How to Plan Your Day as a work-at-home mom
I've been working from home for years and although I'd love to say I've perfected it, that would be far from the truth. But I must say, I'm pretty darn good at making a plan and executing it as well as I possibly can.
The talk of the town these days is to block your days. That might work great for someone who's single, doesn't have kids, or has an office to themselves. But for the work at home mom, mamapreneur, boss-babe with her hands in too many activities, it's just plain impossible. What I would like to suggest is mini-blocks. AKA get as much done in one area as fast as you can... kidding kidding... well, sorta.
Depending on how old your kids are and whether or not they are at school, you'll have to have some flexibility. I like to come up with plan A and know that plan B, C, D, or even Z is ok. I will not die if things don't go as planned. Give yourself grace, mama!
Shoot for the stars
Plan your day as if anything is possible. Approach your day as if you're going to slay every single thing on your to-do list, but give yourself grace for the things that don't get done.
An amazing day starts the day before. Take care of yourself! Make sure you're getting a good night's sleep. I highly recommend the book Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. It completely changed my sleeping habits and I am getting the best sleep I've gotten in years.
Part of my evening routine is winding down about an hour before. Try to avoid watching TV or being on your phone. Turn down the lights and spend some time reflecting on the day and writing out your plan in your planner for the next day.
Below, you'll see an example of how I use my Purposeful Planner. The blocks outlined in pink are my mini blocks that I use to tackle my must-dos and my projects. Also, if you don't have children, this is still a great system for planning your day ;)
First, get it all out of your head. I always always always start with my brain dump. It's probably my favorite feature in the Purposeful Planner! 16 lines to write down ALL. THE. THINGS. From this list, I choose the three most important things that need to get done that day.
Second, jot down the 3 most important things that need to get done. For me, these things are my must do's. Whether it's clean out the fridge, send out a newsletter, or design a new product, it has to be done. Now, I wouldn't necessarily add "design a new product" to my top three, but I might have one aspect to the process on my top three. You get my drift.
Third, jot down the things you know you need to do to survive and what time you plan on doing them. For me, these are things like reading my Bible, going for a walk, eating, etc.
My kids are older and more self sufficient now but this is where you would add in waking them up, dropping off at school, sports, etc.
Use the blocks of time in-between for your daily tasks and whatever important projects you're working on. My projects are all planned out ahead of time with my Purpose Babe Business Planner and I use that to decide which ones I'll be working on each day. I know I need to spend time on social media every day so I schedule about 30-60 min to work on just that.
Each day, my goal is to have the top three done by lunch time so I can get some of my brain dump list done in the afternoon.
Most importantly, have an end time to your work days. It doesn't have to necessarily be the same exact time each day, but whatever you decide to do, stick to it.
Look over your schedule and transfer anything from the brain dump that didn't get finished to the next day's brain dump.
Cross off EVERY LITTLE THING you did that day! It's ok if you have to write something down just to cross it off. You know you do that! I sure do! ;)
Be sure you're taking breaks throughout the day. Get out of the house, go for a walk, read for pleasure, mediate, you name it. If you aren't taking some time to break up your day and take care of yourself, you're going to end up burned out and exhausted.
It's also important to be prepared for the seasons. If you know you have a busy season with work, be prepared for it. And when you don't have a busy season, take advantage of the time for rest. If you're struggling with work-life balance, read this.
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