A challenge in my work at home business has, and probably always will be, how to find time in the day to work when I have two children to take care of. Many of us have this challenge, but there are ways to help us not feel so overwhelmed. Actually, as I am writing this, my 3 year old is taking a nap and my 8 month old is moving puzzle pieces around on the floor. This is a time during my day where I can work, and it is pretty much stress free. Here are some things I have learned over the past few years.
1. Nap-time is a great time to work, as long as you don’t need one yourself! There have been many days where I have wanted and needed to work during a nap-time, but I was really just too tired. When I had my son, I didn’t really listen to the advice of ‘sleep when he sleeps’. This all changed when I had my daughter. If I had both of them sleeping at the same time, I was almost certainly napping! As she gets older, the need for me to nap is diminishing so I am getting more work done.
2. Getting up early helps me find some time. I know, I know- why would you want to get up early if you have an infant keeping you up for hours at night. Well, I didn’t start doing this until my daughter was doing better at night. Let’s face it. We need rest; without it, our work probably wouldn’t be that good anyway! I am at a point now that I can get up earlier than my 3 year old(not my 8 month old!) and get some work done. It is pretty peaceful and I don’t have to worry about the phone ringing. And at that point in the day I am not worrying about laundry or cleaning.
3. Staying up later can help get work done too. So, am I telling you to get up early and go to sleep late? No, unless you don’t need much sleep! Maybe you are more of a night owl than an early bird. It is really the same concept. Peace and quiet (hopefully!), no phone calls, no one demanding your attention. I don’t really use nighttime to work. I do get tired and I would rather work in the morning. For me, nighttime is a time to relax and give myself a break. It is whatever works best for you.
4. Sneaking in work in bits during the day. If your kids are having a snack or watching a show, you might have enough time to write that follow up email or get that business packet together. I do find times throughout the day to get something done. Not everyday, but some days. Keep in mind that it is best to do something simple in these time slots, since you won’t have time to really concentrate on it. If you have lots of tasks for the day or week, make a list. You can then make a quick decision on what to do in your small time slot.
5. Let your kids help you with work! Crazy as it seems, many kids will like to help out. Every thing is age appropriate of course, but I know that my son likes to help me out with my business. He loves to smell the candles when I get them. He can help me put on my labels. He even helps me make scent samples by crushing up the votives. Last year, he could have cared less. He wasn’t interested in anything but banging and stacking the candles- not too helpful. Now, he is my little helper and I love it! I can do work and be with my kids- just what I wanted!