Working from home can be a difficult task. Staying motivated, on task and balancing work and home life are all challenges we face as busy moms.
I work from home as an online ESL teacher and as a blogger. My 6, 9, and 4-year-old children go to school while my three-year-old stays at home with me.
Due to the current COVID situation, my older kids are now spending more time at home. Managing my work, their online schoolwork, and the things that need to be done around the household is indeed very challenging.
It has been a journey of growth and I am so excited to share my tips on how to be more productive while working from home!
1. Make a plan, write it down, and share it with your family
The number one tip I have for working from home moms is to plan, plan, plan!
To be honest, I was never a big planner. This worked when the little ones were younger but as they got older and began being involved in more things, I knew I had to get more organized.
By planning, I had a better expectation for my day. Of course, there are always surprises but by having a plan I was better prepared for each day.
Don’t just think of a plan in your head, write it down!
I love to use planners and calendars. By using these printables I am aware of what’s going on week by week and day by day.
Not only am I aware but I can also place these planners and calendars on the fridge so that the entire family knows what’s going on. This helps to make sure that there aren’t any overlapping activities that could cause much distress!
Here’s a FREE weekly meal planner and daily planner for work from home moms to help you!
2. Take regular breaks
In order to be more productive while working from home, it is imperative for you to schedule breaks into your daily plan!
I know that we moms feel like we’re invincible but the truth is, we’re human too and we get tired.
If you were at work at the office or in a retail setting, you would definitely have a regular lunch hour. However, the times for work and rest can get blurred when we are working from home.
Therefore, it is important to intentionally set aside that time in our daily routine to rest and relax. Use this time to eat something healthy, stretch, read take a little time for some self-care.
3. Set a routine
Other than making daily plans to help increase productivity while working from home, it is actually incredibly helpful that you set regular routines.
Research has shown that routines are actually very beneficial for children as well as the family as a whole. Routines set expectations, increase sense of security and also inculcate a sense of self-discipline in our children.
With routines, there is no question about when something should be done or happen. This helps the children looking forward to what they enjoy. For example, with regular routines in place, our children will know when they need to get their school work done and when they can have their playtime.
Not only are routines important for children, there are equally as important for moms! I love my morning routine because that is a sacred time when I have it all to myself!
I always plan to wake up before the children so that I am already refreshed and focused by the time they wake up.
You have to do what works best for you but try to implement a morning routine and see how you like it!
4. Dress up
Even though it is very tempting to be working at our desk in our jammies, you should actually make it a habit to dress up!
It has been proven that when we are dressed like we are going into a workspace outside of the home we are actually much more productive than if we just stay loungewear.
I am not saying you have to have make-up and a three-piece suit but there is nothing wrong with fixing your hair and wearing a casual outfit to get you motivated for a productive day.
Dressing up will also better help your children know that you are actually indeed working from home so they do need to be mindful of the time that you need to commit to your work!
5. Set aside a dedicated workspace
Having a home office is not absolutely necessary but having a dedicated space that you call your own will allow you to be more organized and focused as you work from home.
Having your own workspace will ensure a quiet environment during important meetings or phone calls. It will also reduce the number of distractions that can happen so often when working from home.
6. Communicate clearly with your family members
One of the major keys to success when being working from home is actually having clear communication with your family members.
Clear communication ensures that everyone in the household is aware of your work schedule. This will greatly help with reducing the number of interruptions you many encounter throughout the day.
Especially for work-from-home moms, your children will want to seek your attention as much as they can.
Therefore, it is important to talk to your spouse and children about your work so they know how important it is that you get your tasks accomplished.
This is extremely helpful because everyone knows when you are available and when you’re not. I always explain to the kids if there is an emergency I will ALWAYS available but the other requests like asking me for snacks or toys would have to wait until my next break time or they would have to be trained to do it safely on their own.
In conclusion, being a working from home for moms can be very challenging. But proper planning and sticking to the routines that you have set can indeed greatly increase your productivity while working from home! After all, busy moms can still enjoy a very successful and balanced work-from-home career.
This article is written by Alicia Ogugua.
Alicia is a work from home mom of 4 kids. She blogs at InspirationalMomLife. Alicia loves working as an online educator as well as inspiring moms to be the best that they can be in order to help build a better tomorrow. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and four children.