Timers: Finding Time as a Work at Home Mom
We as moms always want more time. Every night at the end of the day we wish for just one more hour. Do you look around at the end of the day and the family room is a mess, the laundry isn't done, and there are dirty dishes in the sink, and somehow that blog post didn't get written? AND you are exhausted?!? Where did the day go? Do you want more time tomorrow?
Become the Queen of Single-Mindedness
It is just too hard to divide your mindspace in so many arenas all at once. It is hard to have your mind split between the mommy mind and business mind and home-keeping mind. Don't give 33% to each of these all at once. Concentrate your focus 100% on one area at a time. When the kids are not at home during the week and all at school, I split up my time between work time and home-keeping time and release my mommy mind for a while. I do this this with the help of two dollar store timers. One is set for 45 minutes and one is set for 15 minutes.
Accomplish Big Tasks in 45-Minute Intervals
First I push start on the 45 minute timer and I put my head down and concentrate on getting a work-related task done and completed before the timer goes off. I do a work-related task like write a blog post, or check in with all of my social media sites, or plow through emails. I will push myself to be single-minded and get a blog post done and complete and published in one 45 minute segment.
Can you crank out a proposal or start and finish a client project in 45 minutes? Can you check in with Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn accounts and put up a post or two, respond to all mentions, inquiries, and comments AND reach out to at least 2 people on each platform in 45 minutes? I want you to push yourself to get a task finished and accomplished by the time your 45 minute timer beeps.
Accomplish Small Tasks in 15-Minute Intervals
When that timer goes off, I grab the 15 minute timer and clip it on my body and go. This is when I am singly-minded towards home-keeping! I can sweep the kitchen, throw in a load of laundry, and grab a glass of ice water in 15 minutes. I can vacuum the family room, fold all the towels, and grab a glass of ice water in 15 minutes. I can wash one set of dishes, make my lunch, and grab a glass of ice water in 15 minutes.
I totally have this side to me that is Betty Crocker 1960ish. I believe that attending to home-keeping helps everyone and your entire household. Having things comfortable and organized will save you time... will save you time in getting ready in the morning... will save you time because you are not looking for items because you know where they are.
Also, keeping up on home-keeping and making an effort is great for your marriage. When you show your spouse that you care about making your house a home and a priority, he is more able to respect the time you spend on your blog and business.
When you put your blog above and before your family and when your husband and kids walk through the door and the house is in disarray, with dirty dishes in the sink, and laundry piled high, that immediately and absolutely sends a message of your priorities. This makes for a very hard row to hoe to get family buy-in to this super great awesome thing you love.
Have Daily Dedicated Family Only Time
I have two blocks of time I do my absolute best to protect for family-focused time and I turn on my mommy mind. The first time segment is 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. This time is spent on getting my three kids up and going for the day, starting the day with sunshine, smiles, and dedicated to starting off their day right even though I am so not a morning person.
Then I do my absolute best to not work at all between 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. When my first of three walks in the door at 4:00 p.m., I drop everything and rush to the door to greet my 12-year-old with a big smile and a hug and literally help him unload his backpack and his day. We have time together before the two younger siblings get home and I see this as a very special opportunity for some alone time to connect with my son. We have a snack together and chat about his day for as long as he will let me.
I am literally mommy-minded from when they get home from school until they go to bed. They need my help, energy, and focus. They cannot be made second fiddle. We have so precious little time with our kids, I cherish it and make sure they know that they are my priority during that time.
If there is an occasion I do have to work, I let my family know in advance so they are prepared and know what to expect. Also, I often have prepared for this time with a movie rental that none of them have seen or a craft kit I picked up at Michael's. The point is that I am prepared and they are prepared and it goes so much smoother.
Join Me and Join the Timer Revolution
Go to the dollar store and get two timers and see how they will become your friends who will help you find more time as work at home mom. Challenge yourself and see what work-related project you can crank out in 45 minutes. Next, strap on the 15 minute timer and fly through your house getting things done quick and good enough (not perfect) and you will be truly amazed at what you can get done!
What helps you to find more time and accomplish your daily tasks? Have you ever used a timer to help you throughout the day? How do you find time as a work at home mom?
In the past 10 years, Melissa Lierman has spoken at more than 300 events to audiences on social media, marketing, website development, and SEO. She applies those skills in her day-to-day professional life as the director of social media and consulting for Mom It Forward, Inc. She also manages the social media for Premier Fitness Camp, ZarBee's, and The Madow Group. When she’s not speaking, she loves the one-on-one consultation she does with brands, PR agencies, small businesses, and bloggers. Melissa has three children, is a mom blogger at TimeOutMom.com, an avid tweeter @TimeOutMom, loves connecting with people, and lives in central Canada.
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