When you are a work-at-home mom, you actually have two jobs and you do them both at once. You’re also well-aware that one of your jobs will end sooner or later in the day, but the other, not so much, especially since you’re dealing with unpredictable and demanding clients that are your children. In order to navigate these two-job waters, you need super-mom powers. As a mom you already have them, but everyone can use some help every now and then. Life-hacks should actually be called lifesavers, because that’s truly what they are, so stay tuned and discover the ultimate ones that will make both parts of your life live in perfect harmony.
Rise and shine
One of the best things you can do for your work and productivity levels is to get an early start. Wake up before your children do and have a cup of coffee in peace, a quick breakfast bite, and get down to work. When you have at least an hour of uninterrupted work time, you will feel less stressed and burdened knowing that at least a portion of it is checked off. On top of that, once you get the ball rolling it’s far easier to pick up where you left off. As soon as the kids are up, you’ll be busy with diaper changes, breakfast, the works, but it will bother you less because you know you’ve already completed a chunk and you’ll get back to it once the first ‘round’ of your second job is done.
Organize and declutter
One of the first things you need to realize is that, as a work-at-home-mom, your house will almost never be impeccably clean. The second thing to understand is that it’s completely fine. A little dust and a messy bathroom will get cleaned, you know that, but don’t leave your desk and go scrubbing – productivity comes first, and tidying up will happen, just later. Still, clutter-management is always a good idea as it will free up your time both long and short-term. Organize a declutter day and get your entire family to pitch in and help. Get rid of everything you don’t use and know you’ll never be using and organize the rest. This is a time to get crafty so use the shoe organizer for your kids’ school supplies. Use Pinterest for ideas on how to organize everything from your kids’ clothes to toys and make sure they understand where everything goes so when playtime is over they always return the toys to their original place. Make sure to get a handy label maker, something along the lines of DymoOnline labeler as this little thing is an organizational wizard. Label everything from boxes and shoe organizers to spices, cereal, flour, sugar, everything. Speaking of the kitchen, the most ingenious thing you can do is to place everything in glass canisters or see-through plastic containers. This makes it easier to access food and gives you insight into how much of everything you have left.
Your office, your temple
Treat your office like a sacred space. Don’t let your desk become the Bermuda Triangle where everything is there and nothing can be found. Label everything and use color-coded sets for different paperwork. Use drawer separators to ensure nothing gets crammed together, and create a gorgeous tidy flat lay. Don’t use rolltop desks or office armoires as you are bound to fall into temptation to clutter if you have a space that closes and you can pretend the clutter isn’t there. Always back up your files so you never again lose something and plummet into despair.
Stay ahead of the game
Meal preparation is one of the major distractions. That is why pre-prepping was invented, so that working moms everywhere can have a more productive existence. During the weekend, preplan all the meals for the upcoming week and buy all the groceries you need for them. After that, get even more specific and prepare all the ingredients for the following day’s meals. Chop, prepare the sauce, cut up the veggies, and refrigerate them overnight. When the next day comes, your meals are practically done as we all know that preparing the ingredients is the most time-consuming part.
Introduce the chore chart
Except for the baby, everyone else can do their share of chores. Create a chore chart or a chore wheel so you don’t feel like everything is collapsing on your head. Your partner should help, and so should the kids. Everyone is part of the team, and more often than not, kids are more than willing to help. Give them tasks you know they can complete, and divide the rest between your partner and yourself. Once you know that the entire household isn’t on your shoulders, it makes it that much easier to buckle down and get stuff done.