Does this sound like you? You love being a stay at home parent, but you are looking for a way to use the skills you developed in your career pre-kids. Your heart can’t handle missing out on their childhood, but you also need to engage your mind in a way that is more challenging than cleaning up Cheerios and folding another pile of laundry.
You have a drive to create an income and contribute financially to your family without leaving your kids behind. But the reality is that being a stay at home mom is a full-time job, and it feels like there is no way to get every aspect of home life and work life balanced.
As a work from home mom, I have been trying to figure out how to make my days more productive without using the dreaded TV babysitter. (you know you’ve done it too!) I have a 5 year old, 3 year old, and a 1 year old so while all the planning in the world could make our days better, I have to be realistic with my expectations of what I can accomplish with my work schedule. That may be you, too. Let’s all give ourselves room to breath knowing that our ability to accomplish our goals depends on the season of life we are experiencing.
I’ve been scouring the internet to find ideas that will help you create that elusive work – life balance. Mompreneurs and bloggers across the internet have amazing ideas on how to create a more productive work/life flow.
Below I’ve curated a list of ideas to help you with productivity hacks for work at home moms. I’ve also included the links to each website so you can see all the other amazing ideas that these bloggers have shared!
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8 Productivity Hacks for Work at Home Moms
This seems like a simple enough idea. But when I sit down and consider all the things that need to happen for my house to be “done.” The list is just too overwhelming! I love the idea of choosing 5 things to accomplish in the morning. This is the perfect way to simplify my huge list. It allows me to be realistic about what can be accomplished, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with the fact that not everything got done.
#2 Stay Focused
This is a list of 30 tips on how you can stay focused during your work time at home. These are my favorites that I’m going to try…
- Start with a ritual to get yourself in “work mode”
- Use a designated work space (My husband is going to build me a desk and I’m think something like this but in a desk version. I’m obsessed with mixing materials like wood and metal!)
- Set “work hours”
Seems so simple right?
Multi-tasking seems like a good idea, until you realize you have a bunch of projects that are still not finished. You can actually accomplish more completed projects by prioritizing and completing one project at a time! I know when I am multi-tasking usually I forget something important which costs me even more time.
Have you ever gotten lost on Pinterest? An hour (or 2!) later you wonder what you even sat down to do. Social media, emails, and other online distractions can make you waste time. Try turning off all your social media and notifications so that you can focus on your task at hand.
As a mom, I know my kids are going to interrupt my workflow unless I give them something specific to do. I try to keep my boys busy with coloring activities, arts/crafts, building with legos or one of these toys that spark creativity.
Write EVERYTHING DOWN!! I mean this is really so simple and can clear up your mind to focus on other things. So many times I think that I can remember everything, and most of the time I totally forget…
shoes for the kids, a suitcase when we were travelling, sending out an important email, meeting a deadline…you get the idea!
Call me old-fashioned but there is something that just feels right about using a pen and paper to write down a to-do list! (I absolutely LOVE these pens…you know you’re an adult when you love a good pen:) Since that’s not always possible I like to use my phone to keep track of my to-do lists.
There are several recommendations for apps you can use in this post, but I prefer Evernote.
I’ve given my 5 year old and 3 year old chores to do that are age appropriate. When it comes to folding laundry or picking up the toys…I try to remember that done is better than perfect. I try to focus on the fact that they did their job! As they grow we discuss how to do a better job, but I try to remember that I’m training them and it’s a marathon not a sprint.
When it comes to work the same mantra applies… spending an excessive amount of time to create the perfect blog post, teach the most amazing lesson (I only have 25 minutes per class), or create the perfect email is probably focusing on the wrong aspects that will help me grow my business. Not every aspect of my business can be perfect… in reality I’m constantly learning new things and almost everything I do can be improved.
So learn where you can set high expectations and areas that you can let it go.
I started using Walmart Grocery Pick-Up and it was life changing. I don’t mean to be so dramatic, but it seriously has saved me at least 2 hours per week. Not to mention it has saved me money, because I can see the amount add up on the right side of the screen.
This along with meal planning has seriously saved me hours during my week!
Independent play is golden when you’re a work at home mom. When kids play independently without us, they learn how to function independently in the safety of our home. So while it’s beneficial for mom, independent play is also beneficial for your kids too!
This post gives great ideas for extending independent play. I love using audiobooks for my kids when they give up naps. I usually borrow audiobooks from the library and each kid gets their own book to listen to the story. The books usually last between 12 – 20 minutes. Just enough time to squeeze in a quick task.
I love this advice from Crazy Busy Happy Life! Make a point to give yourself rewards when you complete a project. Don’t just make it a piece of chocolate, either. Choose something that you would REALLY like to have, but don’t normally allow for yourself. So work hard, and then go get the massage, those new shoes, or a pedicure. Set your own bonuses and rewards!
What productivity hacks for work at home moms do you have?