When I started the idea for this blog several months ago, I knew that it was going to take a lot of effort on my part. It’s the summer and the kids are home from school. How am I supposed to find time to write when the house is hardly ever quiet, I thought.
My husband and I both want this venture to provide enough income for us so that he can make a career change. With that goal in mind, I needed to be serious about creating a plan for when I was going to write. After all, writing content is the most important part about blogging. Without content, you have nothing.
Last week, I set aside time to create a schedule. I created a work schedule and a household chore chart. If you work from home and want to get serious about taking your business to the next level, I absolutely recommend reading the guidelines below for creating your own schedule.
Set your work hours. The main reason why working from home is appealing is because you get to work a flexible schedule around your own life. But that doesn’t mean you should “work when you feel like it” or “when the inspiration strikes.”
Before I set my hours, my brain was always on work. I was always thinking, “Okay, what can I do now?” I was working with the flow, I guess you can say. I was doing things as ideas popped into my head. And I was also finding it difficult to stop thinking about work. Because I couldn’t turn it off and wasn’t planning my time well, I was staying up way too late.
Creating working hours brought balance back to my life! I now write on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9 am – 5 pm (with an hour lunch break) and devote that time only to writing content. I don’t allow myself to get distracted with chores and household responsibilities during those times. Of course, with the kids home from school, I have to plan their activities so that they can give me my quiet time, but it hasn’t been very difficult to accomplish. Overall, I’m making great progress. Just two weeks ago, I was scratching my head wondering what am I going to write about and now, because I’m allowing my brain to rest, I’ve got so many ideas for blog posts! Setting hours for myself has seemed to help keep the creative juices flowing!
Create a schedule for household chores. I’ve stayed at home with my kids on and off over the years and I’ve always struggled with getting the chores done in a way that I’m happy about. Sure my house is clean when guests visit, but that’s because I make sure of that. During the normal everyday, I’d always walk past something and think, “When was the last time I did … I need to do that… I need to fix that …” It’s never ending!
My chore chart for the house split the chores among the family members that are old enough to help and I assigned age appropriate chores for each of us. I only assigned chores to be completed on weekdays, not weekends to free up the days that are mostly spent as a family. I also assigned the biggest job – laundry – for Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days when I’m not writing.
Now that the schedule is complete, depending on what day it is, I complete only the chores for that day. If I see something in the house that needs attention, I’ll recall that I’m supposed to take care of that job on such-in-such day and I relax. Yes, I can relax!
When I told my grandmother about this, she smiled and said she used to do the same thing (before she was physically unable to clean). She would complete certain household tasks on certain days, such as dusting on Tuesdays and vacuuming on Wednesdays, etc.
Overtime, Ill get so used to what chore happens when that it’ll just become a habit. For chores that aren’t going to be done weekly, I picked a day of the month to do them and wrote them down on the calendar. That way I don’t have to guess when I last cleaned the shower, for instance.
Make your days work for you. Remember that working from home isn’t like a traditional job where you must report to a boss (unless you have a work from home job). If something comes up, and it will, be flexible and try not to let life circumstances interfere with your need to get work done. For instance, if the kids get sick, which they will, rearrange your days so that you can accommodate the schedule change and still do what needs to be done for your business.
This week, my youngest was ill over the weekend and my writing days were reduced to Wednesday and Friday. While these types of scheduling issues might be annoying, they aren’t the end of the world and I must adapt and keep a positive attitude about it. I like to remind myself that I’m doing something I want to do because I know that it will benefit my family in the long run.
And I won’t let anything get in my way.
Do you have any advice or tips for how to make working from home more efficient and productive?