It always occurs that working at home moms, also known as WAHMs, have the best time in the evening or at night after their kids fall asleep so that they are allowed to get involved in their job things like replying to their customers in email, contracting a marketing plan or even finishing a blog post.
There seems to be a myth that the job a working-at-home mom does isn’t “REAL” and it’s also quite impossible for them to 100% focus on their job things. Nevertheless, a working-at-home mom’s job is no different from an ordinary one except that two roles are managed under ONE roof.
When it comes to the family with WAHMs, the family member with the least care from the moms is none but the “dads” since they’re mostly ignored. During the daytime, kids spend the whole day with their moms while when nights fall with kids falling asleep, the moms usually get involved in their jobs.
Do you remember the last night you streamed the Netflix with your husband?
Fortunately, all the frustration can be changed once some tips are conformed to for high productivity during the daytime.
Tip#1. Don’t let the business take over your life.
Is your business the first thing to be considered as you wake up every day?
Keep in mind that,
Working at Home ≠ Working 24/7
High productivity during the daytime for a WAHM starts from an attitude change. Yes, you have a job and you work from home, but your business is just one part of your life but not ALL.
Your work will never be finished up unless you call it an end.
There’s limitless work for you to finish, just like the never-ending household chores. Apart from setting your office time for yourself, you should let it known by your customers because most people believe a working-at-home mom is available 24/7 and they expect to talk with you whenever they want.
It’s also a fact that you fail to work smoothly like office ladies that are allowed to work from 9 to 5 in the office, without any interruption. They have a traditional work style while you have a unique work style. Believe it or not, all WAHMs follow different schedules because their schedules are determined and deeply affected by their kids’ lifestyles.
It’s not at all possible for WAHMs to stay fixed at desks all day because they are always distracted from their jobs whenever kid emergencies need to be dealt with immediately. They need to repeatedly leave and return to their desks from time to time. However, it doesn’t mean there’s no way to improve working efficiency and leave all your tasks to evenings or nights.
One word to remember:
Your productivity will never be improved unless a clear line is drawn between work and life even though you’re working at home.
Tip#2. Do make a schedule with kids involved.
Although your home is your office, you still need an office time schedule.
Moreover, kids love schedules. That’s true.
I still remember my first daughter, Amber, would cry at the age of 6 months when she needed a nap at a fixed time every day, at about 1 in the afternoon. Keep in mind that kids love schedules and they more expect to follow a routine life than adults. In other words, they don’t like to be flexible as a procedure should be followed like teeth brushing, face washing, and even opening and closing a door (Amber would believe that it was she that would be responsible for opening the door as we got home. If we ignored the procedure, she would cry to redo).
Generally speaking, two principles should be stuck to when making a schedule for WAHMs.
First, involve your kids’ routine in your schedule.
To be more productive when working at home, your kids should be involved in your daily schedule. Otherwise, they will feel isolated or abandoned so that “revenge” will flood you (you should be quite familiar). Different from your schedules, your kids’ routine fails to be easily controlled or changed so you should cover it within your schedule. Never feel troublesome when staying with kids. Just get relaxed. Why not let your kids stay with you while you’re working before the screen? Kids will be quite nice and calm when they believe they’re doing things like adults. It’s quite normal for me to stay with my kids in front of the desktop with them coloring beside me.
Second, cut your time into blocks and fill in each block with suitable items.
One golden rule to schedule your time:
Spend block time on complicated tasks and spend flexible time on easy tasks.
For example, I’d like to spend the 2 hours from 5:30 to 7:30 in the morning (my kids are asleep) and the 1.5 to 2 hours (kids’ nap time) in the afternoon in article writing. The two time blocks are sufficient for me to deal with some complicated tasks. When it comes to the left little tasks like responding to emails, commenting Facebook, uploading blog posts, etc., can be finished between games with kids.
Tip#3. Stay focused while you’re working.
As a matter of fact, so many distractions are around you if you work at home, and kids’ interruptions are just one small part. The normal things distract your attention from focus include:
- Social media platforms
- Video games
- Home chores
To keep productive while working at home, it’s optimal to put irrelated things aside. Most importantly, put your smartphone in a separate room so that your possibility to hold up a smartphone will be minimized. Nowadays, a phone is far more than a tool to make and answer calls and it integrates everything attracting your attention. As you finish answering a call, it’s extremely possible to be led into a social media platform via a notification about the latest news.
If you don’t want to miss any business call, it’s a good idea to use a calling app like Dingtone on your iPad so that your iPad can be turned into a phone. If you have a business call, you are still able to receive it on your iPad and if you need to make domestic or international calls, your iPad also works. The specific phone number for business is also beneficial to label you to be professional.
One word to remember:
Stay close to your family, stay distant from distractions, especially your smartphone.
Tip#4. Prepare some secret toys to immediately attract kids’ attention for emergencies.
This is such a useful tip for all WAHMs. Truly necessary!
I always prepare a set of new Lego blocks in my storeroom just in case some emergencies must be dealt with at a certain time. Whenever it occurs, the blocks will save me immediately. Keep kids busy with tasks calling for much time involvement. Kids usually spend much time establishing them when I am allowed to finish the job things. Apart from Lego blocks, puzzles also work. Prepare one or some in advance.
Tip#5. Sharpen your work tools.
Sometimes useful and smart tools make a huge difference to your work productivity.
Working at home calls for flexible work tools. For example, I’d like to use an iPad or laptop more than a desktop since the former two can be movable freely so that I’m allowed to work everywhere at home like in the kitchen, beside the washing machine, over the dinner table, etc.
In addition, a second phone number is also needed to identify your role as a worker instead of a mom.
Use two numbers, one for family and friends, the other for business alone. Set two ring tones for two numbers. Whenever you’re working, leave alone all calls or messages from your personal number. whenever you’re working, leave alone all calls or messages from your business number. That’s easy.
Last but not least, being a working-at-home mom isn’t an easy job. You should remind yourself that you’re not perfect, no one is actually. If you feel burnout while working at home and raising a kid, don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever it’s necessary.