Finding a daily routine as a work at home mom sounds easy… until you actually try to create a schedule that works for you, your clients, and your family. Ouch!
But, without a daily routine, you might find something is falling through the cracks. You are striving to balance your time between family, home, and work but maybe the laundry is piling up.
And believe me… I can only talk about this because it is an area where I struggle.
Normally, I do not work in bed but today is the last day of Christmas break and I needed to retreat from my children to concentrate. Unfortunately… this is my view.
Time to get back into the groove because having a routine system in place helps me get everything else done.
Otherwise… I am lost. In a funk. Completely distracted. Useless.
Tips for creating a daily routine
Find time to take care of you.
I spent a lot of time researching successful people last year and the one factor each of these people had in common was that they exercised each day. (Don’t believe me? Read What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home as an example.)
This is SUPER hard for me. I tend to put myself off until last place. Anyone else?
Have set office hours.
I have a clearly defined set of hours dedicated to working my business as well as times when I should be doing chores around the house or spending time with the family. This is easier now that my children are in school but was a discipline I still practiced when I was homeschooling. (Read A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Homeschooling Mom.)
Use your most productive time of day for your most important tasks.
There are times within your day when you are naturally more productive than others. Your focus is clearer (although you still might be easily distracted) and working seems to take less effort. These are the moments you should seize to do your best work.
Stack your daily schedule based on your peak time and do your most important business tasks during that time. For instance, if you are a blogging and you work best at night, you would write your blog post content during those evening hours.
Do the things you HATE first.
Whether within the time I have set for business or home, I always tackle the chores I hate to do first. I learned this trick reading the book, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. By doing the items you dread before everything else, you feel relieved and can get more done during the rest of your allotted time.
Create systems that work.
The systems concept is based on patterns and habits and schedules. When you merge them all together, you have a refined system that can help you track and build your business without wasting a ton of time.
I have systems for home management and business:
- All bills set to auto-pay with the company or set up with bill-pay at our bank so nothing is ever late and our budget remains intact.
- Grocery shopping is done each Monday morning after dropping the kids at school. Anything needed prior to the weekend (like more milk) is picked up by my husband on Friday afternoon after picking the kids up from school.
- My social media for business is scheduled on Sunday evenings using tools like Post Planner and Tailwind.
- The dishwasher MUST be unloaded in the morning so it can be reloaded throughout the day, and the kitchen must be clean before I go to bed at night.
Routines. Habits. Essentially so I can exist on auto-pilot.
Eliminate the time-sucks.
Facebook attracts me like a bee to honey. I can spend an hour scrolling through memes and videos and groups. So, I have to stay off Facebook as much as possible.
If you have the same problem with time sucks in your daily schedule (phone calls, text messages, social media, television…), TURN IT OFF.
We disconnected our home phone because the only people who ever called our home line were wrong numbers and telemarketers. The insistent ringing throughout the day was a HUGE distraction for me.
I cannot turn on the television during the day ever because if I do, a Chip and JoJo marathon will be on and I will be drawn to watch them renovate home after home.
Whatever your personal nuance is… get control of it before it gets control of you.
Divide and conquer.
Building a team is one of the smartest things a work from home mom can ever do. Whether it is employing your children or just giving them chores, your family can be a tremendous support. But also consider outside your family.
I employ several virtual assistants, ladies who also work from home and help me manage the different aspects of my business. One of the ladies lives in a foreign country where the minimum wage is under $3 per hour. So, I can afford to pay her enough to bring a significant increase to her standard of living without blowing my budget.
Work toward 100% focus.
Regardless of which hat you are wearing at any given time of the day, try to focus on that task 100%.
When I am with my husband, I want to be focused 100% on him. When I am with my children, I want my focus to be them. And when I am working on my business, I need to be focused there.
Is that always possible? Heck no. Distractions are constant. But always be striving for 100%.
My Daily Routine as a Work at Home Mom
Prior to 8 AM
Each weekday starts with cooking breakfast for the children, packing lunches, unloading the dishwasher, changing out the laundry, and hustling the children to school… all before 8 AM.
8 AM until 10 AM
When I get home from dropping the kids at school, I exercise by going for a walk. Immediately. Before I even walk back into the house.
I am totally serious. If I let my body cross the threshold, I will not walk. I will turn on the television and binge an hour away. Strange how much that one thing can change my entire day.
On days when I cannot walk due to weather or arthritis, I do yoga with free videos on YouTube.
Except on Wednesdays… Wednesdays are very special because I have a mastermind meeting with other work from home moms every other week and coaching calls on opposite weeks.
10 AM until 3:30 PM
My time is divided among my different websites and the tasks associated with each. If I do not divide my work time, I seem to lose direction or my brain becomes overwhelmed with everything on my to do list. I have to assign certain times to important tasks.
I spill my brain on to paper in order to help focus and then assign those needs based on priority to the time allotted during my day. The Blog Success Planner actually helps me stay on track tremendously. I really do not know why I attempted to work my business without a comprehensive blogging planner for so long.
3:30 PM until Bed
After work hours, I have to make myself walk away from the laptop. I even have to leave my phone in our bedroom. Because I am a workaholic and will continue to click and tap and drive myself bonkers, completely neglecting my family and other duties.
So, to help me with my 100% focus, I have to not only choose the times I work but also define the areas of our home where I can work.
Finding your daily routine
A work-life balance is not easy and every work at home mom will have a completely different schedule. You cannot mimic mine as it will not work for you. But, be persistent. Start with an outline of your day and refine it as you work to bring harmony between all the aspects and needs in your life.
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