By Sireesha Narumanchi
Nobody said working from home would be easy.
But it is undoubtedly one of the most favorable arrangements for earning money with freedom and flexibility. We cannot stress how important it is for moms to make sure the kids are well taken care of, but at the same time, generate money for the needs of the family.
As a stay-at-home turned work-at-home mom, it was a struggle for me to balance my family and work on the onset. It was too big a task, and I was totally drowned in everything.
Eventually, I realized, if I intended to make a good career out of working from home, then I needed to have a plan and organize how things work. After all, working from home is all about balancing family and work without too much stress.
These are some of the things that have worked for me, and hopefully these tips can benefit mothers who dream about quitting the corporate world to work from home, those who are already working from home and especially, those that are managing their businesses virtually and from the comfort of their homes.
Cut Down Distractions
It is no secret that working from home means all kinds of distractions and interruptions. While it is practically impossible to cut down all interferences, we can create a schedule we can follow to maximize the time we have for work.
Having a dedicated work time means that you will only work at those designated hours and those are the timeframes which you can give work your undivided attention. As business and career women, we have to make sure that we focus on things that are vital to our success, such as contacting clients or reviewing the quality of work we deliver to them.
It is pointless to work when you are tied up with household chores and when kids are needing attention because then you can’t give it 100% and your work quality will suffer. It will also take you longer to complete everything and chances are, you will need time to recall what you have started and where you left off.
Work During Most Productive Times
This works wonders for me. Working on the most important tasks which need my complete attention when kids are sleeping either at night or early mornings is the key to maximum productivity when working from home.
I know it’s slightly hard to squeeze in all the work during these times, but it can give you the best results. Waking up early or being a night owl is the only solution to get a lot of work done especially when you have very young kids at home.
Also, focus on getting critical tasks done during these times.
Don’t Be a Stranger to Technology
Today, there are infinite apps and software which can help you become productive even when you’re on the go. Productivity apps like Evernote, Trello, and Wunderlist can help you stay on top of your to-do lists.
It is also important that you are well acquainted with software like TeamViewer, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting, and use them to communicate with your remote teams.
You can also use screen capturing software with voice capability to give instructions to your team, and you can record the tutorial for future use. This will help you avoid repetitive discussions about how to do certain tasks.
Using these remote friendly technologies can help you in many ways and increase your productivity.
Keep Kids Busy In Productive Play
Working around kids means no clear work or play time. Everything is overlapping. This does not mean your work has to suffer. There are many ways you can involve younger kids in smart playtime.
Introduce games that are growth and development focused such as brain teasers, games which involve more learning, puzzles, etc. Keeping them busy with these kinds of activities instead of letting them stick to the screens can give you more time to work on your job.
You can also give them a designated play area adjacent to your home office. The play room should be safe and kid proof, where they can play with water colors, water based paint or coloring pens.
Work In Chunks
This might be the most useful trick to get work done when working from home. If you are a full-time mom with no nannies or household helpers, then do not plan on working the whole day, instead, work in small chunks.
I’ve been working from home for eight years and there was never a single day in my remote work experience when I was able to work continuously without any interruptions.
I learned to work in small time chunks, get the essential work done and then take little breaks. This was great for my work, and it also gave me some time to spend with my kids.
Like I mentioned above, working from home is much harder than being in the office. As a mom, you deserve to take breaks in your workday. Usually, the unspoken thing about working from home is, you are working all the time. This can stress you out because you also have other responsibilities.
Taking little breaks, either to recharge yourself or to take care of kids, spend time with them, can get you back on your work schedule in no time. A little stroll to the park, some playtime in the backyard or a small power nap when kids are sleeping, anything will do.
As moms, we plan a lot of things in our daily life with kids around. But if you are a work-at-home mom, it’s much more important that you plan your day ahead.
Having a practical workday plan will help you to focus on your work and let you take care of your kids. Planning is very much an integral part of remote work, and it is very much needed when you have kids who constantly ask you about their missing toys, who need to be fed every few hours and who demand your help with their school works.
Managing remote work is a BIG task especially with kids at home, but it can be smooth if you follow these tips and allow some flexibility in work.