My recent article about what they didn’t tell you when working from home got a lot of mums talking about how hard it can be trying to be productive around the ankle biters.

I mean seriously – some of us barely have time to have a shower or put make up on, so how can we possibly add earning an income to the mix if we’re not using child care?

So here are my 7 tips to planing your day when you work from home:

1. Plan the night before: Every night, I sit with my diary and decide what I want to achieve the day. I don’t like 40 items, because that would be just unachievable and overwhelming (which can lead to demotivation). Just pick your top 5 or 7 items.

2. Start dinner early: Any mum who works from home will tell you a lot of it gets done at night after the kids go to bed, so in order to maximise this period make sure dinner is ready to go early. One pot dishes, crockpot/slow cooker meals and anything that doesn’t need a load of dishes are a winner in my eyes because it means less mess! I get dinner going during the day when bubs is not too cranky and tired. Basically it leaves the night free to concentrate on generating an income. Bonus tip! Meal plan your dinner for the week to save even more time like deciding what to make.

3. Clean as you go: Try and prevent the house from getting too messy or at least limit it to one area. What does this have to do with working from home? Well as busy mums we can’t help ourselves but want to clean when there is a mess. This detracts from you concentrating on your business or job. If you can see that pile of washing sitting next to you it can be really hard to be productive knowing that it’s waiting for you. I do a 40 min clean every morning whilst bubs is eating her breakfast which is enough to maintain the house (then I do a bigger clean on the weekend).

4. Sales and marketing comes first: We always get distracted with pretty shiny things – graphics, social media, websites, designing our diary – the list could go on! However without sales and marketing, you don’t have a business. So your top priority should ALWAYS be to make sales. Whether it’s making phone calls to hot leads, responding to enquiries OR generating leads by marketing your services – this is a must and needs to happen daily. Non negotiable.

5. Meet new people: Try and meet someone new every day. Network online and offline and talk to people all the time. You will be increasing the network of people around you, find new clients, broaden your reach and grow as a person (practicing talking to people is imperative for sales). Sometimes when we work from home we forget to socialise so this is important step!

6. Check emails twice a day: I actually encourage people NOT to have their email account on their phone as it’s too easy to be checking them every 5 mins which makes you inefficient by being easily distracted. Set two times, such as 9:30am and 8pm and stick to it!

7. Make them wait: Now this one might be a bit controversial, but sometimes bubs just have to wait a minute! New mums especially are so quick to stop what they are doing and run to their babies if they cry, this makes it hard to get anything done. Sometimes you’re just going to have to let them whinge and tell them to wait a minute (whilst you save that file, send that email or similar). I am not saying ignore your child, but it’s good for them to learn that sometimes they will have to wait 60 seconds!

That’s it! The most important thing is do take action whenever ever you can. If an opportunity rises and you have 30 mins free that you don’t normally, take action!

Do you have a tip that I have missed? Comment below I would love to hear what works for you.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • Great read it’s so hard to balance with the school work as well


  • These tips are great! I definitely agree with the plan the night before as I find it easier.


  • I think it helps to have a designated wrk space, even if tiny or only for part of the day.


  • Some great tips to take on board through these difficult times.


  • do assign lighter chores to your kids (if capable/trained) like decluttering or folding clothes and splitting some with the husband like laundry and dish washing. allow some buffer time when you create a major task for work or home.


  • I’m not working from home but reading a lot to prepare for a son schooling from home on his own. I have to go out to work but still want him to be productive.


  • Main aim is not to wander away from the current task


  • These tips are really handy, thank you so much!


  • These tips are spot on and so realistic. I worked from home for over ten years and learned quickly how to prioritise tasks.


  • That list has some awesome suggestions. I’ve worked from home before but never with the kids all at home. This list has some great points to help me stay focused. Thank you


  • Baking and cooking and cleaning is what I do now daily


  • Some really good tips to make effective use of your time


  • great tips, I have older children, am in a position to work from home with my full time job during COVID19 and run a small homebusiness – your article gave me a few new tips to try – especially love the only checking email twice and picking a time to do that and sticking to it. I also found your message about sales and marketing very worthwhile to – and this is something I really need to be proactively working on so thank you for that important tip/


  • Great tips but in scenarios where in the current COVID crisis both parents are now having to work from home – why are we suggesting Mums need to be cooking and cleaning. At a population level women, even working women, already do more unpaid work in the home. Juggling work and home duties should be a shared issue. This juggling act we as women are suddenly expected to shoulder has the potential to become unstuck very quickly. And if it does, given that Australian women on average earn at least $200 less than men per week, and spend around 64 per cent of their average weekly working time on unpaid care work compared to 36 per cent for men, the risk is that women’s jobs in heterosexual households will be sacrificed. If we are not careful, women’s independence could fall victim to the pandemic.


  • by the way, i love the one that says “meet new people”…but alas… the given time :( no meeting people.


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