Work at Home Moms – 10 Tips for Time Management
I am a writer and a mom of two. As a writer, my deadlines are unpredictable and also it is difficult to plan how much time will be taken to complete an article. My children are aged 6 and 9 years and have a hectic schedule themselves. Sometimes, it feels that being a secretary to the whole family, including my husband, is my primary job, as there are classes, playdates, projects, social plans, etc to be managed for them. Apart from that, I need to ensure their physical well-being, run the household efficiently, manage finances and not to mention once in a while plan an exciting dinner for everyone.
Working at home has made truly appreciate the art of time management. The following tips have helped me achieve sanity in midst of this chaos.
Buy a planner
A planner is the most important ‘equipment’ to manage your schedule. I have a planner which gives me enough space to write a list of things to do for each day and also mark the future events.
Can’t stress enough on planning
I usually use Sundays to plan my week ahead in great detail right from which sections of writing I will complete, to when will I go for my grocery shopping, to plan the activities of my kids. This way I know how the day will mostly pan out. It is essential to not overly pack your day with a long list of things to do every day.
However, you cannot always hope that your schedule will work to the T. If you are falling short of time it is best to focus on the critical work to be done. Also, keep some free time in your schedule so as to accommodate any ‘spillover’.
Limit your unproductive activities
It is important to call up your friends, watch TV, check your phones, etc but limit them to the scheduled time for them. Doing those things especially during your work time is very inefficient.
Put an alarm
I sometimes do suffer as I cannot remember to do a particular thing at a particular time. Setting the alarm for activities like giving medicine, send something special to school or call up someone at a particular time has vastly reduced my ‘oops’ moments.
Depending upon the working hours you need to put in every day, it is best to schedule your work at a time when there are minimal distractions, and your focus is optimum like when they are away at school or on a playdate. However, at a time when the children are back from school, it is best to do activities like doing laundry or cooking as it is possible to do these chores while talking to them.
Schedule Household chores
It is not possible to clean up the whole house every day or not clean at all. It works well to plan which section of the house will be tidied in which day. Similarly, have a day set for payment of bills or cook something special.
Ask for help
Always remember, you cannot do everything, and it is ok to ask your husband or others for help.
Make children independent
In case your children are above 5 years, it is important to let them manage some of their tasks themselves such as pack their school bags, get ready for school themselves or clean up after them. It will make them independent and you will have more time.
Take time for yourself
Lastly, it is also important to schedule time for yourself to keep you fresh and energetic to help take on the challenges of a ‘work at home’ mom. Do factor in a holiday every week and it may not necessarily always be a Sunday. I sometimes do like to take time off on Monday as no one is around to disturb me, it is easier to shop or pamper myself.
The above tips have reduced my stress immensely and it gives me great satisfaction as I strike off the work that I have accomplished.
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