Working and earning from home is flexible but challenging. No one takes it seriously, in between “Didi khana kya banana hai and mom can you listen to me?”. Work at home moms (WAHM) are tired and frustrated with comments such as ‘it’s a dream job’, ‘you have so much time to yourself’, ‘you can work on your own terms and conditions’, ‘ what better than earning from home’, etc. However, the reality is much different.
According to Buffer’s Annual Report, in a survey, 99% of respondents said that they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. So this arrangement of work from home jobs is here to stay.
But is work from home job as easy as it sounds – especially for young mothers?
Working from home is almost like managing dual jobs and it is not surprising that most WAHM often experience burnout very quickly.
The good news is that with a little bit planning and discipline, moms can achieve highest productivity when working at home. So if your work schedule has gone for a toss and you are constantly worried about striking that much needed balance – take a step back and restart.
Here are the productivity tips for moms working at home.
1. Create a schedule
Do you often complain of how quickly the time flies while you still struggle to set things on track? One of the main reasons could be lack of a concrete schedule. Designing a schedule is the first step to effective time management while working at home. To earn money online or practice remote working requires a huge deal of discipline. It doesn’t really matter what time of the day you start working or for how many hours you work. However, when you do your work, everyone around you should respect that. Only when you start giving enough importance to your business, others will take notice and extend their help. Remember, you are not pursuing a hobby and can’t afford to miss deadlines. Creating a schedule and adhering to it will make a huge difference in your output. A daily planner usually helps.
2. Sort out your ‘at home’ roles
Do you really need to make that pav bhaji today, when your client is waiting for your pitch? Or you think the laundry can’t wait when you are already running behind your work schedule? One of the biggest disadvantages of work from home jobs is inability to ignore domestic chores. If you are earning from home, it is crucial to sort out your home duties. Set aside some specific time for housework and make sure it doesn’t disturb your work schedule. Also, groom your family members (including your kids) to take responsibilities at home. Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study concluded that kids who had chores fared better later in life.
3. Identify you most productive hours
It is an accepted fact that we cannot be at the peak of productivity all the time. Everyone has different productive hours. Some of us are morning people and some of us work our best during late hours of the night. However, the best part of work from home jobs is that you can set your own work timings. Observe your day and identify the best hours when you are at the peak of your creativity. These hours when utilized well, will achieve far better results than slogging all day long.
4. Set timeline
Often, several projects on our ‘to do list’ are forgotten due to absence of a timeline. Procrastination is a common habit which is further strengthened due to lack of firm deadlines. There is a difference between ‘I have to finish this article by Tuesday’ versus ‘I have to finish this article in a few days’.
Deadlines are easy to hate but it is the only thing that will keep you excited and motivated. As much as WAHM enjoy flexible schedules, they also struggle with extremely lonely jobs. It is easy to lose focus without a concrete timeline.
5. Reward yourself
After you meet deadlines with your hard work, you definitely deserve rewards, isn’t it? Treat yourself with a nice movie or relaxing spa session or dinner with your friends! Believe me, you’ll feel great enjoying the moments because you have earned it. Earning from home much more challenging than working in office – so grab every moment to pamper yourself. Plus, this much needed break will keep you excited to take up the next task!
6. Minimize distractions
Research says internet users spend an average of 142 minutes per day on social media. With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter sitting on our sleek phones, those five minutes break could easily stretch to half an hour and sometimes even more. The best solution is to disconnect internet till you are dedicatedly working on your project. Set aside specific time to reply emails and browse social media. Watching TV is another huge source of distraction. We sometimes don’t realize how much of our precious time we waste watching the ‘idiot box’. When I stopped watching TV, I not only saved my time bt experienced many other benefits. If space allows, set a designated workplace at your home, away from all distractions. This will give you a better control of your time.
Exercise revitalizes you, helps restore your muscle strength and raises your energy levels. In short you feel less tired and keep active for a longer period. So after your demanding workday, if you wish to spend some good time with your kids jumping in the garden – go exercise! And you don’t have to take an expensive gym membership. Simple cardio-intensive exercise such as jogging can increase levels of essential neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that are intimately involved in mood and mental acuity.
8. Find your tribe
This is more than meeting your girlfriends or local moms group. It is all about finding set of people (here fellow WAHMs) who understand your pain points and help you sail through the storm. Attend conferences, workshops, online meetups and events that give you opportunities to explore your tribe. And you don’t necessarily need to be friends with your tribe members. Seth Godin, the renowned marketing guru, explains: “Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.”
Wrapping it up…
Sure, it is not a joke to work from home. As a mom you already have more than enough in your plate. The only key to crush as work at home mother is to prioritize your tasks. Learning to ignore futile jobs is an art and the faster we learn it, the better we become at achieving our goals. And work from home doesn’t force you to stay at home. Go hit the nearest coffee shop to break the monotony whenever you want!