Image by Antonio Guillem
I do agree that working from home has its perks. There’s no need to spend time or money traveling. You can even work in your pajamas, and most importantly, you work AND keep an eye on your kids.
But, trust me, there’s more to things than meets the eye! I found it pretty tough focusing on my job when I first started working from home. Yet, through trial and error, I’ve found out what works best for a lucrative work-at-home career. Here’s my list of 7 vital tips which I’m sure should prove helpful to any newbie working home mommy!
1. Have an office
Just because you are working at home doesn’t mean you can plop in front of the television and work. That’s a massive no-no because you will never get anything done that way.
Instead, make an office or at least a work-station with the necessities of an office. It should have at least a proper desk, comfortable chair, and a computer.
The aim is to be comfortable and focused on working, but not too snug that you may end up taking a nap at the table!
2. Set your work hours
You may not have to punch into work while working at home. But you do need to fix a time table for your work hours. You will naturally get interrupted by kids, friends, and family at home. You in the process find it difficult to get work done.
Try allotting a few hours to work at a stretch like 2-3 hours. You can then run any errands you may have outside these blocks of time.
I used to and still post my work hours on my door so that my kids don’t disturb me. It creates a sense of seriousness to both me and my kids.
3. Give yourself time
Many working home women get so engrossed with their work that they don’t keep time for themselves. It is a huge mistake to make because you may get crazy staying at home 24/7!
Instead, plan your timetable so that you have time to do something like go for a walk. It not only clears your head but you never know, you may even get some inspiration!
I suggest creating a to-do list for all your work. You can thus run errands while taking a walk so that you have more time to yourself and for work. Besides, the list ensures you complete all your tasks at the end of the day without any disruptions.
And oh yes. It’s even better if you can squeeze in some exercise too!
Image by Kaboompics.com
4. Reduce distractions
Anyone who works on the internet knows how distractive it is! Even I used to keep on checking on FB and other social media sites. I even had them open on one of the browser tabs.
But it does not help you at all. Instead, it’s better to login and check the sites before starting work, and during your breaks. I have now made a habit of closing all non-work related tabs and websites once I start working.
It helps, otherwise, you only get tempted to keep flipping back to see if there are any new posts.
I also suggest you eat properly so that your stomach doesn’t keep giving you a reason to head to the kitchen for a snack. It’s better to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. You this way don’t waste time periodically checking the fridge for snacks.
5. Handling friends and family
If you have always had friends over, it’s time you avoided drop-in visitors. Just tell them you are working and suggest when it’s a better time to visit like the weekend.
Also, give them instructions to call first before popping over and that it means you are busy if you don’t answer.
I found it especially tricky controlling my kids and keeping them out of my work area. I eventually found a remedy in red and green lights.
I explained to them that just like the traffic lights, the red light meant that they had to stop. And that they could not enter the room because I was working. I told them that like the green traffic light, my green light meant that they could enter the room. And in case of an emergency, we use baby monitors all over the house so I could watch them and keep in touch immediately.
This way you get your work done and also get to spend vital time with your kids.
6. Get dressed
Just like you need an office for discipline, I also suggest getting dressed for work at home. Showering and getting dressed for the office makes your home office feel more like a real office.
I also noticed that the dress reminded me that I had work to do even if I happened to read on the sofa or talk on the phone. In short, I suggest getting dressed to work more for disciplinary reasons.
Like at the office, keep all appointments like your dentist or doctor’s visit before or after work. It minimizes distractions and gives you more focus on your work.
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7. Use the cloud
Use cloud storage services like Google Drive to upload your documents. Why? It’s because you can then login and accesses the files anytime you want, and from anywhere you are.
You no longer have to worry about not having your files with you. It proves especially useful if you have to meet clients or if you are out and you get a client call.
Use the help of free communication technology to maintain contact with team members and clients. There are also some useful tools to use for holding group discussions, project management, and managing office expenses.
Last but not least, do not procrastinate. Always complete your to-do list by the end of the day. Don’t promise yourself that you’ll do the ‘remaining work’ tomorrow. It only leads to your pushing some work to ‘another day’ every day.
And pretty soon you have so much pending work you don’t have the time to attend to it. And things get worse if there’s an emergency at home and you can’t work.
That’s why I suggest, and I also practice no procrastination while working from home.
You should realize by now that success comes to the disciplined ones. Discipline and these 7 tips can make any rookie working home mom a professional in no time at all!
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