Work From Home Tips and Schedule
With the Covid-19 Crisis, many people are now trying to work from home. I can’t even imagine if I had school age kids in the mix and had to add homeschooling to my list of to-dos. But I do have two children under three, an almost three year old daughter and a 5 month old son. Even without my job, my days are BUSY!
I’ve been working from home for 3.5 years. After I had my daughter, I quit my job as Director of Marketing for a college and started my web design business. I’ve worked through a variety of stages in my business and my kids’ lives. When my daughter turned two, I finally started her in a two day a week preschool program so I was able to get a bit more work done. Then after my son was born, I FINALLY got three full days a week of childcare. That lasted six weeks before the pandemic. So I’m back working from home and while I so miss my childcare days to work, I know I have my tools and routines from my stay and work from home mom days (SAWFHM?) to fall back on.
So I’m going to share five tips that I have found the most helpful and my daily routine.
1. Choose to be effective or efficient.
I actually read this one in a devotional of all places. Seems like a strange place to get productivity advice, but it has really stuck with me. The author said when we try to be efficient and get as many things done as possible, we actually come to the end of our days feeling like we didn’t get anything done.
Instead we should choose to be effective. Ask yourself “What are three things that will make the biggest impact on your goals.” For me that might be:
- Fix an issue with a client’s site
- Finish a page on a web design project
- Get in a walk – usually including the double stroller
These will make the biggest impact on my overall goals, serve my clients, myself, and my kids (they love the stroller walks!). This will also help me get to the end of my day feeling accomplished and help me sleep at night.
2. Have an on going to-do list.
I recently switched over from Wunderlist to Microsoft To-Do and from paper to digital list. I’m loving both of the switches because as I go through my day and something I need to do pops in my head, I add it to the list! Then when the baby is napping and my daughter decides to play independently for 30 minutes, I can pull out my list and try to tackle the next most important thing on my list OR the thing I think I have the most time for.
A perfect example of this is me writing this blog post right now. My daughter is playing with her farm and my son is napping. So I pulled out my to-do and decided to write this blog post.
3. Utilize kids sleep time.
If you’re not doing so already, use the time your kids are sleeping to get things done! I wake up at 5:30 (gah! I know! But my kids are up between 6-7) and get a devotional in and then work for 30-45 minutes. I also usually work during their nap time, but I also might get in a workout if we’re stuck inside all day because that helps make me feel sane. Then once they are in bed at 7 (perk of them being early risers!), I’ll work for another hour or so.
4. Utilize screen time.
Okay so don’t judge me, but I have totally leaned into screen time during this quarantine. Not 24/7, but I am very strategic with it. I’ll use more while my son is napping so I have some digital childcare for my toddler. I also offer it as a reward for her doing something I want her to do, like using the potty. That also helps me know she’s not going to have an accident while she zones out to a show for 30 minutes.
And if you’re having trouble allowing this one into your lives, remember we’re in an unprecedented time so lets give into unprecedented measures.
5. Trade with your spouse.
My husband is an essential employee so he still goes to work five days a week. PLUS he has a side hustle of being a FARMER! So yea, he’s busy. But on the weekends we try to trade childcare time with each other. One will take the morning, and one will take the afternoon to get things done. Then we come together for breakfast and dinner. But that way we each get a large chunk of time to work on our projects.