My recent article about what they didn’t tell you when working from home got a lot of mums talking about how hard it can be trying to be productive around the ankle biters.

I mean seriously – some of us barely have time to have a shower or put make up on, so how can we possibly add earning an income to the mix if we’re not using child care?

So here are my 7 tips to planing your day when you work from home:

1. Plan the night before: Every night, I sit with my diary and decide what I want to achieve the day. I don’t like 40 items, because that would be just unachievable and overwhelming (which can lead to demotivation). Just pick your top 5 or 7 items.

2. Start dinner early: Any mum who works from home will tell you a lot of it gets done at night after the kids go to bed, so in order to maximise this period make sure dinner is ready to go early. One pot dishes, crockpot/slow cooker meals and anything that doesn’t need a load of dishes are a winner in my eyes because it means less mess! I get dinner going during the day when bubs is not too cranky and tired. Basically it leaves the night free to concentrate on generating an income. Bonus tip! Meal plan your dinner for the week to save even more time like deciding what to make.

3. Clean as you go: Try and prevent the house from getting too messy or at least limit it to one area. What does this have to do with working from home? Well as busy mums we can’t help ourselves but want to clean when there is a mess. This detracts from you concentrating on your business or job. If you can see that pile of washing sitting next to you it can be really hard to be productive knowing that it’s waiting for you. I do a 40 min clean every morning whilst bubs is eating her breakfast which is enough to maintain the house (then I do a bigger clean on the weekend).

4. Sales and marketing comes first: We always get distracted with pretty shiny things – graphics, social media, websites, designing our diary – the list could go on! However without sales and marketing, you don’t have a business. So your top priority should ALWAYS be to make sales. Whether it’s making phone calls to hot leads, responding to enquiries OR generating leads by marketing your services – this is a must and needs to happen daily. Non negotiable.

5. Meet new people: Try and meet someone new every day. Network online and offline and talk to people all the time. You will be increasing the network of people around you, find new clients, broaden your reach and grow as a person (practicing talking to people is imperative for sales). Sometimes when we work from home we forget to socialise so this is important step!

6. Check emails twice a day: I actually encourage people NOT to have their email account on their phone as it’s too easy to be checking them every 5 mins which makes you inefficient by being easily distracted. Set two times, such as 9:30am and 8pm and stick to it!

7. Make them wait: Now this one might be a bit controversial, but sometimes bubs just have to wait a minute! New mums especially are so quick to stop what they are doing and run to their babies if they cry, this makes it hard to get anything done. Sometimes you’re just going to have to let them whinge and tell them to wait a minute (whilst you save that file, send that email or similar). I am not saying ignore your child, but it’s good for them to learn that sometimes they will have to wait 60 seconds!

That’s it! The most important thing is do take action whenever ever you can. If an opportunity rises and you have 30 mins free that you don’t normally, take action!

Do you have a tip that I have missed? Comment below I would love to hear what works for you.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com


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  • try to keep the children occupied near you or enlist the help of grandma

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  • Great tips that you have raised.

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  • I find list making really helps to keep me on task

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  • some good tips for people to think about.

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  • Thank you Donna, just what I needed a few things to think about now as I am at that stage of do I return to the office or work from home.

    • Each option has both pros and cons. For me a mix of both is best – that is running a business from home is awesome but having a day dedicated to your business when bubs is in care (whether it be with family or at a centre) is important for getting stuff done too!

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  • Thanks for your article,some useful tips to help when working at home!

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  • I think you have to be flexible but firm with people who want to catch you when you’re working, but aren’t contributing to your income. I find that my greatest challenge too.

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  • Thanks Donna, very wise tips and helpful.

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  • My greatest challenge working from home is my family! I’ve been working from my home office for 12 years now, on the same 3 days! My Mum will just drop in for something and say “I won’t keep you, I know you need to get back to work”. And later… I nearly rudely have to push her out the door. Family call you on the phone and say I know you’re working but… 1 hour later! As I said, my greatest challenge. I try to get a word in and explain I need to get back to work!!!!! And at the end of the school day, my teen son does want some of my time to download his day. I’ve noticed this recently and am taking the time out to do this.

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  • Quite right about the routine and sticking to it. Must also be self motivated, or else you keep putting it off till later, then later never comes.

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  • Great tips. I’d say the only other thing would be to stop for five minutes if you’re too stressed. For some reason our babes feel our stress too, so stopping and making yourself a cup of tea and playing with the kids can make the time after way more productive

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  • I guess the most important things are organisation and routine.

    Reply

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