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Beginners Guide to Working at Home

Working at Home is a job in itself.  Not only do you have the kids to contend with and the house to keep clean, but you have all the well intentioned friends and family who hear the word “home” and assume you have time to run their errands or talk with them on the phone.

 

It’s not always easy juggling so many things, but it can be done.  In order to win at the Work at Home battle, you have to be organized, flexible, and consistent.  Here are a few things essential to the sanity of the Work at Home mom.

 

1.      Work space

It may not seem important if you aren’t setting up an actually office, but having your own space will do wonders for your Work at Home experience.  In our small home, I’ve claimed a corner of the kitchen.  I have my files, reference books, and desk all packed neatly together.  Not only am I able to access my work easily, but my friends and family know that when I’m in that corner, I’m “at work.”

2.      Schedule

This is not about clocking in, but it is about having time to clock in.  With three active boys in the house, it’s hard for me to do anything concrete (I make my schedules in pencil).  I have set aside three blocks of time – two hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening – to get my work done.  I prefer the morning, before the house wakes up.  I find I get the most done then.  The baby just doesn’t always cooperate.  So, I wait until after lunch on those days – when he goes down for his nap.  If I can’t squeeze in work at that time (because of errands, or house cleaning, or company), I just make time to get the work done after everyone is asleep.  The main point is that you have to have a time to work or you won’t ever work because something else will always come up.

3.      Mom time

No matter what the deadline may be, you have to make allowances for being “Mommy.”  There are just going to be those times when nothing else will do.  The good news is that the kids will adjust to work time.  I have found that as I work more often, my kids are coming to me for fewer needs and they are also interrupting me less often.  I use the simple phrase, “What’s the rule,” to remind everyone that this is actually real work.

4.      House time

As much as you may try to justify it (and I have tried), you just can’t give up on keeping up the house.  Around my house, I have the thirty minute rule.  Twice a day – for thirty minutes – we all race around the house to see who can get the most “to dos” done.  On the good days, we don’t even need the second session. 

 

What ever you are choosing to do for you Work at Home paycheck, you have already learned that everything seems to be working against.  The kids need help with school work.  The baby needs changing.  The spouse wants dinner on the table.  By the end of the day you are exhausted but have yet to even start on one piece of the work load.

 

That’s why not everyone works from home.  It takes a special person to overcome all the adversities facing the WAHM (work at home mom).  Push through the problems, be consistent in your endeavor, and you will find yourself coming through the valley with a new attitude towards the work at home experience.

 

 

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  1. The Peculiar Club » Work at Home Without Stress - July 10, 2007

    […] There are ways to balance home and work. Sometimes it requires creativity, sometimes it requires cooperation, but always it requires a sense of peace and flexibility. […]

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