How do you stay productive as a work-from-home-mom? How do you get rid of all the distractions? How do you balance your work life and personal life?
These are questions most moms who work from home have to think about because they’re trying to be more productive.
I’ve been working from home since 2014, but within the last two years, I became a work at home mom with a busy toddler!
That’s a different ballgame because all of a sudden you’re trying to keep your toddler safe and entertained while also trying to respond to an urgent email or phone call.
Working From Home With Kids
A lot has changed since I initially shared my working mom schedule when I was working from home with a baby.
Working remotely with a baby or toddler has its fair share of challenges. However, working from home also has some benefits of freedom and flexibility.
The work from home mom tips and hacks I’m going to share will help you to become more productive. These are things I’ve learned along the way of my journey and I hope they can help you too!
Work From Home Mom Tips You Can Use Right Now
1. Start your day early
If possible, get up earlier than everyone else in the house. Early morning is a great time to work on projects that demand your absolute attention.
Everything is quiet and there will be no distractions from your family members at this time.
This can be easier said than done when you have younger children who aren’t yet on a good sleep schedule. However, give yourself some grace.
If you can just wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier and work undistracted, you might be amazed at what you can get done!
2. Have a dedicated office space
If your current living arrangement allows for it, dedicate a whole room to be your home office. This minimizes interruptions and enables you to work uninhibited.
If you can’t dedicate a room, designate a specific area to be your office/working area. Keep all work-related resources here.
My toddler will sometimes still want to come in when the door is closed to my office. However, having the door closed helps because at least it gives me some time to quickly mute my phone if I’m on a meeting or call!
This works when my spouse is at home, but if it’s just you and your kids, then keeping the door completely closed might not be an option.
If you can’t dedicate a whole area, close your office door, or your home office has to be in a high traffic area, try noise-canceling headphones for taking calls or meetings. I have a handsfree headset and this helps SO much!
3. Declutter and organize your working space
It can be frustrating when you are trying to look for something on your desk and it takes forever because of the clutter lying on the desk. If you want to save time, try to make sure that everything you need is well organized and your desk is neat at all times.
As a matter of fact, my office is usually one of the neater areas in the house! Clutter is honestly a distracting work environment. Decluttering your space can even help you with feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating.
4. Prioritize your work tasks
Figure out what work tasks are time-sensitive. Yes, you have work to do, but ALL of it cant be urgent. Focus on getting urgent tasks that have a deadline done first.
Can you possibly work on those tasks when your kids are sleeping and you’re alert? Figure out the work task hierarchy you need for your perfect work at home mom schedule.
5. Work with routines or to-do lists
You need a good routine to plan your days. That is why you need to create a good schedule. Make sure you incorporate everything you will be doing in the day, whether work-related or not.
This way you’re not just waking up and flying by the seat of your pants. That usually ends up with you feeling very unproductive at the end of the day.
Being a work from home mom means that everything will not go perfectly and that is to be expected. That’s okay! Having a routine or to-do list at least gives you a starting point.
I personally enjoy crossing off things on my to-do list as a work from home mom! It’s really rewarding to look at the list and see all you’ve done.
6. Time block your work day
Instead of having one long stretch of work-day, try breaking the day into short, actionable working shifts. I’ll let you in on a work from home mom tip secret. I’m a huge fan of time blocking tasks for work at home moms!
If your work at home mom schedule allows for you to break your 8 hours up, then consider time blocking to make the most of those short shifts. It can help a LOT with time management for moms.
Most of us don’t have daily schedules that look exactly the same, this is especially true when you’re working at home with kids. It is sometimes easier to focus on a specific set of tasks to feel more productive.
When you do break, use this time to connect with your children. When you get back to work you will be feeling much more energized and ready to continue working.
7. Involve other family members
Do not be afraid to seek help from your family members when you feel overwhelmed. A good way to do this would be to assign duties and responsibilities to them. This will ease off the pressure you have and enhance your productivity.
Don’t assume others can read your mind, know you’re overwhelmed or need help. Just SAY what you need. Communicate clearly with your partner on what you may need help with and when you need help. It works wonders I promise!
8. Use limited screen time to your advantage
One thing I learned very quickly with working from home with a toddler is not to introduce screen time too early or too often. One of the most important work from home mom tips you should know: don’t offer your child a tablet or phone first thing in the morning.
Use screentime to your advantage within reasonable limits. Break up the time you will allow screentime into small increments throughout the day.
I have a toddler, so screen time definitely does not mean unsupervised alone time. If I have a work project I HAVE to get done or need to provide some undivided attention to, then I will let her use it during that increment of time. She can sit next to me in a small chair in my office.
9. Use a toy rotation for your baby or toddler to keep them occupied
So what do you do when you need to work and you want to limit screen time? The answer is toy rotation. This article about the art of toy rotation explains why you should consider it.
Basically, toy rotation will promote greater independence, help your child learn to play better on their own, and use the toys they already have in new ways!
Giving your child the same toys every day while you’re working can quickly bore them. Your baby or toddler is probably already struggling to focus, and will only play with things for a short period of time.
Toy rotation is excellent for promoting independent play which we want as work from home moms! Independent play will give you some time to get more work done.
10. Remain flexible
If you are working from home without childcare and you feel you’ve mastered the routine, I’m proud of you!
But I wouldn’t be a true work from home mom friend if I didn’t tell you to be ready to adapt your work routine to changes with your kids.
Whether that’s your baby being fussy because they’re teething or your toddler being clingy, whatever comes your way, be prepared to adapt.
All in all, working from home with kids will have it’s days when things just don’t go as planned. That’s how life goes, that’s how parenting goes.
Can you work from home and look after a child? The answer is yes! Remember to use these work from home mom tips to balance your workload and family.
Embrace this time that you’re being a work from home mom, earning an income, and still witness your children growing!