Working from home has its benefits but it can also be hard to keep clear work boundaries in place. It is all too easy to end up working longer hours as you can become distracted by other things and it’s harder to get away from your work.
If you are a busy working mother, you are juggling many balls. You are juggling work, running the home, looking after the kids, cooking and everything that goes with that and ensuring that your family eat well. Often, this juggling act can be all too overwhelming and the fact that you are not in an office means that it’s much harder to put clear boundaries in place.
Make sure working from home works for YOU.
Here are my top tips to help you work smarter and feel more in control:
- Create clear boundaries and be clear about your working hours. Create a designated area or room to work in. Don’t make or take any work calls or emails outside this time. During your working hours, don’t answer your home phone as it could be too tempting to chat to your friends or family and this will take you away from your work. Only allow urgent matters to interrupt you
- ‘Admin Time’ - set aside time for admin during your working day when you spend time doing admin type jobs including answering emails, phone calls and general tasks
- Do one task at a time - you work smarter by doing one job at a time and concentrating solely on that. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by other things and do one task at a time. Yes, it’s possible to multi task with household jobs but, when it comes to work, it's a different matter
- Recognise when you are at your most productive so that you schedule your more difficult tasks for those times of the day
- Sitting at a desk all day isn’t great for your spine or body so try to get up and walk about every hour to just move your body
- If you become frustrated or tired with something you are working on, make yourself a drink or head outside and walk round the block for 15 minutes. Even that short time frame and change of scene is enough to help bring things into clearer perspective
- Take scheduled breaks and a lunch break away from your desk which will help recharge you and give your eyes a chance to rest from your computer screen. Choose healthy snacks and lunches to avoid a post lunch slump
- In the afternoon, try to go for walk outside. Walking is a great form of exercise and getting outdoors is a real stress buster. Even if it’s a quick walk, getting out will improve your mood and productivity
- Save all your household jobs to do at lunchtime or in the evening. The washing can wait. It can be too tempting to get the house chores done but this can lead to distraction
- Write a to-do list for the next day and plan out what you will be working on. This provides a structure to your day and can prevent you from procrastinating. It can also help to reduce anxiety and any feeling of work overwhelm
By following these tips you enjoy the freedom that working from home allows but also manage your work with the minimum of stress. Also, make sure you have at least one day at the weekend when you do not do anything work related at all!