Time Management for Work At Home Moms
|October 18, 2008||Posted by Business4Moms under General Information, Work Life Balance||
I was listening to a time management guru online the other day, and he gave this simple time management technique. He said:
“I want you to write down your top 3 distractions, whatever they may be.
Once you ‘ve written them down, all you have to do is eliminate them.”
Excuse me as I pick myself up of the floor from laughing. You see, my top 3 distractions are my 8 year old, my 4 year old, and my 20 month old! Can’t really see myself “eliminating” them!
Now, of course what the guru meant was if it’s e-mail, close your e-mail program, turn off your IM’s, and shut down Twitter. But it also goes to show how different men and women, (and even women and moms) work from home. For the work at home mom, you can’t simply “eliminate” your top distractions, actually, what you have to do is distract your distractions!
Here are a few tips for distracting your distractions if you’re a work at home mom.
I only bring out the playdough when I am trying to work. And I only bring it out in the kitchen. Sure I end up with an extra hour of cleanup getting those little playdough pieces off the floor, but if I get anything accomplished in the hour it distracts them, I still consider myself ahead.
In my experience, a bubble machine is good for about 20 minutes of uninteruped work time. These are those little machines that you put in a battery or plug it in, add a little bubble solution, and tada – it blows the bubbles for you! They are best used outside, however, if I use it inside, it tends to give my floor a bit of a between the mopping cleaning! (Now if only I could find a non-toxic floor cleaner that makes good bubbles, then I could really take advantage of this little invention.)
Although it only really distracts one child at a time, two at the most, I try to pick up educational computer games on a regular basis. You can get many for less than $20, some even less than $10. That way I feel a little better about letting my kids spend time on the computer. Depending on the game and the child, I can get anywhere from 20 minutes to almost an hour of uninterrupted work time. Some of my (and my kids) favorites are in the cute little carousel below.
It’s free, it’s easy (if practices regularly) and it’s usually worth at least an hour! Yes, the afternoon nap. When my kids are too old for the nap (like my 8 year old), I simply call it a “quiet time.” Set the timer, and set them on their beds with several books and get to work. The hour will be up before you know it.
Well, I hate to admit it, but yes, I use the television to distract my kids. I have a television in the room with my computer, so I usually have them watch in there so that I can monitor what they watch. I’ve found that even on “safe” channels, there are often commercials or things that I may not approve of, so just to be sure, I make my kids watch cable in the same room with me. We also have a stash of DVD’s that I’ve already approved of, and those they can watch in a different room. I’ve also discovered that the public library is a good source for DVD’s to help change things up without costing me a fortune.
As a last resort, when I can’t seem to distract my kids, I simply take a break and spend some extra time with them playing a game or reading a book or taking a walk. Sometimes all kids want is your attention, and there is no substitute for that. And that is what makes working from home so great!