A little over three years ago, I started my journey as a work from home mom, and oh the things I’ve learned since then. From the nap time hustle, to client meetings while simultaneously entertaining a toddler, and getting things done in the fringe hours. What was meant to be a “season” in my life will soon become my long-term reality. As we transition from public school to homeschool this year, I acknowledge that I’m not only once again faced with that “mompreneur” life, but I’m adding “mom educator” to my list of accolades.
The weight of this new responsibility is not lost on me, and it is not a decision we made lightly. However, it is one that I’m really excited to take on! That being said, I can’t simply let go of the responsibilities I already have on a daily basis. As a mom, I want to make sure that I am dedicating as much time and energy to my daughter as possible. As a business owner, I also need to make sure that my clients are well taken care of and my work remains quality and is completed in a timely manner. As a wife, my home still requires my time and attention before the dust bunnies take over and the laundry pile grows.
There are a few simple steps that have helped me create a flexible routine that works for our life and complements our days. As we tackle this new responsibility of homeschooling, I find myself going back to the beginning and re-evaluating what worked, what didn’t work, and what needs to change.
ACKNOWLEDGE DAILY PRIORITIES
You know that meme that’s floated around the internet for the past several years, about how we all have the same 24 hours as Beyonce? Well, it’s not even a little bit true. Obviously, we all have 24 hours in a day, but what that meme fails to acknowledge is what we have to prioritize in that time. As a rising teen star, I’m not sure Beyonce ever prioritized laundry, meal planning or cleaning her home.
As a wife and mom, I have priorities outside of my business that I’m not currently in a position to outsource. So accomplishing these activities on a (mostly) daily basis have been crucial for creating structure and managing my time well. As I make a list of my daily priorities, I try to address what is constant in our life regardless of the time of year. Of course, we have more or less going on depending on the season, but these things must get done despite everything else.
- Self Care/Exercise
- Home Routine (laundry, cooking, cleaning)
- Business Hours
- Homeschool Hours
CONSIDER YOUR TIME
As a paper planner girl, I love planning my days and scheduling my time. However, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that over the past three years my days rarely go as planned. Something always comes up or a task inevitably takes longer then originally expected. That’s life and it’s definitely my reality as a business owner and work from home mom.
Instead of creating a rigid schedule, I’ve learned to consider my time as it aligns with my priorities. This is also known as time blocking and allows me to create a schedule with flexibility and work in increments of time rather than according to specific tasks. The beautiful thing about time blocking according to priorities is that sometimes, priorities and time and can overlap. Just knowing how much time I invest in each area on average at least gives me a starting point to work from.
- Morning Self Care Routine (2 hours)
- Clean & Laundry (2 hours)
- School/Craft/Play Time (4 hours)
- Business work (6 hours)
As I hinted to above, I use time blocking to plan out my day. When I first started working from home, I tried to tackle my day with hourly scheduling. However, I quickly found that while it’s useful, it was also unrealistic with a toddler, two dogs and a brand new business. Instead, I realized that if I’m accomplishing the same tasks each day, I can use the method of time blocking to knock out those hourly tasks with more flexibility. It’s still helpful to assign these blocks to a portion of the day, but I no longer feel as if I’ve failed when one area of the day takes longer than another. I simply wrap up one block of priorities, and move onto the next.
I do try to schedule my blocks according to my personality and habits. I know that mornings are typically my most productive part of the day so I tend to schedule some of my least favorite or highest priority items then. I’ll start on a few hours of work then complete my workout for the day. On the other hand, I love having the chance to reset my mind later in the day before diving into those afternoon priorities. For me, this is the perfect time to take a walk or play outside with Kenna before coming back in to finish up editing a wedding and finalize my work day.
- 4-6 AM (2 hours)
- Self Care
- 6-7:30 AM (1.5 hours)
- 8-9 AM (1 hour)
- 9-11 AM ( 2 hours)
- 9-11 AM ( 2 hours)
- Work/Play Time/Quiet Time
- 12-2 PM (2 hours)
- 2-3 PM (1 hour)
- 3-5 PM (2 hours)
- Finish up any tasks for the day and start dinner
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Out of ALL of the bullet points listed above, this may be one of the most important. As a work from home mom, my days never look perfect. My daily priorities are sometimes accomplished 3-4 days a week. Self-care in the morning occasionally gives way to finishing a blog post or editing a wedding. Cleaning the house and cooking dinner turns into an evening outside and ordering pizza. In this house and in our schedule, we make room for life to happen. Thus the fringe hours become a much needed blessing and grace is my constant companion. However, as I look at the big picture, I know that by creating a flexible routine, I never feel as if I’m dropping the ball entirely. Priorities are scheduled with plenty of room for life to happen, and our days look as beautiful as ever.