Finding a good work/life balance may be the most challenging thing for work-at-home moms to achieve. At times it can seem like an elusive fantasy, getting all your responsibilities accomplished with your job or business and still having time for yourself, your kids, your partner, and your home. Does that sound familiar?
Well, you don’t have to keep dreaming. Having a good work/life balance is attainable, even for moms that work from home. It does take more effort to set yourself up initially, but the rewards are worth it. Find out how to manage a healthy balance of work and life with the following tips.
First, develop a daily routine.
Flying by the seat of your pants won’t do you any favors if you want to balance your work and home life. Establishing a daily routine that allows you to be productive while working and still have time for the household and family is essential. Include time within your schedule for breaks and meals. Set a time that you will be finished with work each day as well. That way, you are not feeling the need to return to your desk throughout the evening during family time or after the kids are in bed at night.
This routine doesn’t have to be a rigid schedule. You don’t have to schedule out by the exact minute. Instead, choose a loose routine of what you need to accomplish each day and how long it should take you if you use your time to its fullest extent.
Make sure to allow for some flexibility, as unexpected things do happen; life happens! For example, you might have to care for a sick child one day, prohibiting your ability to work until the following day. However, by following the routine most days, you will notice that you are getting more and more tasks knocked off that never-ending to-do list.
Keep a designated workspace.
Having your work area away from the rest of the house is ideal. This will allow you to “leave work” even when you are a work-at-home mom. Your workspace doesn’t have to be huge or extravagant. Depending on the space you have available, a small desk in the corner of your bedroom works just as well as a den or separate room home office space. Leave this area during your breaks and lunchtime.
Only use this space for work. This way, you don’t feel like you are always at the office during family or “me” time. You will also train yourself to recognize that area solely as a place to be productive and in work mode.
Minimize distractions during work time.
To properly balance home and work life, you want to be as productive with your time as possible. However, productivity doesn’t always mean that you’re working on something important 24/7. It means that you are being productive and focused during work time, and you also establish a time to relax and do leisurely things.
The time in your schedule that you set aside for work should be only for working. Turn off the television. Close all of your social media. Don’t schedule other plans during dedicated work time. Avoid letting yourself get sucked into surfing the internet or spending an afternoon shopping with friends and missing 1-2 hours you had scheduled for work. If you don’t take your schedule seriously, you will end up working extra during your “home” time and throwing off the whole day.
Put your cell phone away.
The cell phone can be the biggest distraction of all for everyone. This is especially true for work-at-home moms. We feel the need to be connected at all times, resulting in poor time management and productivity. Even a quick check of emails can lead you down a rabbit hole of Pinterest, Facebook, or a game, and before you know it, you have been on your phone for an hour and gotten nothing else done.
It is also an excellent idea to let your close family and friends know your work schedule, and don’t hesitate to shut your phone off or put it in another room during work hours.
Ask for help with household chores.
Most of the time, moms feel the need to do it all. Sometimes it feels like it’s your responsibility to tend to your family, make sure that all of the chores are done, run the errands, and work. You want to contribute with an income, but you also want to be a dedicated wife and mom. However, one person can’t do it all.
Delegate some chores to your children or your partner. Even young kids can help with tasks like putting away laundry, clearing the dinner table, or picking up their toys. Sometimes, the kids or your partner may even want to help with your business. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the help that you are offered.
Use time-saving hacks at home.
Freeing up time may be the best way for work-at-home moms to achieve a good work/life balance. Schedule a grocery delivery or even a pickup, so you don’t spend the time in the supermarket each week.
Try shopping on Amazon or another online store when you can to avoid extra shopping trips. Pay your bills online, so you aren’t running to the post office to buy stamps or mail letters. Ask your partner to help with tasks such as picking up the dry cleaning or doing other errands to give you more time for work or home life.
One night a week, have someone else cook dinner. Start meal planning and meal prep in advance for the week to save time. Take advantage of anything you can think of that lightens your load and fits your household.
Don’t forget self-care.
With all the things on their to-do list, moms tend to overlook the most important person they care for, which is themselves. If you are letting yourself run on empty day after day, there is no way you can maintain a good work/life balance.
Always include some “me” time into your schedule. This can consist of a bubble bath every other night, a weekly pedicure, or 30 minutes of reading every day. Include whatever you like to do. Remember that you can take days off of work and take that time for yourself or extra family time. It will all be there waiting for you when you come back. It would be best if you didn’t forget to take care of yourself along with your job, household and family.
A good work/life balance is possible with the right plan and support system in place. It’s all about making the most of your time daily. Unexpected emergencies may happen; it won’t always be perfect. That’s part of life. Becoming more productive when it counts is the name of the game if you want to have enough time for work and still have an involved, happy and fulfilling life.
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