go back 30 minutes later to pick up another. Now that I think about it, I wonder how I ever got any work done through those crazy years!
Let me tell ya, trying to balance a mom shift and work life is no walk in the park.
In a perfect world, our lives would run smoothly without any snags along the way. There wouldn’t be morning struggles to get the kids ready for school and our business would be a success no matter how much time we put in to it.
Ugh. If only we lived in Utopia!
But in reality, we’re pulled in all kinds of directions and and have to deal with distractions on the daily. And we have to hustle in order for our business to be successful. By the time our work and chores are done for the day, it’s midnight by the time our head hits the pillow.
But managing life and work can be done.
How To Manage Your Work-from-Home Schedule
Experts out there say balancing work and life is all about time management. And to that I say honey, you haven’t walked in my shoes. I know, it’s a cliché but it’s true.
Here’s the thing. We can talk about time management and keep a schedule so that we’re on top off all we have to do. But you also have to expect the unexpected.
Things can happen at anytime. And it’s been my personal experience that it tends to happen when the timing couldn’t be worse. Like when I’m right in the middle of working next blog post or about to call a client. Has that ever happened to you?
If you’ve just started working from home, are you finding out it’s more challenging that you thought it was going to be?
I want to help you by sharing some the things I personally tried in hopes that it might help you manage your work-from-home schedule whether it’s to balance your job, an online or home-based business with your busy home life.
Figure Out What Hours You Can Work
For a work-from-home job
The first thing you have to do is look at your home schedule to determine how many hours you can work. This step is important becaues you don’t want to accept a full time job offer if you can only work part time.
Can you work while the kids are at school? If they’re too young for school, can you work at night? After you figure that out, decide how many hours you can work in a day.
For an online or home-based business
There is more flexibility to dedicate hours to work if you’re running an online or home-based business. For mompreneurs and solopreneurs, it’s all about setting boundaries and making the most of the time you dedicated to work on your business.
Here are some suggestions.
Let your family and friends know your business hours and if you have, to take your laptop your favorite cafe.
For those of you who have kiddos at home, make sure they are entertained. If you have older kids, put them in charge of child care. If they b*tch and moan like my oldest daughter used to do, trade it off with an extra 30 minutes to an hour to their curfew.
When you’re working on your business it’s important to take advantage of that creative time. Hold off things like doing chores and paying your bills online. Don’t answer the phone (unless it’s an emergency, of course), check social media or check emails during the time you’re working on your business.
Stay on time. If you schedule two hours for research only put in the two hours and move on to the next task.
Check your analytics reports and see when’s the best time to reach out to and engage with your audience.
Tackle Those Tasks and Keep Your To-Do List Realistic
If you have a work-from-home job
Tackle your chores before you’re scheduled to login. You’ll be able to concentrate on your job instead of the dishes in the sink or load of clothes waiting to get washed.
And look for easy slow cooker recipes for dinner that you can put togethere in the morning to be ready by the time you get off work.
For mompreneurs and solopreneurs working from home
If you’re a mompreneur or solopreneur, you’ll know that sometimes you have to go over and beyond having a normal work day.
There may be times you have to work at night or on weekends – but you gotta do what you gotta do for the sake of your business.
Here are some tips to help you manage your tasks and time.
First, take a look at your to-do list. If you have 20 items on it and you can only dedicate four hours to your business, you need to cut that sucker in half and be more realistic with your to-do list.
For daily tasks
If you only have so many hours to dedicate to your business, I recommend your to-do list includes anything that will help your business. Such as engaging with your audience and connecting with other bloggers by reading, commenting and sharing their posts.
Things to do at night or on weekends
Figure out which tasks can be done on the weekends or at night when you have time before going to bed. For example, you can reply to emails at night or reply to comments on your blog post. And on the weekends you can work on blog post for the new week, analyze your stats or whatever other projects you have going.
Sharing tools like Hootsuite is a real time saver. You can schedule posts ahead of time to free you up to do other things on your to-do list.
Using Time Wisely
As a mompreneur and solopreneur, it’s all about taking advantage of any extra time you find and using it wisely.
Here are a couple things you can do if you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands.
Thankfully, technology lets us take you work anywhere. If you pick up kids at school, chances are you get there early to beat the rush. While you’re parked, take out your smarphone or tablet and check social media. You can also reply to emails and even start a draft for a new blog post.
If you have extra time before going to bed, get your to-do list ready for the following day so you can hit the ground running and not waste precious time figuring out what you have to do.
All She Wrote
That’s it. I know, nothing major, but every little bit of change and adjustment you can make can help you get more done.
But I do have some good news. The busy doesn’t last forever. The kids will grow up and have cars of their own. They’ll be able drive themselves to school and anywhere after school. So stay patient because before you know it, you’ll have plenty of time for work and play!
Now It’s Your Turn
If you have a busy life, how do you stay on schedule? Tell us what’s worked for you in the comments section below.
And before you go, please share this post on social media!