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There are a lot of perks to working at home. I mean, I get to wear stretchy pants pretty much 24/7. And I get to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day when no one else is there. This is the life, people.
But I’d be seriously misleading you if I said this gig was all unicorns and fairy dust. It’s hard being your own boss. Especially when taking care of a house and a kid also fall under the umbrella of your responsibilities. There have been days where 8 o’clock rolled around and I hadn’t accomplished much of anything, although it felt a little bit like I’d run a marathon while studying quantum physics.
I decided I wanted less of those days, and more where I felt empowered and accomplished. Here are a few tips on how I stay motivated and on track as a work at home mom.
1. Setup your hours. I really railed against this in the beginning. I thought the perk of working from home is that you didn’t have hours. And maybe that works for some people, but I need parameters. They still don’t have to be traditional 8-5 hours though. I usually do my work in chunks. 7-10am. 1pm-4pm. 10pm-12am (because I am forever a night owl). Obviously I’m not doing this gig full time, so it leaves space in my day to just do the regular ‘ole stay at home mom stuff, like making sure nothing is growing in the sink or that the toddler doesn’t impale himself on something.
2. Socialize! Even if you just tear yourself away from what you’re doing to text with a friend for 15 minutes, it helps. My mom is often on the receiving end of my “please help me feel more human for a few minutes” messages. Thanks mom!
3. Dedicate a space for work. I feel really lucky that I get an entire office to myself, but you don’t need a whole room. In our last house I had my desk setup on the enclosed porch. Wherever it is, just make it a space you want to be in. I have a post on how to setup an office corner if you’re short on space.
4. Set goals! I like to have one big goal (double my income in the next year) that I break down into smaller goals (apply for 3 freelance jobs a day) that will help me achieve it. And make sure you write them down. I just keep a Google doc that I can reference and track my progress. It’s easy and it works for me.
5. Get your body moving. Go for a walk. Throw in a workout DVD. Run around in the yard with your kids. Sometimes I play Just Dance for 30 minutes. Wyatt finds that particularly amusing, and with all the jiggling going on, I can’t blame him.
6. Get dressed! I’ve heard people say that when you work from home you should get up and get ready like you’re going to an office to work, but I don’t think you have to go quite that far to get the benefits. I put fresh stretchy pants on (Can we start a #teamstretchypants thing? I want to know where my people are at), brush my teeth, throw my hair back into a respectable ponytail, and off I go. What will help you feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning? Figure that out and do it.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your situation and experience is unique. Some other lady has 4 kids, volunteers, and still somehow manages to run a successful business while keeping her house spotless? And you have one kid and hardly leave the house and sometimes forget to do the laundry so there aren’t even washcloths to wipe the counter with? It’s okay. Keep chugging alone. Focus on you and your goals.
8. Recognize your achievements! When something big happens in your business or you get to one of your goals, please celebrate! You worked hard for that. What will make you feel rewarded? A dinner out? A massage? A new pair of stretchy pants? Go for it.
Do you work at home? I’d love to hear how you stay motivated and productive!
P.S. I’d love for you to checkout my Amazon favorites where I have curated lists of things we genuinely use and love.
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