You sit down and stare at your computer… yet your mind is blank. House of Cards just came out with a new season on Netflix. Your kids are occupied but that TV is calling your name!! These time management tips for work at home moms will keep you away from Frank Underwood and instead accomplishing your own work goal.
Isolate yourself from distractions
If you get distracted easily, it’s time to cut off whatever causes you to squirrel. This could be:
- Your Phone
- Your Kids
- A messy room in your house that you had no desire to clean before but now feel a compulsive cleaning urge.
Now, all these things aren’t given up easily. I usually do the following:
- Only work with one browser tab open. No facebook. No Gmail. Everything else is closed until I’m finished.
- Put my phone on top of a bookshelf. I can still hear it ring if someone needs to get a hold of me but I’m not distracted by constant notifications.
- If my kids bother me or ask me a question, the answer is always: “I’m working. I can talk to you when my timer goes off.” My daughter now comes into the office, looks at my timer and then heads straight out.
- Leave the house if it’s messy. I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and put in headphones. I get so much more done in a new environment.
Set a timer
There is a saying in my barre class: “You can do anything for 10 seconds”
In a hard plank position and need to hold it for eons? No way! But just 10 seconds? Sure, I can give that a shot.
When we put an end time on our work, it tells our brain that the struggle won’t last forever. For that reason we can mentally push through all the discomfort and pain since we know it’s only for a short time.
While you can’t get much work done in 10 seconds, you would be amazed at how much you can accomplish in 25 dedicated minutes. This is called the Pomodoro Technique. You can start right now training your brain how to work in short sprints.
- Set your timer for 25 minutes and work. Keep working until your timer goes off.
- No Facebook. No Netflix. Nothing but a solid effort towards whatever you need to finish.
When the timer rings, take a short 5 minute break to do whatever you want. Maybe you would like to sneak some chocolate chips from the pantry or scroll through your Facebook feed. Anything you want! The time is yours.
Then, set the timer for another 25 minutes and work again.
Setting your timer is especially effective if you know something good is coming. If you are finding it particularly hard to motivate yourself. Give yourself a little treat at the end of each time block.
- A Starbucks beverage of some kind
- Homemade iced chai
- A few pieces of candy
- A walk with your dog around the block
- Flipping through a favorite magazine
- While I don’t suggest rewards all the time – since they stop being effective after a while – they will help when you just feel like lying in bed and staring at Netflix.
Read….then read some more
Trying to work when you are not feeling it is like trying to run a car when the gas tank is empty. Something in you is missing.
I like to think it’s inspiration. And that’s a very easy thing to replenish.
I read. Specifically, I read business books featuring people who have overcome some hopeless situation and become super successful.
My favorites that you need to find and read IMMEDIATELY are:
I have many more that I could talk on and on about. Every night, I read from my Kindle in bed. I find that even if I have a tough day, I’m always ready to tackle the next day with grit and determination because these books are so incredibly motivating.
Working from home isn’t easy, but it is doable. Make sure you turn off all distractions, reward yourself, set a timer to work in quick spurts and read. Especially read. As an entrepreneur, the most important aspect of your job to protect is your confidence. When you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.