These practical and helpful tips are from the blog post, "Eight Time Management Tips for Work-at-Home Moms" by Melissa Culbertson.
She says, "Here are a few things I've found that help me manage my time while working from home with little ones."
Tip 1: Establish a schedule.
This really helps so that you can outline school times, meals, nap, errands and work.
Tip 2: When do you feel MOST productive?
Figure out what time of the day you get that burst of energy. Is it in the morning around 10 a.m.? Or maybe right after lunch? Or perhaps you are a night owl? Schedule the most important activities that you MUST get done during that time.
Tip 3: Use a timer.
When you sit down to do a task set the timer. Turn off Facebook, Twitter, email (a.k.a time suckers) and focus on that one task. Give yourself 15 to 20 minutes to accomplish and cross that item off your list.
Tip 4: Create a designated area for work and play.
This is so important. I used to work from the dining room table but found I was disorganized and would get more distracted. Find a place in your home where you can create a work place. It could be as simple as a small corner tucked away in your bedroom (like I have) or maybe one room dedicated to your work.
Tip 5: Use productivity apps.
I don't know about you but I live by my iPhone. All of my appointments, deadlines, school activities, etc., go into my calendar on my phone.
Tip 6: Identify daily time wasters; try to eliminate.
We all have them. Maybe it's the TV, the cell phone, or email. What do you get distracted by? Identify these items and make sure to eliminate them as best as you can. For me, it's Facebook and Twitter. I have learned if I want to get anything done, I need to turn them off. Crazy how much I can get done when I'm not tempted to tweet or check my fan pages.
Tip 7: Make time for the kids.
It's so easy when you work from home to always be thinking about deadlines, emails you need to respond to, posts that need to be written and calls that need to be made. Trying to work with little kids around is not easy especially if they feel they are being ignored. I always try to set aside time in my day (morning, mid-day and after dinner) to turn everything off and just be with the kids. We play, color, read books, and even dance around the kitchen. Then when it is time to work, they have usually had their "mom" fill and are happy to play by themselves.
Tip 8: Reward yourself!
Mothers have a hard job no matter if you work out of the house, in the home or do a little of both.
Melissa concludes, "We need to stop every once in a while, step back and realize all that we accomplish in a day. It's pretty incredible if you think about it. Remember, it's impossible to do it all ... but with a little planning, organization and prioritizing, it can help make things more manageable."