I am forever grateful and blessed for the opportunity to be a work from home mom.
Honestly, I still struggle to balance it all. But that being said, I’ve learned a ton along the way and discovered many work from home mom secrets for success.
WAKE UP EARLY
I’m sure you’ve heard it over and over again, but wake up early. It really does make a difference. The days I beg for a few extra minutes, I am not as productive. If I force myself out of bed, at the end of the day, I am amazed by all that I have accomplished.
If you are not used to being an early bird, start off slow. Begin by setting your alarm for a few minutes earlier. Eventually, my recommendation is to wake up one to two hours before your children. Personally, I feel like I am my most creative and productive early in the morning.
MAKE YOUR BED & DRESS FOR THE DAY
Such a simple task, but it honestly sets the tone for the day. Take two minutes to make your bed every morning. Having a sense of order helps your mentality clarity, and in turn improves your productivity.
Also, it is so easy for a work from home mom to fall into the trap of staying in pajamas all day. I mean, what’s the point? When you are dressed for the day, you have a completely different outlook.
Imagine if you worked in a corporate setting and showed up in your pajamas. Would you be as productive? Odds are not. Getting dressed puts you in the right mindset for the day ahead.
REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”
What is your driving force, or main motivation, for being a work from home mom? Is it your children? A certain lifestyle? Or maybe reducing your husband’s workload Whatever your reasons, remember why you started working from home in the first place. Having a strong “why” will keep you on track to reaching your goals.
HAVE A GAME PLAN
Whether you use a planner, your phone or any other means of organization, it is super important to have a plan for the day. Granted, life happens, but an overview of the tasks you need to accomplish will keep you accountable. Spend a few minutes at the end of each day checking off your completed items and preparing your list for the following day.
Trust me, it is so satisfying to tick off all the “done” items. It gets you excited and provides the push you need to keep going. My recommendation, don’t overload the list. Keep it to a reasonable amount of items, without overextending yourself. If your list is too long, you will become overwhelmed and your productivity will suffer.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE – BUT BE FLEXIBLE
I am a firm believer in the importance of routines – for both you and your children. Routines provide a sense of expectation for what’s to come. This is especially important for a work from home mom. When your child knows what comes next, it helps keep moods and tantrums at bay. My suggestion is to write out a tentative daily schedule.
Include things such as: Bible/devotional time, dedicated chunks of work time, exercise, meal times, activities with the kids (including homeschool, if that is the case), relaxation time, as well as any other familial obligations. Even with an established routine, remember to be flexible. Try not to get frustrated if changes arise and items are not completed on time.
Even with an established routine, expect interruptions. For example, kids might wake up early, completely throwing off your work schedule for the day. Plan for any number of interruptions and give yourself a break. Things happen.
Somewhat of a silver lining, this is the beauty of working from home. You are there and able to handle anything that comes up. If something doesn’t get done, pick up where you left off the next day.
SCHEDULE IN ACTIVITIES FOR THE KIDS
It’s important for your kids to see you reaching for your dreams, but they don’t want to see you in front of a screen 24/7 either. Make sure you allocate time that is exclusively for them. Plan activities throughout the day, and do your best to put the phone away.
I like to schedule a specific time of the day where we do a “special” activity. Honestly, the first thing I hear in the morning is, “Mom, what activity are we doing today?”. They look forward to these special moments, and these are the memories they will have forever.
MAKE HEALTH A PRIORITY
A healthy mom means a healthy family. When you take care of yourself, your entire family reaps the benefits. Make it a priority to eat well, exercise regularly and take care of your body.
It is so tempting to put your health and well-being at the bottom of the list, when really they should be at the top. When you are feeling your best, you will have improved focus, better motivation and more ambition to reach your goals.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
You are a product of your surroundings – especially those you choose to associate with. Be mindful of the people you allow in your inner circle. Try to surrounded yourself with positive and strong individuals. Believe me, it will rub off! If you are surrounding yourself with people who have a negative mindset, odds our your mindset will start to suffer as well.
ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT – AND LET GO OF PERFECTION
As moms, we are constantly pushing ourselves to the brink trying to get it all done. I know that’s how I feel half the time! Let go of perfection and ask for help whenever necessary.
Struggling to complete all your work? See if somebody can take the kids for a few hours or hire help a few times a week. Has your business grown beyond your capacity to manage it all? Maybe it’s time to consider getting help. Prioritize your responsibilities and know when it’s time to seek outside help.
Also, let go of perfection in your home. Moms have a lot of responsibility on their plates, especially when you add working from home into the mix. Your house may not be camera-ready 24/7, and that’s OK. Do the best you can and try to divvy up the tasks between you and your spouse whenever possible.
HAVE A DEDICATED WORK SPACE
Have a spot in your home dedicated as your work area. Whether a separate office or the kitchen table, the point is to have a spot that is “yours” for working. Eventually, when your children see you in that spot, they will begin to associate it as mommy’s “work” time.
Regardless, I want my kids to know they are able to seek me out, whatever the reason. That being said, I do want them to see the importance of working and pursuing your dreams, especially as a woman. Hopefully, instilling in them the same passion when they are older.
I am a firm believer in setting short and long term goals. Grab a piece of paper and lay out your ultimate goals – career, family, health, etc. Don’t be afraid to dream big!
After that, look at each big goal individually. Break up each long term goal into achievable short term goals. Try to dedicate an amount of time it will take you to complete each task. Place your list of goals near your workstation where they are visible on a daily basis.
EMBRACE YOUR FAILURES
Failures will happen. Everything never goes according to plan, and you will make a ton of mistakes along the way. What’s important is how you react after those failures. Do you just give up and walk away? Or, do you brush yourself off, push forward and continue reaching for your goals?
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Get out of your comfort zone and start taking some risks in your life. If you are always skating too close to comfort line, odds are you will have a hard time growing as an individual, potentially missing out on some great opportunities.
We are defined by the risks we take and where they lead us. Are you reading this post, not yet a work from home mom, but dreaming of the possibility? What is stopping you from taking the plunge?
On the other hand, do you have a dream for your business, but are hesitant to take the next step? What do you have to lose? Dream big, live big and keep pushing forward, no matter the outcome.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT SELF-CARE
Schedule time each day for self care and relaxation. If you don’t yet have a self care routine in place, and are looking for ideas, check out the post 6 Steps for a Mom Self Care Routine.
GET ENOUGH REST
As tempting as it is to stay up late and plant yourself in front of the TV, make sure you get to bed early. It is super important to get enough rest every night, giving our bodies a chance to recharge. An early bed time will also allow you to wake up early in the morning, ready to accomplish your tasks and put your best foot forward.
PICK-UP AT THE END OF THE DAY
As easy as it is to leave those dishes in the sink, take a few minutes each day to make sure your main living spaces are clutter-free. There is nothing quite like waking up to a clean space, ready to tackle the day.
When you wake up to a cluttered space and find dirty dishes in the sink, don’t you automatically become stressed and overwhelmed? I know I do! Such a simple thing to do, but the impact it has the following day is powerful to your mindset.
Life is hard, crazy and messy. By implementing these simple habits into your day, you will start to achieve the balance you crave.