Do you work from home? Manage your time like a pro with our easy tips!
Time management is a skill that takes practice and, well, time to learn. However, time management has been quite elusive for work-at-home moms to master because life is constantly changing and there are too many distractions. When you finally manage to tackle that one big time wasting habit, something else always pops up. But before you get discouraged, here are some quick tips on how you can master time management, become more productive as a work-at-home mum and still maintain your great shape and sanity.
Start the Day with a to-do List
No matter where you work, I believe this is a great way to start your day. However, as a work-at-home mum, you need this the most due to the countless distractions and informal setting of your home office. The first thing you should do when you wake up is to physically write down the things you plan to do that day on a piece of paper. Sticky notes can come in handy because you can stick them somewhere you can see them all the time.
It’s also important to attach some timelines on each task so you can easily priority without having to pause and think of what should be done next. A to-do list will solve that problem while living you with a satisfying feeling that comes with crossing accomplished tasks off the list.
Don’t Turn on the TV
The general rule of working at home is to turn off the TV. Just like emails and social media, a TV can be a major distraction. If you like catching up with morning news or your favorite morning show, that’s ok but once you’re finished, start working. Splitting your attention between two screens will just make your work even more challenging.
If you work better with some background noise on, then you should probably stick to some soft music or whatever works for you. I personally get distracted when I listen to music with lyrics when I am working, so I prefer some instrumentals, but hey, that’s me.
Embrace Routine but be Creative
Having a certain routine of how things are done in your home is a great way of making everyone’s day right. The most common routine is the school morning routine, but you can also use a routine keep other parts of your day on track with tasks like naptime, dinner, bedtime, homework, after school, etc. Import the same routine culture into your homework schedule choosing to always make phone calls, check emails, check social media and do other tasks at specific times.
It’s important to note that both adults and kids can get attached too much to routines. Which is why you should be flexible. As your kids grow, routines will change; naps will disappear, child care schedules will change, kids will perform chores more efficiently and so on. So be ready to change your routines where necessary as you go along.
Keep Fitness on Your to-do List
Keeping fit is one of the biggest challenges for pretty much anyone operating from a home office. Naturally, work from home arrangement is associated with sedentary lifestyles where exercise and movement are limited by design. Most people forget that exercise is not only meant for aesthetic but also for health purposes.
Daily stress can affect your productivity and overall mood, and reduce your energy. Exercise is a productivity hack to stay in shape which will improve your memory, sleep, encourage an optimistic outlook, alleviate anxiety, and reduce stress. The ability to stay healthy and think properly and positively impacts how you manage time. Set aside a day or two per week for the gym and about 30-45 minutes for some simple daily in-house aerobic workouts.
Set up a Perfect Workplace
Setting up a perfect spot for work in your home is one the best ways to not only manage time but also boost your productivity. Update your office space with sleek furniture and fresh flowers to give you motivation and creativity while working. Designing the perfect office doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are tons of easy DIY tutorials online that combine creativity and functionality to make your space work. It could be a separate room, a section of your home library or a perfect spot in your living area where there is minimum traffic and other distractions. Keeping distractions off your working area can save you up to a total of 3 hours a day –what can you do in three hours? So if you’re used to working from the bed, get out of the bed as the first step and try to find, a the very least, a spot that has lots of sunshine and limited noise.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list of all the time management practices and adjustments you will need, neither are they hard-and-fast rules. Simply think of them as time management and productivity hacks to stay in shape and do more as a stay at home mum. The most important thing is that you start each day with a to-do-list, establish a routine, set aside a home working office/space, exercise/workout regularly and keep distractions to the very minimum.