Let’s face it, being a work at home mom is no easy task! It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what will help you be the most productive or how on earth you’re supposed to actually have time to do the work when you have little kids running around!
I have worked from home for 7 years, some of those years as a mom. It is MUCH harder to work at home as a mom!! But it’s not impossible. Over my years of working at home, I’ve discovered some tips that not only make it possible to work at home with kids, but will help you become more efficient!
Set timers for your kids when they are with you so they know you are working until the timer goes off.
I have used this method with my 3 ½ year old and it is pretty successful. Initially it’s hard because your kid (if they are a toddler) won’t understand needing to leave you alone until your timer goes off. But once you do this a few times it will become much easier for your kid to wait and listen for the timer which signals the end of your work.
I will say this won’t work for very young toddlers. My 21 month old son does not understand waiting for a timer. So this ideally will work if you have older toddlers or kids, or if your younger one is sleeping and the older ones are awake.
Using this method gives you uninterrupted time, (even if it’s 30 minutes) to get work done. I’m far more efficient doing this than not using a timer and constantly getting interrupted by my kids. The same amount of work I do in 30 minutes, could take me well over an hour without the timer.
Find a place you can make your office.
In my basement I have my desk, vision board, and computer set up. This is also my kids playroom and ideally this is not the best working environment but my kids are still very young so if I need to sit at my computer I also have to know they’re in a safe place that I can still be lightly supervising them.
Where in your house do you feel most creative? Are you able to set up a small work station? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate but just something that has what you need at the tip of your fingers when you sit down. You want to eliminate having to get up as much as possible as this will increase the amount you can get done in a short amount of time.
Have the grandparents take them for a day while you get as much work done as possible.
This is something I do on the weekends occasionally. I will drop my kids off at my parents house and knock out several hours of uninterrupted work. I’m lucky enough that my parents live close by. If you don’t have family nearby perhaps you can drop your kids off at a trusted friends house or another mom friend so your kids can play. (Just don’t forget to return the favor once in a while!)
This obviously allows you to get loads done as there are zero distractions!!
Batch your work
This has been one of the most helpful tips that has allowed me to become more efficient as a WAHM. Batching means to do the same task for a set amount of time without switching.
So for blogging, I will write content during my designated work times for 2-3 days a month. After that is complete I’ll work on graphics for a few days (during my work times). Then I work on promotion.
Batching helps you stay focused on one task at a time instead of switching from task to task. This ultimately helps you increase your focus and helps you get more done because you aren’t making your brain switch gears every time you start something completely different.
Get up early or stay up late (the uninterrupted time is golden!)
I’m not the best at doing either of these but I still try because I feel so much more accomplished when I get uninterrupted work time. I truly get so much done even in a short amount of time!
Raise your hand if you ever find yourself up in the middle of the night because you can’t sleep?? This happens to me regularly! While occasionally I can fall back asleep, sometimes I find myself scrolling endlessly on my phone. Recently though I’ve decided to just get out of bed and knock some work out and it has made a HUGE difference in efficiency and productivity. If you’re up, you may as well take advantage of that time!
Now if that’s not you and you sleep well (lucky you!) then either getting up early or staying up late is a good way to knock out some work.
Designate a day or time to just unwind or relax (because your home can’t always be work work work).
It is super important that you can shut off work. Because you work at home it can be easy to get sucked into wanting to use up every spare minute getting just a “few” more things done. Of course that few ends up spiraling into more than you intended. Or you don’t end up in a good place to leave off so you feel like you have to keep working on something until it’s finished to your satisfaction. I know, I’m guilty of this!!
Designating a certain time of day to be finished with your work will help separate your work and home life (which makes everyone happier!). Also designating a specific day to not work will increase your efficiency when you do work because you will be refreshed and not burnt out.
Have several types of work you can do no matter where you’re at in your house.
This is key for efficiency especially when you have kids. I can’t always be in my basement (where my office is). When I am down there I have specific tasks I know I can only do there so I’m already prepared with what work I can do when I’m down there. When I’m upstairs I have specific tasks I know I can only work on while I’m up there.
If you can’t be in your office for your whole work day, (which if you have kids at home you likely can’t!) then having a backup plan helps immensely. You can identify work that you can complete based on where you are at in your house. Leave your computer work for when you are at your computer. Do your paperwork when you have to be in an area without the computer. If you have phone work figure out the best place to complete that.
Have a plan for what you will work on for that day.
This piggybacks off of number 7. Know what you want to accomplish every day. This plan will help you be more focused on achieving those tasks, (i.e. Increasing efficiency). Having a plan also helps you identify those tasks you can only do in certain areas of your house thus maximizing your productivity.
Use google docs as a resource when you can’t use a computer or paper!
This was a super helpful resource that increased my efficiency!! Sometimes I still babywear my son to get him to fall asleep. So I have to walk around my house sometimes for 15 minutes before he falls asleep. During this time if an idea for a blog post comes to me, I open google docs on my phone and I use voice text to get my idea down! Later I can go edit it on any of my devices but just getting the idea “written” down is helpful!
Find a place that is not your “office”.
While yes this is about how to be more efficient when you work at home, occasionally changing scenery can do a world of good. Maybe once a week you can get a sitter or a family member to watch your kids and you can go sit at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble for a few hours. Changing scenery can get your creative juices flowing. You may become inspired by someone or something you see! Or maybe just the uninterrupted time in a new setting will help deepen your focus.
Maximize Your Efficiency!
If you don’t work from home yet, but you’re considering it, know that it is possible! If you already do work at home but you find yourself overwhelmed, try these tips! Like I said, being a WAHM is no easy feat and everyone’s home life is slightly different. Even if you can’t use every tip on this list, use what you can and you will see an increase in efficiency.
What are some tips you have for increasing efficiency as a WAHM?
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