Working from Home Takes Practice
How to Work From Home: From a Work From Home Mom
This was hard for me. As a long time corporate employee, deciding to stay home after the birth of my third child was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. It was me making the decision to completely change my lifestyle. It was me getting uncomfortable and walking into a completely new world.
I love routines. I am a planner (that was my corporate career!) and having a plan is a must. When I started my stay at home journey, this was extremely difficult. How am I supposed to plan my day? What am I even doing?!
It took me 10 months to adjust. 10 months! I contemplated going back to corporate life. But I didn’t. I slowly found my groove and then found a happy medium of being an exceptional wife, parent, and business owner. It took A LOT of work!
I had to navigate parenting 3 kids under 4yrs old. I had a newborn, a preschooler, one in half day kindergarten (we had morning!), and a brand new business.
Here is what I did to ensure that I was an exceptional wife, mom, and business owner.
- I worked in the pockets of my day. You will get more done if you choose the peak times where you will be most efficient. For me, this meant 5am mornings, the afternoon 2 hour nap time, and 9PM-12AM. As they got older, I’ve been able to work more hours during the day and less in the evenings. You have to work with how your life is now. Look at your days. Where are your hidden pockets of time?
- Give yourself Grace. If you are on a conference call and a child joins in too, don’t panic and feel embarrassed. You are not the only one with children and the majority of your clients or coworkers will not mind at all. If anything, it humanizes you. It lightens the conversation.
- Write your big Goal for the day and top 3 tasks and do them in priority order. Have you read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy? If not, now is the time. It’s one of my favorite professional development books. It is a short read, but a great read. Linked for easy ordering! Knowing WHAT you need to accomplish to get to your end result makes the difference between success and failure.
- Don’t work when your family needs you! This might not always be possible, but should be the rule. They will feel neglected and you will not be productive. You will feel like you are not an adequate parent. It is not worth it. Work only in your focused pockets of time. Trust me on this one.
- Set up a comfortable working space with great lighting. Have all of your necessities for work available in your space. Your space will determine your productivity. I personally have three spots depending on mood and type of work. If I am on video calls or creating video content, I am almost always at my well lit desk with nice background. If I need to spread out and have a large working space, I pull up to my kitchen island which has wonderful natural lighting. If I have busy work that only includes me and my laptop or phone, I'm under a blanket, feet up, natural light coming in through the window, and lounging on my loveseat. Find your spots and make them work for your purposes.
- Get up at your normal time and get ready as you normally would do. Take a shower, get dressed, do your hair and make-up ladies. Workout and eat breakfast. Just because you are working from your home office doesn’t mean that you should be ultra relaxed. Not getting ready in the morning and active will lead to an unproductive day. Don’t fall into that trap. Get up in the morning and begin your routine. If you don't have a routine, make one! Don't know where to start? Read The Miracle Morning by Hal Enrod.
My morning routine starts at 5AM with my wake-up. I get up, brush my teeth, drink water, make my pre-workout, and then grab my morning books and journal. I read a chapter of personal development and professional development daily as well as writing in my journal. I plan my day starting with my fixed items (appointments, calls, meetings, sports) and then fill in what other items I need or want to accomplish. By 6AM, I am doing a 30 minute workout, followed by a 10 minute meditation. I then check my emails and social media until 7AM. At 7AM, I get breakfast ready for the family, shower and start my work.
Our overall daily view looks like this (it's still a work-in-progress):
5AM-7AM Wake-up and Get my day started
Journal, Plan my day, Workout, Work
7AM-9AM Kids get up, dressed, breakfast
9AM-11AM Homeschool and Activities (We are still fine tuning)
11AM – 12PM Electronic/Free Time/Mom Works
12PM -12:30PM Lunch!
12:30PM – 2PM Play Outside/Games
2PM-4PM Quiet Play/Nap Time/Mom Works
4PM – 9PM Family Time/Dinner/Play Time
9PM Bedtime and Mom Works
Our motto is that "Keep the kids busy or they will keep you busy!" Therefore, we always have activities available for free play that are non-electronic. Board games, puzzles, art and craft supplies, painters tape for fun activities on the floor, legos, play doh, sidewalk chalk, and free printables. One of my favorite FREE sites is bestcoloringpages.com. It's for adults and kids! The kids pick which pages they want to color and I print. They are occupied while I work. Win-Win!
I hope what I’ve learned through the years of how to effectively work from home will help you navigate this new adventure. Message me if you are having problems with your new routine. I am happy to help you!
This is also gentle reminder that you are doing a terrific job!
PS. I have a new package option! If you are a business owner and looking to learn how to manage your own digital programs, contact me. I am starting one-on-one trainings in May for those looking to understand Email Marketing and Social Media business pages and ads and how to Plan your Digital Marketing accordingly.