When I first made the transition from traditional full-time employment to work-from-home entrepreneur, you could say I was a bit clueless as to what life would really be like.
I remember thinking, “I’ll get my workouts done in the morning, clean the house, sit down to work, and then whip up a healthy dinner for my family, EVERY SINGLE DAY!”
I can count on two fingers how many times all of those things have ever happened in that exact order since becoming a work from home mom.
The beginning was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Almost as if scheduled by some evil force, my then 10-month old dropped her second nap three days into my new lifestyle, and began only napping once a day (there went an hour of productive work time). Then about 2 months later, just when I thought I had a great work-from-home routine figured out, she decided to stop napping anywhere but in the car. (Hello, Starbucks parking lot!).
Long story short – it’s been a circus, but after a year of working from home, I have developed the PERFECT work-from-home routine. I know perfect is a strong word, but when it comes to getting everything on my to-do list done in one day and making sure my daughter is happy and healthy, this does sound like perfection to me.
So here’s how to develop the perfect work-from-home routine:
1. Allow your routine to naturally fall into place.
Anything you have to force never usually works out for the best. Give yourself time to play with different routines in your day – especially when there is a child involved. Practice does make perfect in this sense, and you’re going to want to be really patient and go easy on yourself in the process.
2. Have a fall-back plan.
If you fail to plan, you’ll be planning to fail. Trust me on this one. Baby’s sick? Have a sitter on speed dial. Sitter’s sick? Have a back up. Back up sitter not available? Have a back up for that, too. Because wouldn’t ya’ know, I learned this the hard way one week when my daughter got an ear infection, my mom caught the flu, and my sitter was out of town. Back that plan up.
3. Plan ahead.
I tried winging it. I’ve always been a serial “winger” of sorts, but when you’re running a successful content marketing company from home and have a child under the age of 2, winging it will be as successful as having your child take your conference calls. I spend about an hour every Sunday night planning out my week, down to when I’ll be eating lunch (even if I’m never leaving the house) to ensure I have every last detail considered before braving another week of work-from-home life. And you know what I do if I don’t get to everything on a particular day’s to-do list? I stay calm, and make room for it the next day.
4. Speaking of staying calm…
Your routine will not be perfect if you don’t know how to handle the bumps in the road. Some days you’ll feel like Wonder Woman’s more powerful older sister. Some days, you’ll feel like the worst mom in the world. Some days, you’ll feel convinced that you’re soon to grace the cover of Forbes. And you know what? For the days that suck, there’s always tomorrow – and that’s what a true, successful entrepreneur believes in – making tomorrow more successful than today.
As seen in Creative Child