Being a mum that works from home definitely has its benefits, but it can also be challenging. Some women find that it is very difficult to really focus on their work because there are just too many things that provide a distraction. Here are our top 5 tips on how to be more productive when working from home.
- Schedule and have a ‘to do’ list
If you know that your schedule includes time for work, for yourself and for doing things around the house, it easier to focus on your business when you need to. A schedule also alleviates stress from worrying about when you’re going to fit in other things, like housework and homework with your kids.
Start your day or your week with a ‘to do’ list that is realistic, but itemises all the tasks that need to be completed on that day, or during that week. If you do it the day or week before, then you start your work session with the list in front of you and get can straight into focusing on the most important tasks and help to avoid frustrations.
It’s important to allow for some flexibility, however. You will need it when something takes longer than you anticipated, something more urgent crops up or there is a contingency such as a sick child who is home from school.
- Prioritise and delegate
Working mums often find themselves needing to prioritise – cleaning the house or taking the kids to the park one afternoon, for example – and in some cases lowering your standards and being a little more flexible about some things.
However, it can help you to focus more on your business if you are able to delegate or outsource. It may be worthwhile to have a cleaner once or twice a month so that you free yourself up from having to do housework. The time that you would have spent on housework you can instead spend on your business. You could also get your children involved with age appropriate chores around the house such as tidying up and unpacking the dishwasher.
- Create a defined office space
If you are working from home and have children it is best for you to have a separate room where you can work with the door closed. However, at the least it is important to have your own space, with a desk, where you can create a suitable working environment. This will help you to be more focused when you sit down in that space, as well as prevent those seemingly constant interruptions from your kids.
- Disconnect from the online world
It’s so easy these days to be distracted by social media and personal calls and emails and once you have been distracted it is even more difficult to get back into work. So don’t be tempted to hop onto Facebook or Instagram every five minutes – this is never a good use of your business hours. You can even get add ons for your browsers that will block certain sites during certain hours that you specify which is great if you aren’t very disciplined with this. If you can, pop your phone on silent too so you aren’t constantly checking your emails every time you hear it ping.
- Have childcare options that are dependable
When you run your business from home it may be tempting to try and balance caring for your kids with doing your work. However, it is not an easy option and can be stressful for you and your children, and makes it very difficult for you to really focus on your business.
You may have family members nearby who can help out or you could consider sending your children to a local childcare facility. Another option is to host an au pair, who is a young person from overseas who lives in your home and has the added benefit of providing you with greater flexibility. The au pair can take your child out to activities or the park, allow you to work outside of your regular hours, babysit over weekends and allow you to attend evening functions (all hours are predetermined with the au pair though). Au pairs can also do the school run and transport older children to after-school activities or help with homework after school.
Australian au pair agency, Smart Au Pairs can help you find an au pair who can provide dependable child care for you so that you can focus on your business while working from you. Contact us to find out more and start your au pair search today.