Updated: May 10, 2021
In one year remote work became normality for thousands of people, and no one understands the challenges and rewards of this way as well as stay-at-home moms. We have tips to share with the rest of the world on how to stay effective when you work from home.
Whether you make a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule it is important to have one. A schedule sets guidelines for how you want the day to go and is a reference for you to stay on track throughout the day.
Make a weekly overview schedule on Sunday and then a detailed hourly/daily schedule for each day. We recommend including kids' school and after-school activities in your weekly schedule. It will help you to plan your own time. If your children are still studying from home, you probably already found a way to streamline your routine, but if you see that your kid is behind in his classes, carve extra time from your schedule to monitor his school activities regardless of age.
Define the times of day YOU are going to work and stick to this plan. If you have a baby or a toddler – set up short intervals of work time when the child is normally napping. It is less stressful for mommy and baby having a daily routine anyway, but don’t feel bad if something does not work out the way you planned, be flexible when you need to. And if it does not seem to work – consider part-time daycare for a few hours a week. Make sure to use that time for work and yourself, not home chores.
With school-age children - overview of your family’s tasks for the week on your weekly schedule and start time blocking your daily schedule. Schedule everyone’s most important stuff first and then work your way through the not-so-important things that can wait until later or the next day. Make a family schedule that works for YOUR FAMILY.
If your daily routine is not worked out, you might end up in an endless circle of stress working late nights and precious weekends, when important tasks could be left behind or neglected.
Tip: Working early in the morning before the kids get up is a great time to work. Even if you are not an early riser try to get up at least an hour before the kids do. This is a great way to get a lot of work done and get time for yourself to start your day off right.
Here is a link for WCE's daily schedule template that you can print out for free!
Your home is not YOUR sole responsibility. With school-age children home workload should be split. The earlier they start taking care of not only their areas but common house areas like kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, garage – the better. It takes time to teach them, you might need to show them multiple times, and monitor them for several months – but you will only do them a favor. With younger kids – delegate chores to your significant other. Make sure you discuss and plan accordingly, so your expectations of the housework are met. It might seem even more challenging for single work-at-home moms, but do not neglect help from your relatives and friends. And if that’s not a viable option, add chores to the daily/hourly schedule, but be clear about your priorities.
Not only is this important so your family knows where your office is, it gives YOU the mindset you are AT WORK and that it’s not time to be a mom, it’s time to get work done.
Tip: Have areas of the house designated for different things. If there is a need for a quiet spot for virtual meetings maybe make the Master bedroom the “conference room” because the door can be shut. Maybe the kitchen is where group work happens ~ Kids can all be working on schoolwork while you are making dinner so you can be available if they have questions. Involve the family, it will be fun for them to set up the house like an office or school AND it will help set boundaries!
Add blockage on your phone and computer to not get distracted by social media, texts, video, etc. unless it’s a part of your work. Unfortunately, all of us have caught ourselves binge-playing or scrolling social media for hours and regretting wasting so much time later. Be mindful that many online entertainment products are designed to be addicting. So don’t be hard on yourself if it happens occasionally, but make it a habit to stick to your schedule, have enough rest at night, take care of your body and mind first before you dedicate hours of your day time to social media or entertainment program.
It is a well-known fact that our behaviors, as well as our mindset, determine the effectiveness of our performance. Being a mom and work from home is never an easy task, but we can make our days effective with small changes in our routines. We hope it helps, and if you seek more coaching and assistance with your work performance or with your life in general, take a look at the list of local coaches and professionals who can help you.