Getting work done as a stay at home mumma
I often get asked how I structure my day and get work done if I work from home, with 3 little kids running around me. The truth is, I don’t. When I do have littlies running around, that’s family time, not work time. Don’t get me wrong, I may have to send the odd email with them around, but that’s not when I get the bulk of my work done.
So how to actually get work done?
1. Set office hours
I’ve learnt that setting ‘office hours’ and sticking to them, is really important. Theres a lot of temptation to go out for coffee, have friends over, YouTube binge or clean the house, but if you’re going to move your business forward, work time is work time.
Obviously, there’s not one schedule that’s going to work for everyone. You have to work with the time you have. Which may seem limited, but I promise if you track your day and the tasks you do for one whole week, you’re find the space you’re filling with mindless scrolling, TV, or even cleaning when you could be working. (You can clean with the monkeys around you right?!)
My office hours
I used to work into the wee hours, and get up early, and work sporadically through the day. This was when I had a tiny babe who only catnapped during the day, would stay awake until midnight and sleep until 7. It was also before I realised I’d actually get more done if I got more rest and planned my time.
Now said babe is 17 months old. She sleeps from 7:30pm – 7:30am. She also sleeps 12:30 – 3pm every day. Yep, she’s the dream child.
So Monday, Wednesday, Friday my work hours are 5:30am-7am and 1-3pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays the kids are all in care and my hours are 5::30am-7am and 9am-5pm. No nights, and very limited weekends. I love it, and yep I’m pretty legalistic about it. I have a boss who likes to get it done 😉
2. Plan your day, week, month, quarter
OK this sounds like no fun (or like the best thing ever if you’re that way inclined!) but it will mean that you know what you need to do whenever your office hours click around, and you make the most of every. single. minute.
Planning means that when it’s work time you just look at the calendar, open your computer, and go. It removes the decision making. It takes out the fluffing around wondering what to do. And, it stops you spending all day on X task and realising later that Y was due tomorrow so now you’ll need to work until 2am to get it done in time. I’ve been there. Its not fun.
When it’s work time you just look at the calendar, open your computer, and go. It takes out the fluffing around wondering what to do. It also stops you doing 1 task and realising later that X was due tomorrow so now you’ll need to work until 2am to get it done in time. I’ve been there. Its not fun.
So it’s planning time.
This is going to take some time to do well so send the family away or wait til the little ones are asleep and set yourself up with notepads, calendars , posters, a white board … whatever you need to and dedicate this time to business and to yourself.
- Look your diary and highlight all your work hours. How many hours do you have / want to work? Decide and then don’t change them.
- Write down all the tasks currently on your plate – for yourself and for your clients.
- Write down how long each take you to complete, per week/month.
- Group the tasks into like categories (e.g. Client emails, Client creative work, Finance etc.)
- Look at your weekly and monthly calendar and input the tasks when makes the most sense (e.g. meetings when others are available, creative work when you’ll be feeling the most creative etc.)
- View the white space – if there’s not enough delete or delegate (don’t skip this point!)
- Dream. Write a dream list of everything you want to do and create in your business.
- Highlight the things you realistically have time for in the next 6 months.
- Put these things, and all associated tasks (planning, creating, editing, promotions) into your calendars – weekly, monthly and quarterly. Again, make sure there’s enough white space.
Aaannd you’re done.
If you’ve taken the time to do this properly, you will have allocated your time in the most efficient way. You will have also designed your business around your life, not the other way around. This intentionality means that you’re maintaining the freedom you started your business for in the first place.
You deserve to enjoy your business and your life. You also deserve a business that is growing and serving you creatively and financially. This plan will help bring clarity and progress to your business, and this is the best foundation you could have.
It doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. But it does mean that you know what it’s going to take to do the things you said that you wanted for your business. Commit to the plan and you will be amazing by the progress.
A full step by step guide of this process, with proper examples is coming soon. You’ll find the link here when it’s ready!