10 Productivity Tips for Work at Home Mums with kids running around
Work from home mums with small children at home face a significant number of challenges that those with older children do not face. These ten personal productivity tips will make life just a little bit easier for you.
1. Have Realistic Expectations
With children underfoot, you are not going to have a spotlessly clean home and work a 10-hour day on your paying job. Consider your day successful if you accomplish those three tasks, and allow yourself to use your free time to spend time with your family or finish an optional cleaning task.
2. Become a Multi-tasker
You must learn to juggle work and homemaking tasks at the same time. For example, if your children are happily eating together at lunch, use the time to snatch a glance at your email. Consider taking client phone calls while your child plays at the park.
3. Organize Your Home
Find a cleaning system that works for you, and set daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning schedules. This will ensure that your housework gets done without interfering with your work endeavours. A cluttered home will put your entire family on edge and kill your productivity at work.
4. Ask for Help
You will need help with the daily tasks in your home. Call on your spouse to do some of your chores, and give your older kids tasks to accomplish. Remember that you are a work from home mum, and that means you do have to find time in your day to actually work.
5. Get Children on a Schedule
Most young children need to nap, and you need to work on a schedule to ensure that they are napping at a set time each day. This allows you to set aside that period of time for work. When your children start to outgrow their nap time, set up a quite time when they play or look at books in their rooms while you work.
6. Set Up Play Areas
While you will not have a quite home all day long with children in the home, you can set up play areas where they can entertain themselves for a while as you catch up on a few work tasks. Consider a toy rotation in these play areas to ensure they are inviting to the children.
7. Focus During Work Times
Your work times as a work from home mum will be few and far between. When you do have time to work, turn off all distractions. The TV, answering machine, radio, social networking sites, and other distractions need to be eliminated while you work.
8. Work with Interruptions
Interruptions and emergencies will occur, so make a plan to work around them when they do. Learn to handle them without frustration. As a work from home mum, you must be flexible.
9. Find Childcare Options
While putting the baby in day care or sending him to the babysitter may seem like it is against your goals as a work from home mum, you may need to do so for a few hours a week or even a day so you can accomplish your tasks. This is far less time than you would spend away from your babies if you were working full time. Enlist the help of your husband as well when he returns from work.
10. Set Aside Time Each Day for the Kids
Your children need periods of time each day when they receive your undivided attention. Make this happen, and you will find that they are far less irritable and whiney. A child who gets mum’s attention on a regular basis is more willing to play alone when needed.
Do you have any personal productivity tips to share?