The one thing you don't want to do is ignore is productivity management strategies when you're a new work-at-home mom; it's a higher priority for you than other entrepreneurs who don't have to manage work tasks with motherly duties throughout the course of the day. When you're unproductive, you'll shut down emotionally and mentally in your business, or worse, when you take care of your children. Avoid this mistake with these productivity management strategies:
Work Primarily during "Off" Hours
Motherhood is a higher priority than your role as an entrepreneur, and to do both effectively, it's best to work during "off hours." That's when your children are not awake. For example, if you're a night owl, set your work hours to start from 8:00 PM. to 1:00 AM. You'll have to put your children to bed early, and they may not fall asleep until an hour later. However, you can still get work done, while checking on them every once in awhile. You could also work in the bedroom until they fall asleep, and your presence may help them sleep that much faster. If you're a morning person, then consider a 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM shift. If you have older children, train them to help take care of your younger children in the mornings, including making breakfast and playing with them until you're done working. Implement a nap time if you don't already. Your children will benefit from the rest, and you'll have an additional hour or two to work.
Work in a Central Area
You should schedule as much work as possible during the hours when your young children are sleeping and napping. There are times throughout the day, however, when you need to check email, job boards, pay a bill or do more work to meet deadlines. Working in a central area, where you can watch your children while you work, helps. You can ensure their safety, and they'll feel comfortable when you're within their sight. Consider purchasing a laptop for your business so that you can work anywhere in your home, or set up your home office in a central area. It may seem like a minor productivity management strategy, but you'll have more time to work because of it.
Schedule Time in Blocks not Segments
Very few work-at-home moms can successfully follow a schedule that plans out every 30 or 60 minutes, which is recommended by many time management experts. Life for the work-at-home mom is hardly consistent, and there are many work and family related fires you'll need to put out during the day. Work on scheduling blocks of time instead. For example, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM could include such task as:
- Checking email
- Light bookkeeping
- Story time and water play with little ones
There's more freedom when you schedule this way, and it's an effective productivity management strategy used by many work-at-home moms.
These are the major areas you'll need to address regarding productivity management. Once you master these, you'll be able to find ways to incorporate minor productivity management strategies to work faster and better.