Whether you’re a mother considering a change of pace career-wise or you’ve already taken the leap into becoming a work-at-home mom, take pride in your decision.
The numbers don’t lie: there are more moms working from home than ever before. Battling the stigma and assumptions associated with being a stay-at-home mother can be tough; however, there’s no reason to pass up the endless career opportunities afforded by remote work while also getting to spend more time with your children.
Unfortunately, an elephant in the room remains: how can mothers stay productive while working from home? Among an endless sea of distractions, sometimes it may seem easier to simply stick to a traditional nine-to-five, right?
Getting down to business as a work-at-home mom requires a keen attention to detail and a killer home office to boot. So, how do you ensure that you’re as productive as possible?
Free Yourself from Needless Distractions
As noted earlier, there are seemingly endless present distractions when you’re working from home.
Phone calls. Texts. Solicitors. Someone mowing the lawn at eight o’clock in the morning.
The list never ends, does it?
Perhaps the best way to free yourself from distractions is to first and foremost consider the one “distraction” that does matter: your child. While working from home, you will need to tend your child; however, you also need to get down to business to provide for your family. Take the following three-pronged approach to help yourself focused:
- Keep a baby monitor nearby to ensure that you can tend to your child as needed, while simultaneously keeping your phone on “silent”
- Turn your office into a sanctuary: block out annoying lights with cellular shades and perhaps invest in a high-quality speaker to listen to music to drown out distractions (but not block out all noise)
- Ensure that everything in your space represents business and not pleasure: if it’s not related to your work, keep it away from your desk (think: your child’s toys)
In the case that your child needs you, of course allow yourself time to tend to them. Otherwise, associate your home office with work and work alone.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You can’t hope to stay focused if you’re not completely comfortable. Think about it: two hours of laser-focused work is preferable to six hours of being unproductive and off-task, right?
Comfort comes in many shapes and sizes, but start by looking at your workspace first. To combat sitting disease, many workers now employ a standing desk or yoga balls as a means of staying productive whilst also getting some much-needed movement in their daily routines. If your child keeps you on your feet for the majority of the day, instead consider office chairs that support your back and provide you with some much-needed time to rejuvenate.
Define Your Schedule
While anything can happen as you take care of your child, make sure to have a clearly defined schedule day after day. Allocate specific time periods for work and time spent with your child to ensure that you get all of your work done on time. In short, try to fall into a routine.
The common misconception of work-at-home moms is that they simply do nothing or spend more time playing and not enough time getting down to business. By sticking to a routine, you can ensure that others know which times are appropriate to contact you and which are not, meanwhile allowing yourself to get into a rhythm that boosts your productivity.
Being a work-at-home mom can be tough, but likewise is incredibly rewarding for those who can manage their time wisely. By organizing your office and schedule accordingly, you can have the best of both worlds in terms of your career and childcare.