HOW TO MAKE WORKING FROM HOME WORK FOR YOU

I've been running my business from home for over four years now so I've had plenty of time to figure how to be a work from home mum. It sounds like an ideal solution to be able to work around your family commitments and raising the kids but it's a lot harder than you first realise but well worth the effort. So here's how to make working from home work for you.

I‘ve been running my business from home for over four years now so I’ve had plenty of time to figure how to be a work from home mum. It sounds like an ideal solution to be able to work around your family commitments and raising the kids but it’s a lot harder than you first realise but well worth the effort. So here’s how to make working from home work for you.

GET READY FOR THE DAY

Some people who run a business from home say that they get ready as though they are heading out to work, to get themselves in the same mind frame. For me personally, this isn’t the best use of my time. I don’t have time to spend doing a full face of make up & styling my hair. I need to get ready for the day but for me that means a shower to wake me up, throwing on my mum uniform of leggings, jumper & converse and getting Archie ready for nursery.

I like to be comfy for work but that doesn’t mean slobbing about. If I didn’t get ready in the morning and make myself presentable I’d be tempted to sit in front of the TV for the three hours Archie is at nursery rather than at my desk working. You do what works for you.

HAVE A WORK SPACE

Before blogging became my full time job I used to run a cake business. Thankfully as my blog grew my very talented sister was able to take over the day to day running of our cake business. It was so hard not having a defined place to work, trying to bake & decorate cakes in the family kitchen whist trying to cook for the kids etc.

Now that I’m blogging full time I need to have a clear area where I work. At the moment I’m still working in the kitchen but when I set up for the morning I have my own area for working without any distractions. As we have a large bedroom I’m going to be setting up an office area to ensure I have a work space that works for me. We can’t all have a home office but if I’m going to be working from home then I at least need a defined work space just for me.

I've been running my business from home for over four years now so I've had plenty of time to figure how to be a work from home mum. It sounds like an ideal solution to be able to work around your family commitments and raising the kids but it's a lot harder than you first realise but well worth the effort. So here's how to make working from home work for you.

MINIMISE DISTRACTIONS

Again, this is another reason I want an office space at home, to minimise distractions. You have to be really disciplined to work from home. It’s too easy to potter about, putting the washing on, cleaning the bathroom or having a brew and getting carried away watching TV until you realise t’s time to pick the kids up.

It’s great that you have the options to get other things done whilst working from home but make sure that you set yourself time to work. I like to set myself daily hours to work, this way I can focus on what I need to do in the time I have whist Archie is at nursery. Then once the kids are home I can be mum & housewife again.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility is one of the main benefits of being self employed & working from home, but it can also be your downfall too. It’s so important to me that I go to all Archie’s appointments, which I would really struggle with if I was employed.

You need to take advantage of your flexibility to give you a good work life balance, however the time still needs to be made up. Make sure you can catch up on the hours otherwise you could be missing deadlines and losing business.

PLAN YOUR DAY OR WEEK

I try to plan both my week and my day. I mark in my diary all my deadlines and blog post ideas for that week. Then day by day I like to plan what needs to get done on a smaller scale such as emails, social media scheduling etc.

Archie’s Autism means that we have various appointments and therapy sessions so I need to be able to plan ahead. Things don’t always work out exactly as planned, especially being a Special Needs Mama, but if I have my work mapped out then nothing gets missed if I need to reschedule my work hours.

I've been running my business from home for over four years now so I've had plenty of time to figure how to be a work from home mum. It sounds like an ideal solution to be able to work around your family commitments and raising the kids but it's a lot harder than you first realise but well worth the effort. So here's how to make working from home work for you.

HAVE A TO DO LIST

OMG I cannot live without my lists. I have my to do lists for work and personally. I have so much going on that my brain can be like a sieve, especially if something unexpected crops up.

I create a to do list each day crossing off as I go. If a work offer comes in with a higher priority I can move things around and reschedule things throughout the week. Anything that doesn’t get completed is moved onto the top of tomorrow’s list to give it priority.

KEEP THINGS TIDY & ORGANISED

Being organised is one of the most important aspects of being self employed. You’re responsible for you. Tidy home, tidy mind.

I like to keep my paperwork tidy & organised, especially as I’m currently working from the kitchen table. I have cupboard space allocated for my work items to keep them separate from day to day files and to make sure that the kitchen doesn’t get cluttered up. When I put my laptop away the kitchen is back to being the kitchen.

KNOW WHEN TO CALL IT A DAY

Even though I have flexibility in my day I have also had to learn when to call it a day. Some days you can be so tired that you just aren’t productive anymore. You’re stressed out, the kids have been playing up, the laundry is piled high and you feel like giving up. So give up. Call it a day, get an early night or slob out in front of the TV, whatever you need to do to chill out. Start the next day refreshed and ready to kick ass!

Do you work from home? What works best for you?

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52 Comments

  1. July 8, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Hi, Toni! So many of these “hit home” for me, particulalry the diligence it takes. I feel pulled in every direction lately when I should be writing. My wee fam does not take my blogging seriously, as I just started to give it a full go in February–this post really fuels me to stay on track! Thanks for your tips! XX, Lace #thelist

    • July 8, 2016 / 8:09 pm

      Mine didn’t take my ‘job’ seriously either, until I did! I started talking about projects & deadlines, products & budgets. Now my hubby realises it’s a genuine job with genuine income!
      gymbunnymum recently posted…11 TIPS FOR POTTY TRAINING A CHILD WITH AUTISMMy Profile

  2. July 8, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    These tips are really good and I need to really act on some of them. I work from home a lot and am terrible for never switching off and just sitting about in my pjs.
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…A week of madnessMy Profile

