For the last 11 years, I have had three kids home with me full-time. I've also worked part-time for the entire 11 years. Somehow I have made it all work, but not without a few meltdowns and do-overs. My job is flexible. I have been able to work around my youngest son's intense therapy schedule and my husbands erratic work schedule.
The problem for most of us who work at home is how to balance home needs and work needs. With three busy children, and a laundry pile that won't quit, managing home is a HUGE task. It is tempting to clean the kitchen over finishing a looming work project.
I have worked really hard at maintaining a system that works for me, but that system is always changing. When work gets hectic, the kids get sick, or my husband has to leave town for a work trip, everything has to shift. It can be super frustrating. I am learning to give myself lots of grace. I rule the system. The system does not rule me.
For the longest time I tried to find ONE planner to do all my planning for me. I looked high and low to find ONE planner to help me manage our home and help me work on my business. I finally gave in and bought TWO planners. I know it seems crazy but it has really worked for me. Want to know what I'm using?
My Business Planner
I love the Brilliant Business Moms Planner for a million reasons. It is one part planner and one part business plan. I use it to track my income, work on product development, make an editorial calendar, block my work time for the week, and so much more. More importantly, when I am in work mode I only use this planner. I am not seeing all the house chores I should be doing today. I am focused on my business.
The Brilliant Business Moms Planner is really an all-in-one resource for any entrepreneur. From blogger, to Etsy seller, to a brick-in-mortar business, this planner can help you focus on your work. It is simple design and I LOVE that I don't have to flip all over the planner to see my goals and plans for the week!
My Home Planner
I'm not a natural housekeeper. Dust doesn't really get to me, but clutter does. It is my pain point. I can't stand closets that are overflowing or cabinets stuffed with things. I don't want to think about when was the last time I washed the kids sheets or changed the filter on the AC. I just want someone to tell me "ITS TIME TO WASH THE SHEETS".
Here is where my Motivated Moms planner is my hero. They have a digital or printable version in many different formats. I print mine out and bind it at office max for like $3. Everyday it tells me what to clean or what needs my attention. If I don't get to it, I don't sweat it. I am all about saving mental energy at this point in my life. I don't want to waste my time worrying and planning for what household chores need to be done. Motivated Moms Planner takes that burden off my shoulders.
I often look ahead each week to see what chores need to be done. Often, I assign those chores to my children throughout the week or on the weekends. I am a big believer in sharing the chore love around my house! I use this planner to plan out our meals and snacks. All I need to know about managing our home is in one spot!
For me, the key to working at home is focus and time blocking. Each week I write out 3 tasks that HAVE TO BE DONE for work and home. I block out in my schedule when I will do those things.
Simple, easy tools to keep me focused on my goals has been HUGE for me! What are your best-kept secrets for working at home?