Working from home can be a dream. You can work in your pjs, you don’t have a boss standing over you, you can pee when you want and enjoy the freedom that it brings. And although all those perks are pretty cool, in order to make working at home successful you do have to follow a few rules.
Throwing kids into the mix makes it a little more difficult. You might feel like you are juggling one too many things. It can be overwhelming at times and you might find yourself looking at the local help wanted ads for a job far away from the place you call home. It happens to all of us.
Here are a few tips to make it a little easier for yourself.
1) Have a schedule. Waking up and thinking, “I will get some work done today eventually” doesn’t work well for me overall. Yes I am able to get some things done but I always feel behind and out of focus when I do. I need to know the night before what I am going to work on the next day and the times that I will be able to work on it. Insert a snow day and it makes it even more difficult. You get thrown off and it is so hard to do a lot when all the kids are home, especially if it is unexpected. Having a good schedule will help you stay on task and accomplish what you need to get done each day.
2) Get dressed. I know, the whole work in your pj thing is pretty cool. If that works for you, don’t change it. I know for me I need to get dressed, even if that means putting on new yoga pants and a t-shirt. I have to be in something different from I woke up in. It helps to have school aged kids because I would do this anyway. It puts me in a better frame of mind. It gets me ready to work.
3) Don’t just work from home. Find a coffee shop or library, take your laptop and plan to spend a few hours getting some work done. It is easier to focus when you are not reminded of all the laundry you have to do or the dishes that need to be done. If you have small children this might not be an option for you but if they are in school or daycare, take advantage of that sometimes and get out of the house.
4) Move! The other day I worked straight from about 9-12 and then looked at my Fitbit and cried. It reminded me that I needed to get up and move a little bit. Even if it is just running in place for a few minutes. Sitting all day long is not the healthiest thing in the world. Take breaks and make sure to move. Your body will be happy you did.
5) Act like you work.I always struggled with this one. And the lines blur a bit when it comes to the kids. But if you need to work from home, take it seriously. Make sure you are not making other plans everyday. Make sure you let your friends know you are working. It is way too easy to tell yourself you can always work later on but the truth is, something else might come up. During your work hours, make sure you are working and that you aren’t off doing something else. This is why #1 is so important. When you have a schedule down on paper it is a lot easier to stick to it.
The balance of home and family can be so difficult. Being a WAHM is a great way to make an income but it isn’t as easy as just sitting at your computer and making some money. It takes time and planning and a little bit of creativity to get what you need to get done each day.