Many of you are probably like us. We work from home. In fact, I will take this a step further and tell you that not only do we work from home but our husbands do as well! It’s hard. I’m not going to lie.
I can speak for Audrey when I say having children and a full-time job can be a test at times. A true challenge. There is no office to escape to when that conference call comes up. If my son is not in the best of moods, I’m racing around making him snacks and playing UNO while on mute and attempting to still stay engaged in conversation with a brand.
You can’t be everything to everyone at all times… but work-at-home moms sometimes have to be!
Not everyone deals with this exact situation, but I bet you can agree with me that it is a challenge to remain in your “hustle zone” throughout the day. Things come up, right? That’s a true reality! No one on the planet can dedicate 8 solid hours to work anymore. We have become a nation of multi-taskers … all trying to do way too much squeezed into one moment. It’s almost impossible. But yet, we all still make it work.
So, how do we stay in the zone? What are some tips to remain effective? I have a few tips that I’d like to share. These personal standards have defined my daily routine.
1) Work hours: I am heads down while my children are in school. But in my case, that is only from 9-12. I still have a little one that is in nursery. This is my biggest challenge, of course. When my kids are home, I steal moments of productivity while they are engaged with an activity. If I have a project that is due, I work while they sit next to me figuring out a puzzle or coloring. They understand that I work from home and try to do their best, but kids will be kids. From 12 to 3, I am an absolute circus act. Nothing is set in stone and it all truly depends on what is on my plate. After 3:30, two more kids walk through my door and I pretty much shut down for the day – only checking emails and social media for updates.
2) Planner Life: I live and die by my planner. I wake up in the morning and know exactly what I have to do because I wrote it all in the night before. I stay very organized that way. As a blogger, I have several open contracts going at the same time. I don’t have one “boss”… I have 12 at any given time. And you know what? They are all top priority! So, I can’t be later. I can’t make a mistake. I have to make sure all deliverables go out when they say they are due. There is no way I can do that all by memory.
3) Limit inbox checking while working: I try to only check my email a few times a day. I check my phone the second I wake up. I mean – the nano second. I am looking for major fires! Mistakes that have happened overnight or big pitches that are looking for a response. If none of that exists, then I go and have breakfast with my family. I won’t check email again until I finish writing for the morning. This really helps with my productivity. I am able to complete several posts a day if needed because I have a few quiet hours to do so.
4) Don’t Multi-Task: If you are writing an article, don’t start working on a Canva picture until after the article is done. And by no means should you start playing your favorite movie in the background. Stay hyper-focused!
5) Limit To ONE Conference Call a Day: If I have more than one conference call a day, then I end up spending the entire afternoon on the phone. It isn’t always possible to modify your schedule, but I really try to spread out these meetings.
6) Stay clutter free: If your desk is piled high with paperwork, then odds are it will take over your focus. The last thing you need is to start to worry about tidying up when there is a deadline breathing down your back. At the end of the day, I always make sure that I clean my space. That way, when I get up in the morning, there is nothing to worry about except my to-do list.