Well, working from home, while sitting in your pajama’s….it’s quiet a pleasurable job as well as for some a bit difficult one too. This new term is coined in the dictionary as “Mumpreneur.” (and their counterpats as Dadpreneur)
Working at professional jobs prior to marriages or becoming a mom and later being made redundant to stay at home is at times a killing frustration to many women. Yet to many women, it’s not a choice. Everyone has three kinds of life, a social, a personal as well as a secret life. Women too have their personal lives and dreams, which they ought to fulfill. Some get support from husband and family and gain their professional jobs back but for others things fall bit apart. But anyhow they don’t need to shatter their dreams and die out of frustration. The thing is some of them have to change their professions but some can regain into the same professions depending on the work they choose and love to do.
They can have better options in the best environment, i.e. working in their pajamas from their home as well as looking after their kids. But here’ a little drawback as Lisa Kanarek, founder of working naked.com says, “when you start working from home, you’re stripped of any support you may have had in your corporate job, including an administrative assistant, technical staff and co-workers to help you brainstorm. In other words, you’re left naked.”
With the integration of technology and innovation into our work and home lives, there are so many possible combinations of working environment for Moms (and Dads too.) Working from home gives you a lot of comfort and you can take care of your kids as well. As it is the mother who can nurture a child in the best way and no other one can. Leaving your child in a child care or with a nanny is far more unsafe and risky when we hear and read so many improper caring activities in news today. One can manage her home responsibilities as well as can work in the best time suited to her and that too in the comfort of her pajamas.
For some people it can be difficult to work from home but for me it’s the easiest and the pleasurable task I can have being a mom. You just have to develop certain habits and follow certain tricks. You have to make your habits so easy that you can’t say no. When people ask, “do you work somewhere? And what you do whole day at home”, it’s quiet annoying, but if you work from home you have a double dip, you can possibly say yes I work and working at home with all comforts and looking after your kids.
Make a different mindset if you are really passionate to work. It’s the mindset to work which gives you energy and enthusiasm to work and never makes you tired. It’s only the lazy mindset of not to work which keeps making excuses and stops you to work and create hindrance.
Working from home has some prons and cons as any other things can have. While working from home you can save lot of time you spend while commuting, you can look after your kids, you don’t have to work 9 to 5 ignoring all other duties, you save on commuting costs, etc. On the other hand you have many distractions too while being at home, may be from the family members or your kids, or someone visiting your home or may be phone calls and sometimes you yourself being lazy.
For moms it’s a bit difficult to wake up and start your work early morning as they are responsible for many works before they can just peep out for their personal preferences. They had to prepare breakfast, make get ready preparations for husbands, make kids ready for schools and feed them at intervals if they are infants or toddlers before they can think to work for themselves. But if you have a mindset to work, no one can stop you, but for that you have to follow certain habits and tricks.
Here are few of them:
1. Early rising: Early rising gives you the extra time which everyone is not provided for, it’s always a choice. When the world is calm and peaceful and your mind is clear, your mind produces more creative thoughts and you can work more productively and produce results. With The 7 Minute Life you can take small steps every day, that translate into big life changes, says Allyson Lewis, the founder of the7minutelife.com. Waking 7 minutes earlier each day can give you time to plan your day and provide you extra time than others. Even the successful people like Richard Branson, President Obama and the PM Narendra Modi have the same time which you have, they only manage their activities well within those given hours.
2. Some exercise and meditation: Keep yourself healthy, drink lots of water and take out time for some exercise, walk and meditation as you remain in your home, so go out and inhale some fresh air.
3. Follow 5 before 11: This deceptively simple practice of achieving 5 high value tasks everyday before 11 a.m. is incredibly powerful. In fact, this one practice alone can easily double your productivity.
4. Preparing well in advance: Plan your day a night before. For moms plan for the breakfast a night before.
5. Be a learner: Keep learning from the other work at home workers and keep looking what works for them and how can it work for you. Some tasks are to be multitasked and some to be prioritized in order to produce more in less time. Keep the thinking process on the go.
6. Organizing wardrobes: So that you don’t waste time choosing your apparels and accessories, however being at home you don’t need to care much on this area.
7. Organize things: There should be a place for everything and everything should be in it’s place – so that the things are found in case of requirements and you don’t waste time finding them.
8. Develop habits: Make certain habits to sit for work that you can’t say no – like taking a cup of coffee or tea after lunch and sitting at your workplace in a mood to work.
