Shortly after I had my first child, I started freelancing and running multiple blogs. It was the perfect job because I could fit it in and around family life, but that is not to say that it was easy. I have never known any different to juggling housework, planning fun activities, and babies, so I have put together some of my top tips for working from home that I have learnt over the years.
Create an Office
We do not currently have an office as it is being used as storage while we renovate. We tend to work from the dining table but it works for us. Find ‘your space’ – wherever suits you and stick with it. I work best at the dining table and having a set place to work means that my brain switches into work mode a lot quicker. Plus, I can easily get to work whilst keeping an eye on the kids who are often doing stuff alongside me. Our dining room is kinda where everyone hangs out and I like working around people/the kids.
Schedules Are Awesome
I have always had a daily and weekly schedule, which will get updated as and when needed. I know I would struggle with being productive and picking out what tasks to get on with otherwise.
For us, there is no such thing as ‘working hours’. It works for some people but it just doesn’t work for us. I would love to start work at 9am and clock off later in the afternoon but it just doesn’t work that way in our house. When it comes to running a household, working from home, making sure the kids are happy and whatever else needs doing, I take whatever I can get. Sometimes I will start work at 5am, other times 11am and often I’m still awake at midnight working away.
I try to use it as a guide as I’m always adapting it around something that is going on. As a parent, I have my fair share of rough days where the kids just aren’t playing ball or I’m finding it difficult to stick to my schedule – and that’s okay! I’m always trying to learn to not feel guilty if the day doesn’t go perfect.
Adapt, adapt, adapt!
Re-evaluate and do it frequently! Find out what isn’t working for you, your family and your work. Whatever needs some attention and doesn’t seem to be working – change it. Over the past few years my schedule has had a lot of adjustments because some things just weren’t working.
Check out Heels and Hooves‘ post on working from home for some more advice on how to make it work better for you.
I do not do typical breaks, mainly because I just do not have the time. My breaks include housework, washing up or anything that is time away from the screen because that is all I really need anyway. After a long stretch at the screen typing away, I will get up and wander to do something else productive. It resets my brain as I strangely enjoy housework. My main break of the day is once Joshua is in bed – I may do a bit of work but I always try to make room for some me time.
Aside from a schedule, I also have to-do lists for separate tasks that need doing. Whether it is a weekly or daily list, I need them to stay focused. Sometimes I have big tasks to get on with that require a few steps to complete and being at home with the kids, I just do not always have time to sit down and do it all at once.
But do not beat yourself up about it if you do not manage to tick everything off! I always go for the most important first and I have a mental note of the absolute minimum I am happy to do.
Honestly, this does wonders for my mentality. If I stay in the same PJs that I slept in, I do not get much done. I need to get ready for the day otherwise I just can not get motivated. I have even been known to have a shower and put on a fresh pair of PJs!
Do Not Feel Guilty
Lastly, do not ever feel guilty. There will be tough days, days where nothing seems to be getting done. I have my fair share of days where things just do not go my way, and that is okay. Do not feel guilty for not getting everything ticked off your list – you and your kids comes first. Some days I achieve nothing, and I beat myself up about it and it often ruins the following day. But each day is a new day – even if all we do is rest on the sofa, we have achieved something, recharging.