How to Stay Productive as a Work at Home Mom
Hey, boss moms! Being productive as a work at home mom is tough! To someone who has never done it before, it may seem like we have it made. But taking care of kids while meeting deadlines takes a little creativity and a whole lot of dedication.
I’m not too concerned about you having the dedication — you’re a boss mom, dedication is your middle name!
What I can help you with is getting creative with your time. And that’s exactly what I want to dive into today. I’m going to walk you through 11 different ways to stay productive as a work at home mom. Some of these you may have tried and some you may not have thought of.
And I would love to know what you do to stay productive, too! So drop those in the comments below and help your fellow mompreneurs out!
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Being Able to Work on the Go
Okay, this is probably a pretty obvious one, but you have to be able to pretty much work from anywhere. The kitchen. The bathroom. That hidden cubby in the attic.
And modern technology allows us to do just that. So I’m going to list some of the different tools I use to be able to work from wherever I need to.
Google Drive is seriously my life-line. And now with the Grammarly extension, I can edit everything on the same screen, too.
I love that you can access it from any browser and share your documents with anyone.
One way I use Drive is for all of my client paperwork. I create a shared file for each client and keep our contract, invoices, intake forms, and any other paperwork that pertains to that client in there. This way they always have access to it. And if they ask me for anything, I just have to send them the link.
Another way I use it is for course workbooks. I create these using Google Sheets, make them view only, and share the link. The student then saves their own copy and has full access to the workbook.
I also love Google Forms. I use them for reader surveys, product feedback, roundup posts, and more. It makes it super easy to keep track of everything in one place and share it with anyone I need.
Plus, with the Google Drive apps, I can work directly from my iPad, which make working with my kid around so much easier.
Which brings me to my next point. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when my kid sees me on my computer, he’s all over me. And forget trying to sit at my desk while he’s around.
But he’s totally cool with me working from my iPad. But unless you have the patience of a saint, there’s no way you’re writing much of anything with the onscreen keyboard.
Enter the Bluetooth keyboard. There are a ton of these on the market but use the New Trent model. My old boss had one and it worked great for him, so I didn’t see the point of spending three times as much for one. The battery lasts forever (I can’t remember the last time I charged it) and the keyboard part can either be removed or folded under when not in use.
Working from home, though, takes some pretty solid organization. Especially if you’re constantly hopping between your kids and work.
So how do we keep it all organized? With Trello, of course!
I am seriously having a love affair with this app, I use it for everything. I have my entire editorial calendar in it. All my project templates. My weekly schedule. All of my different promotions, launches, challenges, boot camps, and more.
It basically allows me to schedule out absolutely everything that I need to get done and when. Its drag and drop capabilities allow me to make any changes in a split second, even within the calendar itself.
I can also use it between all of my devices, so I stay on top of everything.
Click here to read more about how I use Trello for basically everything in my life!
Staying Productive on the Fly
Now that we’ve gone over some of the tools for staying productive, let’s look at a few techniques to help you out.
One aspect of being a work at home mom that I think is the most challenging is the inconsistency. It’s difficult to schedule meetings or phone calls because you are never certain what will be happening at that time.
But in order to hold things together, you need to have some systems in place.
Most productivity coaches will tell you that it’s incredibly important to plan your week out. And I absolutely agree with this. But if you can’t predict what your week is going to look like, it’s pretty difficult to plan what you’re going to get done, right?
So I would encourage you to still take a few minutes on Sunday (or whichever day is best for you) and pinpoint the main things you need to get to that week. Try to only choose a few things that you will actually be able to get done.
Then, take a few minutes every night and check in with yourself. What have you gotten done so far this week? What can you focus on tomorrow?
This allows you to be more flexible with your planning, but you are still focused on what needs to get done.
Trello would be an excellent way to do this. Create a weekly board. Inside of it have a to-do card for the week, and then a card for every day. You can then tentatively plan out what you will do each day, but easily move the cards around each night as needed. You could also throw an extra item or two on the to-do board in case you have time to get more done than you anticipated.
Click here to read more on how I use Trello to plan out my week.
Social Media Marketing on the Go
I’m to the point where I pretty much limit my social media to my phone. This way I’m not killing valuable time on my computer finishing retweet threads. Something like that I can easily do with one hand while I have a Pooh puppet on the other. As long as Pooh keeps moving, he rarely notices. I’m like 65% joking here.
Back to the point, though. I drop all my social media posts in the morning and work on them throughout the day when I get the chance. This is usually around lunch and then again in the evening. I can always finish them up at night when I’m watching TV or listening to a podcast.
Education When You Can
Which brings me to my next point. I am huge on keeping myself educated on all things business. I have absolutely no background in this, so I’ve had to teach myself a lot. And I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
No, I don’t have time to watch 10 webinars a day. But I can listen to podcasts when I’m driving. Or doing the dishes. Whenever I’m doing something, and I can be listening to something else, I do.
There are of course certain trainings that require my full attention, and they get it. But it never hurts to consume information when you’re doing something else that doesn’t require a whole lot of your attention.
Child Care Options
Last but not least, take some time to look into what options you have in your area for childcare.
I completely understand that most work at home moms either don’t want to put their kids in daycare or can’t afford to. And that’s totally fine.
But there are a lot of other options.
I had never heard of some of these until I joined a local parenting Facebook group. So if you want to look into any of these options that is a great place to start.
Most gyms have some form of daycare option for their members. So rather than paying for a babysitter for a couple of hours, buy a monthly gym membership.
I worked at a gym that had daycare in the morning and evenings, and you could leave your kid for 2 hours max. That’s 4 hours a day. Split that time between working out and sitting in the lobby working. For $48 bucks a month, that’s really not a bad deal.
Another option is to get together with a few other parents and do a nanny share. This way the kids will be in one of your homes rather than a daycare.
And considering that you are splitting it with other parents, it makes it a more affordable option.
You could also swap childcare with other parents.
If there are 5 of you, one of you watches all the kids for a couple of hours each day. Yes, you will also have to watch a handful of kids, but you get that time to work each day for the rest of the week.
The last option I want to mention here is to swap your services for childcare. Just be careful with this one. You don’t want to be spending all of the time they are watching your kids just working on their project. So carefully weigh the pros and cons of this one before you agree.
Okay, I hope I gave you some great ideas on how to stay productive as a work at home mom! Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? I would love to hear them, so drop them in the comments below!
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Loooooooove this post! I’m a WAHM mom too and it is SO hard keeping things balanced and actually getting things done! I can’t wait for your series on Trello! I’ve been hearing a lot about it recently and I want to learn more!
Thank you so much!! I’m super excited to write the Trello series! I’m seriously in love, haha!!
Such great tips. Thank you for the article!
Such helpful tips. Great article. Thanks for sharing.