When I took a job that allowed me to work from home, I never imagined it would be difficult. I thought I had the best of both worlds, having a job to bring in income and being able to do it with my pajamas on. When my daughter arrived, I felt even more blessed because I could stay at home with her and still contribute to our family by working. But working from home and being a work from home mom are totally different! To say that you feel pulled in 2 different directions all the time is an understatement. Both your boss and family often have deadlines that need to be met, and neither are that understanding if you miss them. So after 2 years of working from home, I finally feel like I have a handle on things and I have a handful of tips on how you can better manage your time as you work from home.
1. Use A Schedule
Everyone is more productive when they have a schedule, so take a good look at your work deadlines and plan out your weeks. Most likely your work takes precedence over setting up a play date so setting time to take care of your obligations with your employer first. It’s helpful to coordinate your schedule with your boss, so they know the hours that you are available for assignments and phone calls. If you don’t, then you may end up working “on call” all the time and your boss may not have appropriate boundaries. Nobody wants that!
2. Determine Your Best Work Time
One of the advantages of working from home is that you have the potential to work when you are most productive. If your employer affords you this freedom, then try and schedule your work when you are most likely to be efficient. If your mornings are too busy and you work great late at night, go for it! Maybe you like to work hard during the week so that you can truly shut off the computer and enjoy your weekend, or vice versa and like to work on the weekend when your spouse can watch your kids. Just determine what best works for you and use it to your advantage.
3. Use Nap Time
Luckily, my 2 year old still takes naps because that’s when I cram as much work in as possible. As much as I’d like to nap when she does, or catch up on a few shows, there are not many other large time chunks during the day that I can put in some uninterrupted hours of work. It’s tempting to take care of house chores during this time, but you can always do that when your kids are awake or when your spouse is home. Use the quiet house to your benefit and get some items checked off your work to-do list.