Mums The Boss – The Blog

Posts Tagged ‘work from home

PH01449JNow that we have officially arrived in summer holiday territory, many of us will have calenders crammed with numerous children events, outings, meet ups, sleep overs etc…..and you may be beginning to wonder ‘How am I ever going to fit in any work?’. Most of us are self-employed because of the flexibility this affords us to be able to be with the children during their holidays. But how do you keep everything ticking along?

Nobody said it was going to be easy….but mums are incredibly clever at multi-tasking and time management, and work at home mums even more so. Try not to feel guilty about finding time to do some work – you are still spending more time with your children than normal, and it is good for them to know you have to work sometimes, and that it is for the whole family’s benefit in the long run.

So – how do you do it? Here are some ideas from us to help you squeeze in some work whilst enjoying the holidays with your offspring;

  1. Family – Grandparents and other relatives are often happy to help – sometimes they are just waiting to be asked. Even if it is a trip to the park, a picnic or going with Gran to do some shopping, children enjoy being with other people.  And you’ll be amazed at what YOU can achieve in an uninterrupted hour! 
  2. Friends – Most parents have friends with children of similar ages. Try and plan some time when you will look after each other’s children – the children enjoy having friends over and sometimes having extra children can be less work as they play together rather than needing you to entertain them. For the parents it frees up small pockets of time to get some phone calls made or other ‘work’ which is harder to do when the children are around. 
  3. Time Out – Plan ‘quiet time’ into each day at home. If you still have children who nap, excellent. If your children no longer nap there is no reason why 20 – 30minutes playing quietly in their room cannot become a normal part of the day. When everyone is home together without the pre-school/school/nursery routines, some time apart can prevent the family niggles that build up when spending so much time together. This time can be used to check and answer any important emails each day.
  4. Holiday Clubs – If you can, why not look at local holiday clubs – some have very flexible arrangements and even if it is 1 morning a week you will manage to get a huge amount achieved. It is also a good way for the children to play with other children and be entertained in a different environment. Some Local Authorities also run very low cost summer play schemes in parks for older children.
  5. Evenings – All WAHM’s are familiar with working in the evenings once the kids are in bed. If you have a supportive partner maybe they can be persuaded to take over the tea, bath & bedtime routine a couple of nights a week – that way you can get some work done – and still spend some  evening time with them.
  6. Weekends – Weekends are great for family time, but also a great time to steal a couple of quiet hours to keep the business ticking over. If you have somewhere quiet to work at home that helps. If not, persuading the rest of the family to go to the park for an hour or two will help your concentration.
  7. Planning/Lists – take a notebook with you whenever you take the kids out. Any spare time you have while they play can be turned into a great ‘list making/planning’ opportunity. You can keep one eye on them whilst jotting down ideas and things that need to be done later.
  8. TV – Whilst we are not advocating your children spend the entire summer spent watching it, it can be a valuable tool for the WAHM. If your children will sit and watch favourite programs  or a DVD  then use that time to your advantage. 
  9. Organisation – Be ultra organised – have a clear idea of what is a priority and what the minimum amount is to achieve. Use time without children around to make phone calls and do tasks that require full concentration. Use other times to work on the computer and send emails as it doesn’t matter if you get interrupted. Keep a list and enjoy ticking things off, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
  10. Take a break! – Have a holiday yourself – you are entitled and you certainly deserve it!  If you were employed then it is likely you would be taking a break at some point.  Don’t forget the reason for working at home is to be with the children and enjoy the holiday times.

Hopefully some of the above tips will help keep your productivity levels up this summer – as well as your sanity! And if you have any good tips to share – don’t be shy – leave a comment!

Simple Approach coversContinuing our series of book reviews, we now turn to the Everywoman collection of Simple Approach pocket book business guides.

The Everywoman website offers ‘advice, tools and networking for business success’ including  practical tips, fact sheets and useful online tools to help you grow your business. Their handy set of 8 pocket books covers a whole range of areas which are all important for anyone with their own business. The ones that I chose to read first were those that related directly to my WAHM status; Work well from home, Manage your Time and Balance your life and work.

There were some interesting ‘questionnaire’ activities which forced me to be very honest about how I spend my time, and how effectively.  The overall  tone of the books is very straight forward and helpful, and there were occasions when I thought ‘Of course – that’s just common sense’  but it had been lost or missed by me because I was too involved with what I was doing.  The use of bullet points and headings gave a clarity which appealed to me and made it very easy to read rather than be faced with pages of close type.

The books are a  very handy size, both in page number (between 80 and 90) and in dimensions which was great as I was able to have one stashed in my handbag to read in 5 minute bursts whilst waiting for the children to come out of pre-school, running a bath etc. 

All the books have been contributed to by a panel of leading businesswomen who were chosen for their expertise to offer their ‘words of wisdom’. The books are very direct and clear. They offer step by step advice, common mistakes to avoid,  and a useful summary at the end of each chapter.

Other titles in the series include Assert yourself, Deal with Stress, Give Great Presentations, Interview others and Succeed as a new leader. For more information please visit the Everywoman website at http://www.everywoman.com/ResourcesAdvice/Books/


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