As a new mother, I was really struggling with the “work from home mom” adjustment. I was used to being able to work from sun up to sundown if I wanted and when I started one project, it was my decision whether to work till it was finished or close up shop early.
I quickly learned that those days of being in control of my own schedule had passed after I finished maternity leave and began working again with a little one to also take care of throughout the day.
Between diaper changes and feedings, entertaining Henley and rocking her to sleep, it seemed like I only had a few minutes here and there to work. Not to mention that her feeding and sleep schedule are fairly consistent, but not consistent enough to plan a day around. The “start stop, start stop” inconsistency of the work day was a big change for me and was a little scary from a business perspective!
As with all things though, it takes time to adjust to new routines. I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve learned the last few months in regards to finding consistence within your business schedule during an inconsistent day! I’ll be speaking from my perspective as a mom working from home, but take these tips and curate them to fit your own season of life!
Forget the Schedule
If you’re stressed because you have been using a block schedule, then forget the schedule. Its convenient to want to work on emails from 8-9am and then blogging from 9-10am, but when you have something else demanding your attention, its just not possible.
The sooner that you accept that and find your new “normal”, the sooner you’ll feel like your productivity has sky rocketed. Its not realistic to expect yourself to be at two places at once with a strict schedule like “this time to this time I’ll be doing this”, because within that time frame you may have to attend to other responsibilities and suddenly your entire schedule is thrown off (which I bet that will leave you feeling stressed)!
Don’t Be Too Strict On Business Hours
Some days I don’t get to work at all until I put Henley down for bed. That means that emails haven’t been answered during business hours and while it would be perfectly fine to wait until the next day to send emails or work on a blog, sometimes I just need to knock those things out while I have the quiet time to do so and thats ok if the only quiet time I have is after business hours!!!
I don’t think that balance means exclusively clocking out at 5 pm and taking off during the weekends. I think that balance is actually being the best you can be for all aspects of your life. So if that means I’m a mom all day and a business owner at night then so be it because Im able to be the best of both even if it means that the hours are a little mixed up.
Maybe I’ll blog about those thoughts one day soon?? What do you think?
Have A List
Prioritize your to do list. Take time in the afternoon of each day to write out everything that you would like to get done during the next day and throughout the week. Prioritize them between things that need to absolutely be done, things that you’d like to have done if you’re able, and things that you’d like to get done if you had all the time in the world to work on it.
My list for example would be to emails, editing, and creating a client guide.
Emails are very important so thats a top priority. Editing can be done over the course of a few days if needed so its a moderate priority. The client guide is lowest on the priority list because it’s something that I would love to do eventually, but if it doesn’t get done today, this week, or even this month, my business will not be suffering because of it.
Make sure that your top priority list only has a few items!!! The key is making sure that if its a day where time is super limited, you’ll only have two or three tasks to complete!!
Soon I’ll be sharing how I finally was able to keep track of my lists!
Take the Good Days and Accept the Bad
You’re going to have days that you feel like you’ve got it all together and you’re keeping all your balls juggled in the air and then you’re going to have days that are the exact opposite. This is where the prioritized to do list comes in. On those tough days, knock out your priorities when you can, give yourself grace, and call it a day.
Whether things just aren’t going as planned, things keep popping up, or you’ve got a fussy baby that just needs some extra cuddles that day- take care of the priority tasks when you have a free moment and once they are finished, put your attention where it is needed for the rest of the day. Tomorrow is a new day!!
Its super easy to fall into a place where we just aren’t giving ourselves enough sleep. Im the queen at that! However, remember that the more rested you are, the more energy you’ll have the next day. Being energized means being more capable of juggling all that lies ahead of you tomorrow. Try doing your nightly routine earlier in the afternoon so that you can go lay down as soon as you are ready for bed, rather than waiting until bed time to complete those tasks that may add another half an hour to your day before hitting the hay! if you’re anything like me the “I’ll just do this one thing before bed” turns into a hours worth or more of tasks and next thing you know its midnight!! So, get some rest!
. . . . .
These all seem like minor bits of advice, but they have made a world of a difference for me as a work from home mom. It just goes to show that even in the midst of an inconsistent, seemingly chaotic work day, you can still find enough consistency to make you feel more in control of your schedule and the many hats that you wear!!