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10 Time Management Tips For Work At Home Moms

Most of us are trying to build a successful business while balancing household chores and our growing families, the reason we decided to be stay home moms. But it’s not easy working from home, especially if we have young children. Having a schedule is crucial, but we all know that with kids things don’t always go as planned. Between colds, stomach bugs, bumps and bruises and overtired children, we have to learn to roll with the punches. For this condition, we need to have a time management.

Time management is a skill, but like any other skill, it takes practice. However, in this case, practice may not always make perfect. Time management is something that work at home moms may never completely master because life is always changing. When you’ve finally got one big time waster in check, something else inevitably pops up.

But, don’t get discouraged moms! Here are the time management tips for work at home moms:

 

#1. Time That Moms Most Productive

Figure out what time of the day you get that burst of energy. Is it in the morning around 10am? Or maybe right after lunch? Or perhaps you are a night owl? Schedule the most important activities that you MUST get done during that time.

 

#2. Establish a Schedule and Commitment

Working from home for many women means squeezing “work” into a much broader schedule. Heck, most of us don’t even realize how much we do. Between the kids and chores, a lot has to happen before you can close your eyes at night, and it’s important to identify everything that needs to be done, so that it can get done.

 

#3. Create a Prioritized List

This might seem like a lot of work, but because each day is different and there are different project deadlines and must-do’s that vary with each day, this helps moms to be able to stay organized and manage the time well — all while being flexible.

 

#4. Plan the Work, Work the Plan

While we say “write it down,” we recognize that everyone has a preferred medium for tracking their work. Whether it’s a yellow notepad, sticky notes, a digital to-do list or a calendar, find a system that works for you and USE IT! Only when you know what work needs to be done can you work through it. We like to think of it as planning the work and then working the plan. A little pre-work planning goes a long way and will save you time in the long run.

 

#5. Use a Timer

This is really helps moms. When you sit down to do a task, please set the timer. Turn off Facebook, Twitter, Email {aka time suckers} and focus on that one task. Give yourself 15 – 20 minutes to accomplishment and cross that item off your list.

 

#6. Designate Time to Check Email

One of the greatest ways to waste time is to get sucked into e-mail. So many people think email has the same urgency as a text message or phone call. However, moms can re-train those people by not responding immediately. In fact, designate specific times to check email and voicemail. However, do yourself a favor and don’t check your email at the beginning of your “work day.”

 

#7. Turn off Notifications

On a similar note, turn off the audible notifications on your phone, tablet and computer. Go ahead and turn off the email notification for email on your desktop as well. The chirping and ringing sounds are not only annoying, but they will tempt you to lose focus.

 

#8. Create a Designated Area for Work and Play

This is so important. Find a place in your home where you can create a work place. It could be as simple as a small corner tucked away in your bedroom or maybe one room dedicated to your work.

 

#9. Do One Thing At a Time

Almost people think that multi-tasking can seem like a very efficient way to do many things. However, when it comes to most most work tasks, if you want to get concentrated work done in an efficient manner, you need to shut out all the noise and just focus on one thing at a time.

If it’s your time to email, work on emailing. Go through your emails in order of priority and don’t stop until your time is up. If it’s your time to research something, only work on researching that thing. If you need to make a phone call, just make the phone call. If you’re used to trying work on your computer while you have a bunch of applications open and with your phone constantly dinging at you, you’ll likely be surprised at just how much work you can get done in a distraction-free 20-30-minute concentrated block of time. And once you get in the habit of doing one thing at a time, you’ll learn where your fizzle out point is. This is the point when you need to stop and take a break or stop for the day in order to come back to your project refreshed and energized.

 

#10. Take Breaks

Very few people can work 6 or 8 or 10 hours a day without taking a break, and when you’re a work at home mom, taking breaks is even more important. For one, part of the reason you are working from home is to spend time with your kids, so taking periodic breaks will allow you to do just that. On the other hand, taking a break will allow you to clear your head and reset your focus. When you come back from the break, you may find that you’re even ore productive.  On a similar note, when you are working from home, it’s very easy to lose track of time and to allow work to consume every free moment you have. If it gets to be a problem, you probably need to establish some office hours (beyond our previous note about email).

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