  3. July 10, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    I work from home, too, and I love it. I’m fortunate in that we have a space in the home that my husband and I both share as an office, and I love my space so much. I finally bought myself a really nice desk at the beginning of this year, and I decorated in a way that makes me love being there. My desk area is now my favorite spot in my home … I keep it clean, and neat, and colorful ☺Here’s a pic I took at the holidays … you can’t see much but it gives the idea: https://www.instagram.com/p/_QLY7fx2WS/. I keep those lights up all year long 😀

  4. July 11, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Some really helpful tips here and some I really agree with as I also work from home! So important to have a work space. Distractions are what I struggle with though. #MMBC

  5. July 12, 2016 / 1:24 am

    This is really interesting – I’d really like to work from home. I do suspect that I would find that the flexibility, which is what most appeals, could be a downfall for me too though, as you mention. (Lucy/R is for Hoppit)

  6. July 12, 2016 / 7:38 am

    Some fantastic tips here, and some I need to learn how to implement better. I’m going to be quitting my job soon to blog full time and I’m really looking forward to it!
    Elizabeth recently posted…A Belgium Chocolate ExperienceMy Profile

  7. July 12, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Great tips. I’m currently working on my first freelance project and I’m finding it difficult working from home, Leo is only in play school one morning a week so I’m having to do most of my work in the evenings. I love lists too and it is definitely best to have a work only place.xx #TwinklyTuesday

  8. July 12, 2016 / 9:54 am

    These are all great tips. I drop the kids of at school, clean up when I get back, then check emails then write my to do list.
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…My 5th Blogiversary GiveawayMy Profile

  9. July 12, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    Fab tips! Yes to all, as I work from home also.
    To do lists are a must for me, I feel more productive when I can tick off tasks that are complete.

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC Hope to see you next week x
    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 11/7/16My Profile

  10. July 12, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    This is a great list and as a freelance writer I totally agree! I do fall into the trap of popping the washing on but I luckily have a home office so at least I have a workspace. I do struggle keeping it tidy though! x #TwinklyTuesday
    Becky at PinksCharming recently posted…Ideas For Teacher’s Gifts, Starting From £2My Profile

  11. July 12, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Great tips – there are so many of these I need to use, starting with the workspace, as I blog from my couch at the moment. I also generally need to be more organised and think that would help loads, I get stuck in the same habits of procrastination..Thanks so much for linking to #dreamteam Hope to see you next time x

  12. July 13, 2016 / 11:05 am

    I have been trying to look for a job that would suit my schedule. I am free when my son is in school but I cant find anything around here. This is the next best option for me to be honest and I wish I can find a job that I can do at home. #mmbc
    Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk) recently posted…Point Of ViewMy Profile

  13. Kerry Norris
    July 14, 2016 / 8:37 am

    This is so helpful for me as I quit my job a couple of months back. I definetly need to plan my days better and I really need to sort out a workspace. X

  14. July 15, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I also work from home and the temptation is always there to stick on some washing or empty the dishwasher but I do have to keep focused! My husband always thinks the house should be tidy when he gets home but I tell him to pretend I work in an office and I’m NOT HERE all day 🙂
    #ablogginggoodtime

  15. July 15, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Can totally relate to this! I work from home and find I have to be really disciplined. I know that I’ve only got X amount of time to get “stuff done” before I have to pick the kids up from pre-school / school, so I really do get my head down during those hours. But I agree, that when you’re tired, you’re not being productive so you need to call it a day. #TheList x
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine recently posted…4 Things That Have Changed in Our First Year at Primary School (And 4 Things That Haven’t)My Profile

  16. July 15, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    Ah this is brilliant and a really helpful post. As someone who has literally just handed her notice in with the intention of eventually working home this was a great read. Thank you for sharing! #ablogginggoodtime

  17. July 18, 2016 / 10:34 am

    This is such a great post. I don’t work from home but do on occasion and I have real trouble not getting distracted by stuff (don’t tell the boss!). It is my dream to work from home one day and posts like this are so helpful to read. Think I’ll bookmark! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • July 24, 2016 / 11:45 am

      I think distraction is the worst part because you’re at home surrounded by your own stuff. I can’t wait to have a proper office x
      gymbunnymum recently posted…MISSING THE MILESTONESMy Profile

  18. July 20, 2016 / 8:10 am

    I would love to work from home. I think I have some of the qualities that you are mentioning so maybe one day… I love your blog, the design and everything. How long have been doing it for? #BloggerClubUK love

  19. July 20, 2016 / 8:14 am

    I only really work from home with my blog but I find I spend so much time on it, it is very much like a proper job. Great tips, I really need to get more organised x#BloggerClubUK

  20. July 20, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Being a new WAHM I found this article reallllyyyy helpful as I def need to create some space and working boundaries as I often find it hard to focus so def need to pin this and revisit!!

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime
    Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) recently posted…Aubergine & Spinach Slow Cooker CurryMy Profile

    • July 24, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      Ahh so glad it helped, I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years and still struggle some days!
      gymbunnymum recently posted…MY SUNDAY PHOTO #35My Profile

  21. September 10, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    This is a brilliant post! Its exactly how I work my day and my week and you have to be disciplined and remind people that make demands on your time (it family and friends) that you are working! my family think I watch TV all day! Organisation & lists are key and I always have to get dressed but dont always I have to admit!

  22. September 12, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Such sound advice lovely! I have been working on an office lately so I will have my own space finally. I have been getting up early via alarm so it gets me into a “work mode” frame of mind. Distractions are next on my list – need to stop going on Facebook! I’m getting there. You are one amazing mama to be juggling this life of yours and creating such a stunning blog! Kudos beaut and thank you so much for linking up to #DigitalHomeBoss Xxxx

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