Working from home was something most of us had to experience last year - if you weren't already doing it. One of the perks of my job is that 80% of it is done from my house - with or without a pandemic. And while it seems so nice to be able to wake up and get to work with no commute, you know how hard that is if you have kids. With Danny working full time out of the house and me working at home with all the kids sometimes it's a miracle I'm able to get anything done. Lucky for me I've had time to ease into this and figure out my growing pains every time we had a baby. (And also look back at pre-kid Whitney and wonder what the heck I even did with all my free time?!)
I put "balance" in quotations because honestly there is no way to balance everything work and home related. There is always going to be something that lacks that week. Maybe it's the dishes or laundry, or maybe we ate out way too much. Sometimes I'm late to posting a blog or miss a day completely. My point is, there's no way you can do it all. Once you let go of that crazy idea, things become much more easier to maintain - which is how these tips came about.
1. Designate a separate work space.
I'm lucky in that I have space in my house to have an office in the basement for me to work (and listen to kids play and fight from the next room. ha!) But even more than that, I choose to work off a Desktop. Not just for the specs and storage space, but so that I couldn't bring it with me everywhere. I'll admit, sometimes when I'm upstairs and the kids are happy and playing, I think how nice it would be to be able to pull out a laptop and get to work. In fact, I used to do that in the past. But it became too hard for my brain to distinguish work hours from play hours. I ended up being a mediocre mom, wife and business owner trying to wear all three hats at once. By distinguishing a set work space I'm able to focus on one job at a time.
2. Set office hours.
This one is hard - especially when a lot of my business is social media related or done from my phone. It took a lot of rewiring in my brain to accept that I don't need to be accessible 24/7. I had to give myself examples of, "If I were to call XX business right now, I wouldn't get through and would have to wait until someone was in office to take my call." So now I don't respond to emails until the morning. It also helps me to maintain my separate work space mentality.
3. Find or accept help when needed.
Having kids, home responsibilities, and managing a business is a lot of work. You can't do it all and it's ok to ask or accept help. One of the best things to happen for my business was paying my sister to come over and watch the boys for an hour or two. Having that uninterrupted time was golden and helped me stay on top of my tasks. There's also no shame in having someone come in and do a quick clean for you. When my house is messy or cluttered I can't work (which is another point for separate work spaces - I can close the door and not see the mess!) Having messy counters or things piled up gives me anxiety and I shut down and instead, nothing gets done. Calling in for reinforcements doesn't mean you've "failed" it just means you're smart enough to recognize when you need a little more help to accomplish your goals.