Working from home can be a challenge if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the right organizational elements and time management practices in place. But, if you get those key things in line, working from home can be the ideal situation for those of us who are looking for the ultimate flexibility with raising a family while simultaneously enjoying a thriving career.
As a work-at-home mom myself, I have my own best practices, and while they work for me now, I do find that they evolve as my kids grow older, as my work load changes and as I find more efficient ways to do things. But hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found to work thus far:
Set Work Hours
Set specific times to be kid-free work hours. My times happen to be first thing in the morning and times when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve hired motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s helpers, or in the fall it will be when they will head back to school. I also will work at night after all of the children are in bed if need be when deadlines are tight.
Find a Planning System that Works
Each month I have a set number of topics to write to and I have a committed amount of social media as well as editorial work to do, so I sketch out each week in my paper planner accordingly because that works for me. I also have digital documents in Google docs for each of those jobs to keep track of the work as a whole for each month.
Document Your Hours & Financials Diligently
I do this in an excel document and sometimes jot down hours in my planner as well if I need to make it quick and canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t open up my laptop at that moment. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re working for profit, taxes are a factor, so being diligent about your finances is important. File away expense receipts, track your income and do your research about how to do your taxes out the gate if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a new freelancer.
Be Willing to Unplug
When you work from home, it can be hard to say no to work when you have Ã¢â‚¬Å“just one more thing to finishÃ¢â‚¬Â but you need to balance it out and stay connected to your family. So be willing to work hard during your Ã¢â‚¬Å“work hoursÃ¢â‚¬Â so you are not pulled to work when you should be spending time with your family.
Working from can be an ideal situation if you organize your time right Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so find a system that works for you and start at the very beginning with best practices that work for you.
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking for additional tips and tricks for organizing your work-at-home life, Sharon from Mom of 6 has a fantastic post on how she does just that. She has five things she does each week to stay organized and there are definitely a few things in this list that I plan to implement in my weekly plan.
Like I said, I evolve when I realize that I can improve Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and she is definitely an inspiration in the organization department when it comes to working at home and keeping it together with a large family.
Are you a work-at-home mom? What tips can you offer to others trying to succeed with kids underfoot?