7 things they won’t tell you about working from home

7 things they won't tell you about working from homeWorking from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Are you an overwhelmed, work-from-home mom? Yeah, me too.
Never know what to do next? The to-do list is never-ending, #amIright? Everything seems important, everything seems behind, and the walls are closing in.

Working from home

Here is what I have learned, momma; and hopefully, it will help you too. First, we need to take advantage of the small pockets of time; second, have your routines mapped out; and lastly, use workflows to finally get rid of decision fatigue.time management tips for the overwhelmed work from home mom, stay focused with this routine
Remember that idyllic dream of working on the couch in your pj’s while the kids played quietly on the floor? Then that turned into overwhelm, chaos, and very little actual income compared to the countless hours spent online.
These are my 7 things they won’t tell you about working from home. My 7 top tips for fighting overwhelm and managing all your tasks, as well as what I have learned in my first year of working online from home.

 Time management

  • Managing your time is imperative.
    1. No more lounging around.
      • As a work from home mom, with two kids who are constantly needing something from me, there is so no room for wasting time. Gone are the days of binge watching NCIS on USA during a quiet weekend afternoon. When your why is big enough, these sacrifices will not seem nearly as difficult.
    2. Find the pockets of time.
      • If the kids are keeping themselves busy, then I am immediately hopping on the laptop to get some work done. Swim lessons? Yes please! We are in them aaaallll summer long and this momma is up in the bleachers working away on her phone while the kids are occupied.
    3. The Pomodoro technique has become my lifesaver.
      • By keeping myself to just 25 minutes for a certain task this has become a game changer in getting things done. I know that I will never find an entire afternoon – or even a large 2-3 hour block of time to get everything done all at once – so for me these 25 minute windows are priceless.
      • I don’t know about you but I am done reading productivity books by guys saying I need to get up at 5 am and do focused deep work for 4 hours. Hmmm….geee…. great idea, except the baby was up from 2-3 feeding, and the older one needs to be taken to school at 8….so there goes my 4 hour block of focused work. Sorry, but it doesn’t work for this working momma.
      • The Pomodoro technique is the ticket to fitting in small pockets of work into my crazy schedule. Try it, I know you will love it too.

  • Your lists need lists
    • 4. My lists have lists.
      • And they are never ending. I have given up on thinking that I might ever actually be able to catch up on everything. Just like the laundry and dishes, blogging work will never be done. Instead I use my favorite PM tool to tell me what the next steps are, and I jump right in.
      • Without my checklists in Trello I would be so lost when it came time to actually sit and work. Before creating these lists I would spend 20 minutes trying to remember where I was and what I was supposed to be doing next. Now I just check my lists and do what is next. #lifesaver
  • Routines
    • 5. This lesson I took straight from my favorite home management guru, FlyLady.
      • Having daily routines takes the guess work out of knowing what I should be doing each day. When I log into Pinterest, I do not mindlessly scroll my smart feed. Instead I have a clear-cut, straightforward routine that I follow each time. Every Time.
    • 6. Cut the decision fatigue.
      •  Just like Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck, taking out the need to constantly make decisions not only makes us more efficient, but it also makes us more creative – as we do not waste what little brain power we have on the little things. Because, you know, mom brain.
      • As mentioned above, my lists have lists. When it is time to work, I do not waste valuable time trying to decide what needs to be done. I spend at least an hour every Sunday mapping out exactly what needs to be done and then in what order. This way, when it is time to work I simply check my favorite, flavor-of-the-day PM tool (Trello, Asana, sticky notes) and get to work.
  • Workflows 
    • 7. Just like my daily routines, my workflows take the guess work out of my weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks. Everything has a system and a process, this is your workflow.
      • And just like my routines, and my to do list, my workflow is mapped out in Trello of course! This way when it comes time to optimize my old blog posts I am not trying to rack my brain to remember what I learned in that SEO course I took months ago.
      • Instead, I have a checklist that I follow every time.
Time management has long been an obsession for me. How can we bottle up this resource and make the most of it?
What I have learned is that managing time can be a misnomer. That magical unicorn in the sky we are forever chasing. I wrote about a time management book recently on the blog. You can read my book review on Lee Cockerell here, I love his old-fashioned take on time management.
Also, be sure to check out my favorite tool to overcome overwhelm, my weekly planning session including the ever-important brain dump!

I hope these tips help you as much as they do me! Follow my continual journey for discovering a better life over on Instagram!