Last Updated on by Vanessa Cast

Time to read: 7 min

10 hacks for Work-at-home Parents

 

Having kids at home and getting work done is harder than losing weight in December.

Especially if the work you need to do requires concentration.

The things our kids demand from us are different depending on their age, this is not a secret. It’s not the same having a baby (0-12mos) a toddler (1-3yrs) or a preschooler (3-5yrs).

In any case, we’re pretty much busy or tired all the time.

One of the most stressful things is trying to concentrate on some important task or phone call and having our kids playing and yelling around us.

We feel more like the woman on the left than the woman on the right… (the woman on the right, I mean, come on! Are you even real?)

wahm

Having to continuously jump between work and parenting it’s exhausting.

Imagine that you get into that perfect moment where your creative juices are flowing, and suddenly you need to stop to attend some urgency about a broken toy or help your kids decide who is more powerful? Ironman or Hulk.

Sound familiar?

Getting in and out of that moment of full concentration will drive you crazy

This is something really easy to do if you work in an office, but when your office is your living-room, things get complicated.

However, having a 9-5 or working away from home isn’t what we want, in the end, we’re working from home because we want to spend more time with our kids and raise them following our own schedule and not our boss’.

We want to be around for more of the special moments and milestones.

The hard truth is that working from home is not easy. First thing, you need to STOP that cycle of comparison with other Moms, everybody has their challenges and nobody is perfect. Click To Tweet

Don’t believe everything you read or see out there, just follow your instinct.

You need to make peace with yourself and try your best.

So… what do you think if we do everything possible to make this thing work for them and for us?

Let’s give it a try to each available strategy.

I’ve been where you are right now, struggling to launch my business and raise my kid at the same time (he is 5 now).

That’s why I want to share some strategies that worked for me and some others that worked for amazing moms I’ve met along the way.

 

Top 10 hacks to get things done for work-at-home parents

 

1. The top priority for the day

Most of the time we have a neverending To-Do list… but let’s be honest, we’ll never reach the bottom of our To-Do list, things keep coming in faster than we can kick them out.

You need to identify your milestone for the day, that thing that will move your business forward and cause more impact.

Never sacrifice the important for the urgent Click To Tweet

 

2. Eat that frog!

Brian Tracy explains this perfectly:


“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your β€œfrog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.”


If you have more than one frog, eat the ugliest one first!

So, start your day with the task you fear the most and stay focused until you finished.

You’ll love the positive feeling of completing this task early on the day, and that feeling will be with you during the whole day.

There is no better way to start a day than eating a frog… mmm, I’m sure Kermit wouldn’t agree πŸ™‚

 

3. The Focus Funnel

Once I learned this from Rory Vaden, the way I approach every task changed dramatically.

He is the creator of the Focus Funnel.

The idea is that you take every task in your To-Do list and put it into the Focus Funnel.

Can I eliminate this task?

Can I automate this task?

Can I delegate this task?

Do I need to do this task now or can I do it later?

Based on your answer to each one of these questions, you’ll know how to approach each task.

 

He is the author of Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to get the most out of their day.

 

4. Identify your best hours

I’m an early bird, when the world is still sleeping is when I’m more creative. If I have to work on a new project or think about new strategies for my business, the earlier the better.

On the other hand, after 9 pm I can barely form a sentence. My creativity/productivity drops as the day moves forward.

I usually use night hours for Robot-tasks, like checking my email & comments/requests on social media.

It’s like going to the gym, some people prefer to workout in the morning before going to work, while others prefer to workout after office hours.

Identify your best hours and reserve it for the most important tasks.

 

5. Beware of the Internet rabbit hole

I start working on a new blog post about workout routines for busy people, so I start my Internet search adventure, one thing takes to another and suddenly I found myself playing Quick, Draw!

Can you relate to this?

Sometimes I try to reverse engineering everything I did, just to find out how I managed to end in some random website. I do this, to desperately avoid falling into that behavior again, but the truth is that this reverse engineering thing is also kind of addictive. Be careful!

