As Beyoncé says, they love how we’re smart enough to make these millions, strong enough bare the children, and go back to business!
Songs aside, being a mom and an entrepreneur is not easy. You have to divide your attention between the children, your business, your husband, and yourself.
We can’t end your struggle completely, but we can make it easier by giving you these 3 easy-to-apply tips for you to use in your daily mom’s life.All across social media and the news, we’ve seen memes, GIFs, and real-life photos of busy moms and business owners trying to work from home with kids, trying to juggle the demands of a busy career with the full-time needs of their children.
1. ADD STRUCTURE
Know when you’re working and when you’re parenting. Try not to mix the two as much as possible. By adding structure to your day, and being very intentional with your time, you can help protect your work windows and get things done in less time.
There are typically three blocks of work time that you can choose from – pick the ones that work for you, or shoot for all three!
Morning Work Time: Depending on the ages of your kids, one of the best times to get work done is before they wake up. I know getting up at 5 am isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but hear me out. In the evening before you go to bed, pick ONE thing you NEED to get done the following day. During this early work window – once you’ve made your coffee – dive straight into that one thing, and get it done. When the rest of the house starts to wake up, you can relax a bit more, knowing the most pressing thing is already done.
Mid-Day Work Time: Schedule your kids’ nap times or quiet times at the same time every day, giving you a predictable window of time where you can take calls, go live on social media, or get back to your task list. You already completed the most pressing task for the day, so this block of time can be for meetings, calls/training sessions, emails, or anything else that needs to get done.
Evening Work Time: Depending on your workload and how much you got done earlier in the day, this is a window of time you can use to finish up the rest of your to-do list, and prioritize your task list for the following day. Pick the one task you’re going to tackle the following morning, as well as the top 5 or so tasks for the rest of your day.
If you’re currently homeschooling, this structure applies too! Decide which windows are going to be for school. Map out where you’ll be needed to help your kids, versus when you can set them up with an independent activity, and have a bit of time to yourself. Mapping out each day will help you maximize work time, playtime, and school time, and create a well-oiled machine at home.
For example: if lunchtime at your house it’s at 1 pm, don’t schedule any meetings at this time! This way, you know that you have that hour blocked to enjoy your lunch without worrying.
And of course, make that time you set to be respected by everybody. Don’t feel embarrassed to tell people “no, I can’t do a meeting this time ‘cause I’m feeding my baby”; there’s no shame in that. It’s your life, your routine, and you can set the time you want.
Extra tip: if your kids don’t have this routine yet, it’s really good that you create it with them! This way, they learn how to organize themselves from a young age, and it makes it easier for you to organize meetings.
2. TRY TIME BLOCKING
In addition to structuring your day, structure your work time as well. How? Time blocking. When you are about to start a task, estimate how long it should take you to complete, then set a timer for that amount of time. If it goes off and you haven’t finished, you can always continue working on it – but there’s something about knowing a clock is counting down that keeps you on task and focused.
Repeat this for each task, for your entire work period, and watch how much more you get done! You will be able to move through your must-do tasks much faster, and will be less tempted to get distracted with social media or emails. .
#1 tip: drink from the organization font
If as entrepreneurs we already need tons of organization, imagine being a mom at the same time! That’s why we advise you to drink from the organization font as much as you can.
You can organize yourself in the way you prefer since there are thousands of tools for that. If you’re a paper lover, a planner or agenda can make your life easier and also be a stimulus to keep yourself on track.
If you’re a tech girl, go for tools like Trello, Asana, Evernote, and other apps that give you space to write your tasks, notes, and everything else you need.
Having your days and weeks scheduled, you can free time when necessary to attend some mom’s appointment or even to take some time out for yourself when it’s most needed.
Time blocking really helps you stay focused, attentive to what you’re working on, and productive. It’s an amazing tool if you work from home with kids.
3. BE PRESENT
Although we all love to multi-task, mixing parenting and working throughout the day puts you on the fast-track to overwhelm and frustration. The best way to avoid that is to commit to whatever is in front of you. When it’s work time – work. No phones, social media (unless work-related posts), television, or distractions of any kind. This is your window to be in work mode, and you need to protect it! Do your best to put everything else away, and focus on the few things you have decided to get done during that work session.
When it’s “mom time” – be present with your kids. Don’t spend it scrolling social media, or trying to email back clients or customers, unless it’s something that absolutely can’t wait. When you dedicate your mom time to your kids and being present 100%, you won’t feel that out of control panic where you’re trying to do too many things at once, or your toddler wants to play on your phone, etc. You will have gotten the essentials done during your morning and mid-day work sessions, and can freely spend time with your family, knowing you have your evening work session to finish up whatever did not get done earlier in the day.
When you have built-in work windows, you aren’t stressing about when you are going to have time to work – you already have your set windows, so there’s no need to feel anxious. (And if you are struggling with WFH anxiety, try these Tips!)
Tip #1: don’t be so harsh on yourself
Ok, I know you’re probably heard that a thousand million times, but I really feel like saying this again: don’t be so harsh on yourself.
As mothers and entrepreneurs, we tend to always ask for more to ourselves. We need to be the mom that plays with their children every day but that also gets every email that arrives on our inbox.
The truth is: we can’t! We’re moms, not superheroes, and some days, we’ll be too tired to play! Some days, we’ll be too worried about our kids and we won’t be able to focus 100% on work.
What we can’t do, is let those thoughts consume us. We gotta, more than ever, be patient with ourselves.
And that was our tips for you to get sh*t done when you work from home with your kids!
This article is ending now, ‘cause we know you have a house to care for and an empire to grow; we just want to remember you of one thing: you got this. You’re are strong and amazing, and you can do it.
We’re here for you!
Have any work from home MUSTS, or success stories of women who work from home with kids? Share them in the comments below!