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According to both CNN and the Guardian, working from home is becoming increasingly common. For mothers, it’s a convenient way of supplementing their families earning while managing all of their other responsibilities. It isn’t surprising then that the rise in people working from home coincides with an increase in stay at home mums; Pew Research Centre believes that latter is at its highest in decades.
The problem with these statistics is that they don’t acknowledge the hard work that every mother puts in to balance so many different roles. If you’re a mother, you know that there are days when you regret working from home, having to juggle everything from kids, your clients, to what to make for dinner. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Here are a few essential tips every work at home mom (and dad) can follow to greatly increase their productivity while reducing stress at the same time. It’s a win-win.
It can be tempting to try and do 5 jobs at once, and sometimes it’s necessary. But in order to increase productivity, you need to divide your time. By doing this you will reduce your stress and greatly increase your productivity.
A practical way of successfully completing this tip is to practice time blocking. Basically to ‘time block’ is to carve out chunks of time for uninterrupted work. It doesn’t have to be long; 30 minutes at a time will do.
What’s important is that you decide which tasks require time blocking and then work accordingly. Start by making a list of the things that you need to complete in a day, how much time they take and whether they need complete and utter focus.
If you have little children take advantage of their nap time, get some work done or just spend those few precious moments with the older kids.
The value of planning ahead can be severely underappreciated. It takes a little extra time and effort, but in the long run, this will help you to cope when you have sick children, extra assignments from work or are simply too tired to move.
When planning ahead you should:
- Have a checklist of all the household chores, being sure to spread them out.
- Have a meal plan
- Keep extra food in the freezer
- Do a monthly shop for all the household essential
These are just a few of the tips involved in planning ahead, which will help to increase your productivity ten-fold.
Taking Care of Yourself
Happy mum means happy kids.
Happy kids mean less stress and tension.
As such it’s important to carve out a little time for yourself where you can:
- Get a manicure
- Condition your hair
- Read a book
- Watch a movie, uninterrupted
- Get up early
- Take the time when the kiddies are at school
- Stay up a little after their bedtime
Pick something relaxing and take the time to do it!
Studies show that healthy eating increases productivity. So, try to make sure that you and your family maintain a diet that is full of nutrients.
It’s hard when you are tired and swamped with work, but that’s why our suggestion for having a meal plan and freezing meals is so important. It means that, on a daily basis, you will need to put less thought into what you are going to eat. Thus, you are less likely to cave and order greasy fast food.
According to the Huffington Post, exercise increases productivity by making you more energetic. It can be hard to exercise when you have to juggle so many roles but it’s important.
The trick is not to make it too complicated.
Get your kids involved and combine TV time with a bit of yoga.
Get up a few minutes earlier and run up and down the stairs.
Even while you’re working, there are simple stretches and ergonomic exercises that can keep you alert, productive, and healthy. The point is to do something, regularly.
Getting Your Kids on Board
Moms can’t do it all. Remember you aren’t superwoman.
To cope with the day to day haul get the kids involved. According to the Washington times, chores are good for the kids as it gives them a sense of empathy and responsibility.
It’ll also increase your productivity as you now have help. Make no mistake, you will have to train your children to do chores and make sure that they actually get on with it. But it’ll work out, in the end, by decreasing your workload.
Choosing Work Carefully
When working from home you need to be realistic. When choosing a job you need to choose something that you:
- Have the skills for
- Can manage in between your other responsibilities
- Preferably enjoy
This isn’t always as easy as it seems but trying to achieve these goals will help to increase your productivity.
If you’re a writer or typist, for example, be realistic, and find jobs that you are qualified for, such as freelancing writing or transcribing. It’s something that you have the skills for and will allow you to have a set time for work every day. There are a number of online websites where you can easily work remotely and set your own hours and pace.
Blogging is another popular option. It’s flexible and if you have a passion for writing, it’s perfect for you. The takeaway is, be realistic while picking jobs that fit your skills and can afford you flexibility at the same time.
Just Accepting It
Acceptance is key. You need to remember that you are a mother, you are working and you will have to juggle about 10 different things in a day. By accepting that this is part of your life, you can reduce the tension you feel and increase how satisfied you are. This, in turn, will increase your productivity.
It’s All worth it in the End
It’s important to acknowledge the benefits of working from homes. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and to feel like the stress is not worth the effort. In these moments it’s important to remember that by staying at home you are helping your children.
According to a study reported by Stanford Business, children between ages 6 to 7 benefit the most from having a stay at home mother. But they also acknowledge the benefits for older children, showing how having a parent who is at home, and active in their children’s lives helps to increase their school performance.
In the end, being productive isn’t hard. It just takes some time and effort. This sounds daunting but it’ll help in the long run.
Author Bio: This blog post was written by Jon Muller, a mechanical engineer by day and founder of Ergonomic Trends where he blogs about office productivity and ergonomics.
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