This is just an example, there are also some moments when you think – “mmm let me run a quick check on my Facebook notifications and suddenly you found yourself checking an old photo album from a random Facebook friend…”

Oh my god! 30 minutes of time just vanished in front of my eyes… and with kids around, there is no time to waste.

When we fell into the social media rabbit hole, we feel frustrated, sad and our self-esteem drops, sometimes it feels like an addiction. Click To Tweet

The most important part is to identify this moment and quickly stop it.

If you feel identified with this behavior, you can give it a try to the Pomodoro Technique.

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

This technique will give you small breaks, and at the same time, the clock will improve your commitment to getting the job done.

Personally, I use KanbanFlow.com. It’s free and you can track your tasks and sub-tasks. It also includes a Pomodoro Timer. Every time you need to manually stop de timer, you can pick the cause of this interruption, and get a really nice report showing the main causes of these interruptions.

 

6. Getting Your Kids Busy

You can organize daily tasks for your kids This will give you some more time to work on your project and at the same time help your kids to be more responsible and independent.

The guys from VeryWellFamily.com propose 10 nice activities for kids of all ages, while you work at home.

They will be doing something more meaningful than just watching T.V. or acting like crazy balls of infinite energy flying around you.

 

7. Find a Community

Working from home let you have your own schedule and manage your time according to your priorities, this is a very nice thing.

However, there are some moments where you can feel lost, being a work-at-home-mom isn’t an easy thing to do and sometimes your own family can add more pressure.

Parents telling you to get a real job, some friends don’t understand why are you always so busy and if you have pressure to earn some money quickly, things can get nasty…

You start having second thoughts about everything you do.

Finding a community of people who are doing the same thing you’re trying to do will help you A LOT!

This was a game changer for me, sharing my experience with all these moms helped me understand that each one of them, and I mean, each one, has felt the same way at some point.

This is a hell of a journey, and trust me, you need support. There are great Facebook Groups out there where you can find this support.

You can also find groups close to where you live.

I found that all these moms are very supportive and I’m so grateful to found them.

Here is my Facebook Page: Mompreneur & Girlboss Support Tribe. Please… feel free to send me a message at any time, don’t give up.

 

8. Get Help

Don’t be afraid of asking your parents, brothers or close friends to take care of your kids for a couple of hours. Sometimes this is all you need to complete some tasks.

If you have a friend who has kids, you can help each other.

For example, you can take care of her kids on Tuesday and she can take care of yours on Thursday.

People are more willing to help than you think, all you need to do is ask for help.

 

9. Go Outside

Dress yourself up, go out and work at your favorite coffee shop or library.

We can easily get caught in the trap of stay at home wearing our pajamas all day long.

Being a Work-At-Home-Mom doesn't mean stay at home all day long. Click To Tweet

Changing the location from time to time will help you be more creative and trust me, your mental health will improve πŸ™‚

Additionally, taking a shower and get dress will put your brain into productivity mode

 

10. Take Care of Yourself

With the amount of work and pressure we put on ourselves, we can easily forget about our health.

It’s not only about us, remember those little ones who need us. You need to start taking care of yourself.

Workout regularly, if you don’t have time or money to go to a gym, no problem, with just some minutes a day is enough.

You can find amazing mobile apps and videos on youtube with workout routines for every level. What is important is to be consistent.

Healthy food, I’m not going to tell you what to eat, I’m sure you already know what you are doing wrong.

Another important piece in a healthy life is your mind, the quality of your thoughts.

Surround yourself with positive people, people who bring the best out of you.

Get rid of the toxic ones, you don’t need that kind of energy in your life.

If you like meditation, let me recommend you Headspace. This amazing app can be downloaded for IOS and Android. A free version is available.

Remember that these are only some things that have worked for me and others, you don’t need to get crazy trying to apply all of them at the same time, just start with the ones that make more sense to you and of course you can create your own ones.

 

Leave a comment and let me know!

I wish you happiness, love and the courage to live your life according to your priorities β™₯

Vanessa Cast Signature


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