Working from home, especially with young kids, can be challenging. The flexibility is great, but we have to be careful that flexible doesn’t turn to flimsy if we’re looking to be productive. Here are my top 5 tips for young moms who work from home.
1. Get up at 5am.
I know some of you think I just said a bad word, but for me, working from home does not mean sleeping in. Maybe your kids sleep later than mine, but when you’re blessed with an early bird like I am, my alarm goes off early so I can have some [95% of the time!] uninterrupted time before everyone else wakes up. I wake up, work out (before my body even knows what’s going on), have my devotion & prayer time, and complete my power hour to-do list. (More on that in Tip 2!)
2. Have a power hour to-do list.
I have a few critical tasks, and those all get knocked out before 7am. 5am-6am is me time, but 6am-7am is work time. That way, if everything else goes wrong the rest of the day, I’ve gotten the non-negotiable tasks done. What is scheduled before 7am? Likely nothing! If you always get it done first thing, you’ll rarely have a scheduling conflict, and your consistency will pay off.
3. Take a shower & get dressed.
Luckily for me, that means getting back into my yoga pants most days. But getting dressed as if you’re going somewhere not only helps you stay alert, but also prepares you for an impromptu YouTube video, video conference call, last minute post office run, or some other strike of genius. Expect a curveball & be ready.
4. Schedule blocks of time.
If you don’t want to live in the guilt cycle of feeling like you should be working when you’re with your family or should be with your family when you’re working, set clear boundaries & don’t cross them. Your family won’t resent you if they know when to expect you’re out of pocket. They WILL resent if you’re always trying to do both at the same time, such as answering business emails during family movie night or consistently taking work calls at dinner.
For me, this means having an assistant who helps with my kids a few hours each week (about 8 total). I also have two evenings with 2 hours blocked for conference calls after the kids are in bed. The other 5 nights, I am unplugged with my husband. I rarely make exceptions.
(Make sure you subscribe to my list if you want to know when my video on teaching this system of time blocks releases!)
5. Use the Sabbath wisely.
One extreme when working from home is that people never work, but the other extreme is always working. My job is very much in line with my passion, so very few of my tasks actually feel like work. It’s awesome to have a job I don’t want to escape from, but I also know I need to unplug from the world at least once a week & truly plug into God to stay fresh.
On Sundays, my power hour consists of praying & brainstorming with God for my business & ministries. By the end of our time together, I can’t wait to head to church & worship Him for being real in my life & jump back into my calling on Monday.
You can hear a few more of my thoughts on the Sabbath here.