Today is the second post in the Life as a WAHM Guest Post Series and the continuation of Emma’s story (to see Emma’s first post, click here). Today Emma talks about her daily routine and how she manages to get everything done in a day.
So without further ado, here’s Emma!
Work At Home Mom And The Daily Routine
I promised I would be back to visit the readers of the lovely Melissa, so here I am. Thank you for taking the time to read my second guest post. If you haven’t read my first, you will find it if you scroll down.
What I want to explain today is how I manage to work from home, while being a mother of 4 children, a pet owner, wife and neighbour as well as how I overcome regular interruptions to my working day. People seriously don’t think twice about walking in on your time, even if they know you work from home.
Can you even imagine a neighbour travelling to your office and starting to gas bag about their ingrown toe nail or how their husband is annoying them right now, if you worked in a regular company office? No, me neither!
I am absolutely awful at organizing my time, so you can take my example and be warned rather than use it to style your working day.
I have to make sure the children are all at school before I do anything on a weekday, yet if I have managed to drag myself out of bed as soon as the alarm clock goes off, I sometimes check if I have been lucky enough to have earned anything overnight through sales or adsense. The children have to be at school by 8:40am so we leave around 8:15am to walk there. I get back around 9:10 and settle the one child that is not at school up to yet, my two year old son, Luke.
There, I am now settled to start working. What I should start doing is checking my emails and replying to them before I do anything else. Doesn’t happen! Part of being a WAHM is being disciplined. That habit actually takes practice. Before I do anything I am supposed to do, I have half an hour of guilty Facebook time. I do rectify this by logging out of my personal Facebook profile and log in to my “work” profile. I prefer to keep these separate. The bonus of this is you cannot have one of your local friends pop up and disturb you, everything is work related.
Once I have finished procrastinating, I check to see if there are any messages from my colleagues. Not that I am flooded with them, but I have great connections, and they keep me informed of changes or updates in any of the writing platforms.
Returning the favour and watching the backs of your fellow writers is part of the social etiquette of networking. Networking is essential to your business, whether you make jewellery online or write articles. The great thing about this is inevitably, personalities click, and some even become very good friends. Waking up and working alongside people you look forward to associating with really makes all the difference.
Each day is different depending on what I have chosen to work on, which I usually decide the day before. Naturally deadlines shape what you are going to be doing. Take for instance this guest post I am writing, Melissa needs it by Sunday morning, preferably earlier, so she can check it over and edit what she wishes to suit her blog layout. That makes it a priority over other targets that are more flexible.
You Can Be Too Flexible
Here is the danger in that word “flexible”, you can be so flexible that you forget where your personal deadline was originally, if you ever had one in the first place! This means your profile of articles or other projects will be a lot smaller and eventually makes a large difference over the course of a year. Imagine if procrastinating meant you were one article short a week. Over the year you would be 52 articles short, which sounds like a lot and it is! On a platform like Squidoo, the difference between 52 articles could mean your income is reduced by a significant amount.
Anyhow, back to what I do personally. By the time I have started or finished of one or two articles, I then update existing ones. There is no way I could sit there constantly with a two year old child, as I don’t have my own work space, I just use the laptop in the living room.
I have to stop and break from work regularly to make his lunch, let the dogs out to the back yard and then back in again. I also get disturbed by the woman from across the road who never had a job and probably never will. All her children are in school full time, so she is bored and thinks I must be too. I can’t wait for my son to start school as I will be going to work in my bedroom, out of the way!
I know, I am miserable, but really, these people have absolutely no regard for your business. You may come across others like this when you first start out, you just have to ride it out until you can come at them with proof of a reasonable income, or learn to ignore them. They may even give you material to write about, just remember they may accidentally find your writing and that could place you in a difficult position!
Somewhere in all of this, I find time for my own lunch, although I have no fixed time. Then it is time to get Luke ready and walk to school to fetch his sisters. It is quite impossible for me to do any more work online for a good few hours after that, mainly because of the age of the children, as they are only 11, 8, 6 and 2.
I have chores to do (I do some chores through the day, like load the washing machine, but this isn’t time consuming). I cook dinner, make sure the kids change out of their school uniforms. This is when they will inform me of anything I need to know from school.
Once they went to bed at 7:00 pm, that use to be when work began again and in an uninterrupted manner, but I have placed another object in the way as I have joined the Gym. Sitting on your rear for a large portion of the day can have adverse effects on the size of your body, yikes!
So, I find myself getting home at around 9:00 pm and working until around 11:30 pm nowadays. No one can keep this rigmarole up forever. But my youngest will be in nursery in January 2014, so I will have a very rigid two hour minimum gap that I can work in total serenity. Until then, it is a case of grab time while I can.
I hope you can see that even though my life is hectic, I do still get work done. You just have to learn to multitask and prioritize. Learn fast what works and what doesn’t.
Your time is money!