Being a work at home mom is hard work. We have so much to get done, and there are always expectations that we’ll do stuff that wouldn’t be possible if we worked out of the house. How many times do people expect you to do the housework among your own work?
I’m not going to get into that debate right now. However, just know that there is a way to deal with everything you need to do as a work at home mom but have spare time. You can do less and accomplish more with the right mindset and goals. It’s all about working smarter and not harder. Here are my five top tips.
Take more breaks throughout the day
Did you know that not working will help you work more productively? And it’s productivity that you want to ensure you do less but accomplish more. A rested brain is a recharged break, but we’re not just talking about the end of the day.
You need to make sure you take breaks frequently throughout the day. As a work at home mom, this is actually when I get some of the tasks done around the house. I take a 10-15 minute break from the computer every 60 to 90 minutes. This helps to stretch my legs, rest my eyes, and give my brain the break it needs. In that time, I can do a load of laundry or get some of the washing up done.
I also ensure I get at least 30 minutes away from the desk for lunch. This is changing to 45 minutes at the moment. Some of that time is spent taking the dogs for a good walk (which is why it’s upped to 45 minutes as we have a new dog that’s settling in) and some of the time is spent away from the desk to eat my lunch. By the time I get back to my desk, I’m ready to work!
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Delegate some of the tasks
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to delegate. This can be in the work or within your home life. You can delegate the cooking to another adult in the house or delegate some of the cleaning duties to older children. Even toddlers can do some of the tasks!
When it comes to your work, consider outsourcing. I outsource some of my social media so that I can focus on the writing. There’s my accountant for my tax needs so I don’t need to do it.
You wouldn’t fix your car yourself, even though you could learn! There’s no need to do other tasks around the house.
Plan out your day in advance
One of the best things you can do so you do less but accomplish more is to plan out your day. As a work at home mom, this is crucial. I plan out everything the night before. And I mean everything.
I know when I’m doing client work, when I’m working on revenue share sites, and when I’m working on my own blogs. Part of planning out my day isn’t just knowing what I’m doing, but when it will be done. This helps get into the right mind frame from the start.
And this is important to work smarter. If you don’t know what you’re doing on a morning, you’ll waste at least 30 minutes of the day planning everything out. And then you’ll wonder if you’ve missed anything.
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Acknowledge your distractions and work to avoid them
You will get distracted by things around the house. It could be the ding of the email, the sales call on your cell phone, or even the dogs getting into one of their fights over the same rope toy. You may even find social media a problem. We all have these distractions, but you need to figure out what they are. As a work at home mom, they are ruining your productivity.
I used to reward myself with my distractions. If I did 30 minutes of work, I’d get five minutes of one of my distractions. This doesn’t happen as much anymore as I’ve learned to curb where the distractions are, but every now and then I go back to that plan.
Develop and stick to a routine
My favorite tip for doing less and accomplishing more is having a routine. I am, admittedly, very routine orientated. If anyone messes with my structure, I struggle throughout the day. Sometimes, it can throw me off for a week or more. As a work at home mom who is self-employed, I can’t do with being thrown off.
I have a morning routine for the family. Then I had a routine for my own work, which includes getting the dogs out regularly. And then I’ll have routines once the kids are back home from school. I’ll also set up routines that can be put in place if there are snow days, sick days, or (common right now in Ontario) strike days.
I also have routines set up within my work. For example, I’ll write content a day ahead. I will just focus on the writing. Then once all the writing is done, I work on images and links. And I do this per site that I work on, making sure I can stick to my writer’s hat or my editor’s hat or my image’s hat, whichever hat I’m on.
What are you doing to be more productive? How are you doing less but accomplishing more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.