Time management for work-at-home moms can be extremely challenging.
Work-at-home moms (WAHMs) must not only juggle taking care of the family but also managing a telecommuting job or a home business.
On the positive, working at home means you get to spend more time with your kids, and less time stuck in a car commuting to an office far away from home.
If you are thinking about working from home, go for it! And if you are already well on your way, then read on for some tips on time management.
3 Ideas for Time Management for Work-at-Home Moms
Chances are, if you have been in business for a while, you have probably already figured out some ways to better manage your time. Either way, here are some more ideas to try:
1. Plan and Consolidate Your Errands
It’s tempting to just hop in the car and run out when you need something. But consider this might actually be an unconscious form of procrastination or a roundabout way to handle stress.
Instead of dashing off to the store willy-nilly, plan your errands ahead of time and combine them. If you need to drop the kids off at soccer practice, plan on stopping by the store on the way home and getting the car washed. Keep a list of things you need to do, and map out what errands might be combined.
Don’t overdo it, though. You still need to pace yourself. And ideally, trips will be made that make sense, geographically speaking. If you find yourself driving back and forth across town for hours on end, that is probably overkill. Try to plan your errand runs following a streamlined route if possible. This saves you time as well as gas.
2. Get Your Kids to Help
This may seem old-fashioned, but it’s good for your kids to do some chores. Don’t just hand out an allowance without them earning it in some fashion. You can assign your kids something to do that is age-appropriate to help around the house.
As your children get older, they might even be able to help with your business a little bit. Do be careful – you don’t want to run afoul of child labor laws – but having your child help with some filing might give them some great experience while clearing stuff off your plate. You might even be able to deduct what you pay your kids from your taxes.
3. Schedule (or Even Eliminate) Your Phone Time
It’s true – people who don’t have kids will often know you have kids at home, simply because you have answered the phone with said kids screaming in the background. This can be annoying to your friends, but so what? The problem is when you are trying to do business over the phone, and the kids are making a fuss in the background.
Try to schedule your telephone time for periods when the kids tend to be quieter or engaged in something productive. If possible, avoid answering the phone at all hours unless it is absolutely required as part of your job. This also reduces your interruptions, so you can focus more on getting your work done.
If you have a home-based business where you are answering the phone to provide your own customer support, consider hiring out the administrative telephone work to a virtual assistant.
Hang in There: Being a WAHM Is Very Fulfilling
Despite some of the challenges of juggling work and home life, being a work-at-home mom can be the best of both worlds. WAHMs get to see their children and follow their dreams, all without being stuck in traffic every morning. By managing your time better, you can become an ever more successful work-at-home mother.