I've always been a planner, I love structure and I LOVE lists even more. Since I started working from home I read a lot of tips about being a more productive WAHM (work at home mom). I'm figuring out that a list for how to live life and actually living life don't really work well together so I'm going to take some of these tips and add a little reality to them.
1. Have a shower and get dressed.
Well showering has been hard to accomplish since I had my first child almost 17 years ago. It used to be that I didn't have time or energy with 5 little's running around the house (ok let's face it, I didn't really care sometimes), now with half grown children there's just not enough hot water. Not only do I have to work a shower around my schedule but now around the shower schedules of my children. Showering doesn't make me work harder, smarter or better so if I get one...BONUS, if not, just keep working.
2. Schedule time to do housework and time to do business work.
There's nothing in here that talks about taking care of children. When they're hungry, when they get hurt, when they need to be driven to another activity, when they need help with school work, when they want you to run to the library, Target or Starbucks, Oh, and there's also a husband to find time to hang with oh yeah, I forgot about the housework. I find a legit written schedule works 1, maybe 2 days and then it gets tossed with all the other schedules I've created.
3. Work in an area that is clean and comfortable.
You can go to the post before this one and read about my relationship with clean but I do get why this is important. Ideally, I'd have my Young Living oils diffusing while I sip on a Starbucks and listen to ocean wave music however I would settle for several hours of uninterrupted work time while the sun is still out. If I do get solid work time it's because everyone is in bed.
4. Know your work hours.
See #2. I'd love to get to know my work hours but life doesn't usually do what I tell it to do so I settle for doing what I can when I can and knowing someday I'll have the whole house to myself and probably be in a crying heap on the floor because I miss my kids and all their interruptions so dang much.
5. Take regular breaks to engage with your children.
I basically try to take breaks from everything else to work not the other way around, which I will admit sometimes bothers me when I can't work more. Last year we did 13 tradeshows in 3 1/2 months. It was too much and really hard on the whole family. This year I have restricted myself to one tradeshow a month and so far have only broke my own rule 3 times this year (this includes the entire years schedule). My new motto: If I'm going to error with my time it will be on the side of my family!
Now I really love these lists and I seek them out often because you never know if something will actually work or inspire change and let's face it we all need to keep changing. The big thing I've been working on lately is giving myself the grace to just do the best I can and realize lists don't really fit into life's mold unless it's a grocery list and, well let's face it who sticks to that? Ice cream anyone??
Now I've got this list mastered!!