Being a mum is hard work, but being a work-from-home mum is often a challenge. From work to child care, housekeeping and grocery shopping, you probably find yourself juggling multiple balls at a time.
Fortunately, corporate mobility is making working from home more and more feasible these days – and with the right tools, you can become a super productive mum without losing your sanity whilst keeping your boss happy!
If you’re a work-at-home mum who can barely squeeze in time for work, we’ve listed 10 great ways to avoid distractions, boost productivity, and maintain a good work-life balance:
1. Create a schedule
If you’re a creative mum, creating a schedule and setting deadlines may not sound very enticing. But do yourself a favour and try it for a week. Determine how much time you can devote to work every day, and know exactly what you intend to do with that time.
You can accomplish a great deal of focused work in a scheduled time frame, rather than try to steal 5 minutes here and 10 there.
My favourite program to keep tabs on my ‘to do’ list is Toodledo.
2. Establish boundaries
Flowing back and forth from mum and wife to businesswoman is never going to help you become more productive. Establish boundaries such as a designated work space and office hours so you can fully concentrate on the task at hand.
Most importantly, make sure to honour these boundaries – don’t take personal calls while working, and keep your phone out of reach when you’re doing housework.
3. Get a babysitter – Or two
Working on a project while trying to play a game with your little one can be counterproductive.
That’s why you should get a babysitter to watch over your little one while you’re working, taking phone calls or attending virtual meetings. It will be much easier to focus on what you’re paid to do when you don’t have to constantly look after your little one.
4. Figure out when you’re most productive
What’s the time of the day when you get that burst of energy? If you can figure out when you’re most productive, you can schedule your time accordingly, and get more done during that time.
5. Take advantage of nap times
When your baby was just born, your doctor advised you to nap whenever your little one did. If you were wise, you listened to his advice – after all, who likes a cranky tired mummy?
Now you can take advantage of your baby’s nap times to work and boost your productivity. Nap times are especially great for projects that require undivided attention.
6. Use productivity apps
We’re living in a modern era of sophisticated technology, so why not leverage the real power of your smartphone by using productivity apps?
Cosi lets you create and manage shared family calendars, to-do lists and shopping lists. Wunderlist is an app that lets you create lists of tasks you need to get done in a given day. Time Log is perfect if you need to keep track of time spent on certain tasks.
7. Hold weekly planning meetings
Have you ever had one of those days when you were incredibly busy, but have no idea what you did?
It happens when you don’t set priorities, but it doesn’t have to become a routine. Take 30-45 minutes at the beginning of the week to establish your priorities, and you’ll become more productive than ever before.
8. Let go of something
Working at home is a huge responsibility, and will probably take more time than you initially planned.
Chances are you were busy even before you started working from home, especially if you used to take part in activities such as church committees. Start safeguarding your time and learn that it’s okay to say no without justifying your decisions!
9. Create a productivity-centred work space
Don’t have a home office? Then it’s time to get one – or design your own! Create and organise your space in a way that gives you the freedom to focus on the task at hand without interruptions or distractions.
Keep everything orderly to avoid confusion, and make sure nobody else but you is allowed in there!
You really can’t go wrong with picking up all the supplies you need at Ikea or you could look at getting a professional office fitout consultant in to make sure everything works in harmony and promotes productivity. From the colours you choose to the natural light available in your home office space, it can all contribute to how effective you are when working from home.
10. Get out of your home
Working from home can be especially difficult, but it doesn’t have to be suffocating. Make time to attend local events and get out of the house.
If going out with friends doesn’t sound enticing, why not get your laptop and head to your favourite cafe, order a cup of coffee, and start working?
Have a babysitter look after your little one while you’re away. Do this once or twice a week, and you’ll relieve a great deal of stress!
Do you work from home and have any other tips to add to the list? Please share in the comments below.