How You Can Be More Productive Working From Home
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When you are a Mompreneur working from things can get challenging. You know what I mean, the constant interruptions from the kids looking for a snack, having to break up arguments over toys, or maybe it’s even all of the housework that is piling up around you. Finding time to focus on your business can be a breeze one day and a challenge the next. I’ve put together my top 5 tips to help you make the time you have for your business really count.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
I know all of us have dreams of creating a full time income but is that really realistic for you right now? Raising your kids and being the glue that keeps the family together is a full time job in itself, (truth be told some days it feels like it could be 2 full time jobs!!) is it really realistic to pile on the expectation of another full time job?
One of the best ways to set expectations is to under promise and over deliver. Not only is this going to give you a little bit of grace but it will also give you the ability to feel a real sense of accomplishment and pride when you go ahead and smash those expectations! In the past I have really set the bar high for myself and it’s taken some time to realize that while those GOALS motivate me, the expectations I have around the time frame to achieve some of them have been un-realistic and have caused me a lot of feelings of disappointment and defeat.
Yes you heard me right, I know you think that you can just work from your cellphone wherever you are, or from your bed with netflix on but if you really want to get productive you need to have a set workspace. You need somewhere you can get away from the distractions, set some boundaries and shift your mindset into business mode. Not only that but by having everything you need to run your business right at your fingertips you will save so much time. Personally I have a space that is the only place that is really mine in my house, I’ve decluttered it so that I can really kickstart the creative juices, it’s decorated in my favorite colors and my kids are learning that when Mommy is in her office she’s working and we shouldn’t disturb her unless it’s an emergency. (That has taken some work ;))
If you are having some difficulty getting a space in your home for your office, maybe you don’t have a spare room, then take a corner in a room and have a small desk setup. Get creative but if you want to get more productive you absolutely need to have 1 spot in your house where you can focus.
3. It’s time to set a schedule
This one is a complete game changer and quite frankly is absolutely necessary. It’s all about boundaries, for yourself, your family and your customers. A schedule means you really need to think about working hours and then you need to schedule it into a calendar. Personally I use Google Calendar because it’s super easy and it integrates with a lot of other software. I usually schedule my day in 15 minute increments. My kids are young so it just makes sense as they don’t have a long attention span and quite often things get shuffled around.
If you currently aren’t getting up early you want to start. It is extremely important that you start your day on the right foot and having a morning routine in place not only ensures that you are pouring into yourself but that you don’t crawl out of bed and spend your entire day in reaction mode. You also want to make sure that you are scheduling breakfast, snack time, lunch time, quiet time or nap time and various activities with the kids. If your kids are anything like mine then you know if you don’t give them enough attention they come seeking it. Having built in time each day where you are focusing on them helps for the time that you need to have that client call or video conference and need them to stay busy on their own!
It’s also a good idea to schedule the housework, breaking it up over each day and having it in your calendar will make it feel more manageable and also help you stay on top of it. It also can give you some flexibility in your day if you need to shift some things around. I find that when I’m doing housework my kids help out and it doubles as an activity with them. Gotta love those win-wins 🙂
Another important tip I have when it comes to scheduling is Meal Planning. This is huge and if you master a routine with this you will save loads of time, freeing up more time for you to build your business. Pinterest is my go to for finding recipes and I have personally found that by planning my meals a week in advance my family is eating healthier and we are saving money. (Double Bonus!!!) If you want to take it a step further, investing in an Instant Pot or even a Crock Pot will make your life just that much easier!
4. Accept That You Will Need To Be Flexible
This one is really a mindset tip. Set the expectation that your schedule will need to be flexible and don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s one of the reasons why I recommend that you time block in 15 minute increments, when things don’t go according to plan you can always shuffle things around. I like to have pre-prepared content on hand so that if my day gets really crazy I don’t have to sweat it, I already have something ready to go.
5. Create a Workflow for Your Tasks
Initially this one sounds like it’s creating more work, but think big picture. In the long run this tip is going to save you a ton of time and it’s really going to get you in the mindset of thinking like a business owner.
Each and every one of us has tasks that are vital to building and running our business. When you sit down and map out a workflow you are documenting every step in the process of completing that task. What this does is give you a bird’s eye view into everything that you do. This is going to allow you to see where you can get more efficient in what you are doing. It’s also going to allow you to see opportunities to introduce other ways to make your business more efficient such as:
- Automation: Contrary to what some believe you do not need to be a super mom and do everything by yourself! Finding opportunities to automate processes or tasks in your business is the key to time freedom. There are so many different things that you can look to automate such as, lead generation, sales funnels, email auto-responders and much more. (If you are curious about automating parts of your business you really need to check out this ebook that explains everything including how you can explode the growth of your business no matter what industry you are in)
- Batching: This is one of the most efficient ways you can use your time. By batching like tasks together and completing them all at once you become more efficient because you aren’t going back and forth, having to switch gears. One strategy would be to sit down and batch a couple of different blog posts all at one time. You could also batch all your graphics together for the week.
- Outsourcing: There will come a point in your business where it will simply make sense to outsource the administrative or non-income producing tasks. When you complete a workflow for all of your tasks not only will you quickly see exactly how much work you would have for someone you already have the workflow in place to train them and ensure that the work gets completed the way that you want.
Just like anything, if you set out to implement each tip above at the same time you likely will become overwhelmed, I suggest picking one or two and mastering them before moving on to the next. If you currently feel like your business is chaos or you are completely overwhelmed know that all is not lost, simply start implementing these tips and you will be well on your way to working smarter not harder and feeling on top of the world!