9. Be prepared for some mishaps: Sometimes multitasking – Co-working with kids is sometimes fun and sometimes distractions, be prepared to be interrupted and sometimes your work to be spoiled. Make your infants and toddlers so comfortable that they play well and don’t panic, cry and interrupt or arrange a baby sitter. However, toddlers can help you a lot by their mini acts.
10. Prioritize and focus on your goals and activities: Make it work. Be focused and finish one task at a time before you leap on another one. There are people who start one task and then bounce to another one almost completing around 95% to 98% of the previous one in order to get perfect. There is nothing perfect as such. I was the perfect example of that. Finally, I made myself focused and now can achieve the results. Some days I’m more productive than others, but overall I’m more productive than I used to be.
11. Schedule your work time: Set office hours and make your naptime your work-time. Schedule your work around your child’s nap time or another caretaker’s schedule, so that you can work uninterrupted.
12. Don’t plan to work all day: Carve out some time to be just mom of your kid – Go for a walk or visit your kids friend or take your kid out to a park or a play zone as kids play and learn with the kids more than with elders. Mother is the only best teacher for a kid, so just cherish your days with your kid.
13. Just enjoy what you do: Live in present and enjoy what you do, don’t panic and get frustrated if you can’t work enjoy being a mom as your kid is not going to remain the kid forever and this time in not going to come back again, cherish it with your kids.
14. Make time to relax too and take out a little time for yourself: If you are working all the time, you are actually not working. Make time for yourself, take out some time to relax and stretch, which will help you both physically and mentally, think about the progress of your work, think and plan about the next actions, make yourself cool and take proper naps as required by the biological needs of your body.
15. Neither all fingers are equal nor are all days: You just have to face certain days that you can’t even sit for small time to work, let it be. Commonly weekends for when some friends are visiting your home, you hardly find time to work. Just enjoy whatever comes your way. Just enjoy that time with your family. Give your best and enjoy the rest. Don’t run after your work. Make it as free just as your hobby. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you can hardly sit for some work only after the bedtime.
16. Managing Distractions: One winning strategy is simply to accept that you’ll never be 100 percent productive. That makes it easier to be in control of your “mind-wandering” time at work, and keep it under control. Never underestimate the gravitational pull of a kitchen or a comfy bed. Create a difference between your work area and the living area, if there are other members at home – or when the kids are little grown up. You need to make a difference between your work area without any disturbances from kids and other family members during work hours. Having pre-planned schedules for snacks, children’s activities etc, can help minimize distractions although it’s up to you to stay focused.
17. Delegate all that you can: Delegating things to assistants can drastically improve your productivity. Sourcing care for your children by employing a babysitter for just few hours can provide you time to work and be productive.
18. Be flexible and Organized: You must be flexible according to the changing needs of your child. Make your working hours most productive by prioritizing your work. Make a “To do list” and work accordingly. Don’t indulge on e-mails and social networks or the other stuffs on the internet, or the android apps popular these days, limit your time for these activities and don’t keep looking for a new e-mail for the number of times if you wish to successfully work from home.
19. Set achievable goals: Don’t make unrealistic goals. By getting a little success don’t overstress your work and don’t expect yourself to work to the extreme limits. Keep your workload to a sustainable level and set realistic deadlines.
20. Stay focused: Whenever you feel low, or lack motivation, just think why you ever started, and it will automatically boost your morale. By not getting success for a little long time, don’t be disappointed, relax and have an introspection where you lacked and what steps you can take to improve and get over to succeed.
21. Be laptop savvy: Since the majority of your work will be done on your laptop, you will need to be laptop savvy. You should know everything from learning how to use different software, to updating programs, and keeping your laptop running smoothly. A broken down system or internet connection equals no work getting done, therefore you need to be able to navigate your way around tech issues and concerns. Make sure you have all the equipment you need to run your business, including a fast computer, a scanner, printer, copier and fax, and a reliable backup system, for starters.
22. Brush up your communication skills: As most of the time you will be working through e-mails and messages you need to be careful about your communication skills. Keep it simple and short (KISS) with only the relevant matters and make sure that you are able to convey what you mean clearly and concisely.
23. Communicate your work time with your family: Communicate with your loved ones that you are working and ask them not to call you unless it’s urgent.
24. Set up a Skype friendly environment: Make sure your workplace looks professional and pleasant. Make sure you stay connected and are readily available at times of need.
25. Maintain your network: Connecting and maintaining your network should be in your To Do List. As you stay home it is required to stay connected and leverage the benefits of networking.
It has to be a balance you have to make with your work and your family. It’s all that I can say about working from home while looking after kids. What else can you add up to the list? Feel free to leave a comment.