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I don’t do New Year’s resolutions per se, but I do like the idea of choosing a word of the year. My word this is year is “intentional”. I want to be more intentional with my time throughout the week so I thought I’d list out my plan to be more productive as a work at home mom in case some of the tips might inspire you a bit. I think these could work for all types of parents so this is just coming from my experience as a work at home mom.
I’ve been working from home for the last years so I definitely know how easy it can be to sit down in your pajamas to work in the morning only to realize it’s 10 minutes after the time you were supposed to pick up the kids. Oops! I set a reminder to pick them up after that one. I love working from my home office, kitchen table, backyard, coffee shop…
To help up my productivity this year, I came up with a list of ways to stay productive this year to go along with my word “intentional”
- Get up and get ready. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve been embarrassed to answer the door to the UPS guy because I realized I’m still in my pjs at 2pm. Sure it’s fine for some days but on his 3rd delivery of the week?! Being up and ready gets my brain ready to go and ensures that I’m ready to run errands or get out of the house if something comes up.
- Set a time for work & breaks. If I don’t tell myself it’s lunchtime I’ll never eat (or I’ll snack all day). Giving myself time for a break gives my eyes a rest lets me move around if I’ve been in a writing “zone” etc. I don’t like having an 8-5 type work day because that just doesn’t work for me, but having specific times to work helps my productivity for sure.
- Set time for social media. Since social media is part of my job it’s even easier to get lost in the time suck that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat… Setting a time just for that allows me to get things scheduled for my sites and a little time to see what everyone else is up to. It also keeps me from doing it consistently throughout the day.
- Set time for the kids. Even if it’s just a few minutes I like to make “kid” time where they can tell me all about the YouTube video they just watched that they thought was hilarious. This also lets them know that when I say “can you tell me later,” I mean it.
- Make time to work out. Even if it’s just to walk the dogs, I’m learning that this is an integral part of my mental health. I can get super stressed sometimes with looming deadlines and NOT working out makes things seem so much worse.
- Put things away, shred or file the mail as soon as it comes in. The house can go from clean to disaster zone in an hour around here and using the excuse of being busy only makes it worse. I’m going to try and put things away as soon as I’m done (instead of going straight to upload the photos). I also want to shred the junk mail or credit card offers etc. right when they come in instead of letting them lay around in piles in the car and house. School paper work is right up there with the junk mail, all over the place all the time so this needs to get filed, recycled, shredded, put away as well. If I sign a contract and scan it in to email there is no reason for me to keep the hard copy for years. Those need to get shredded as well so I set up a system to keep them in a file folder and when they are payed they get shredded. I still have that digital copy if needed!
- Plan 1 house project at a time. I can’t be the only one who decides on one weekend to clean out the closet, build a bookcase and go through the storage cabinets all at once only to finish a few of them. I’m going to try and stick to 1 at a time!
- Just say “no”. For some reason people think that working from home means I’m free to go wherever, whenever but that just isn’t the case. I’ve learned over the years that it’s ok to say no.
- Plan out the day and week ahead of time. I have a calendar that lists what needs to get done, but beyond that I want a better plan of what exactly needs to get done each day. Including some of the items listed above.
- Keep notebooks with me at all times. I hate coming up with ideas and then forgetting them. Having a notebook with me gives me a place to write down ideas, to do lists, reminders etc. Even as simple as “google how to…” for later if it’s during a time when I’m not wanting to be on the computer – like in the middle of cleaning out the closet.
Do I get up and get ready every day? No, and I probably won’t but it’s good to have goals right?! As for #6 I’m still LOVING our Fellowes 79Ci shredder. With it’s sleek design and advanced technologies it has seriously cut down on my time and upped my productivity. With its Energy Savings System that maximizes shredder energy efficiency 100% of the time – both in use and out of use, it’s always ready to go. Some other reasons I love this shredder:
- Patented 100% Jam Proof System that eliminates paper jams and powers through tough jobs
- Heavy-duty Cross-Cut blades that can handle up to 16 sheets of paper per pass in addition to staples, paper clips, credit cards, junk mail and CDs (time saving again!)
- An extended 20 minute run time for increased productivity
- Patented SafeSense® Technology which automatically stops shredding when hands touch the paper opening
- SilentShred™ Technology that offers ultra-quiet shredder performance
Every time we need to use it we are SO happy to have it as a regular part of our home office (my husband and I share). Having it ready to go make it super quick and easy to shred those credit card offers or health insurance statements that come in the mail that you may not want to just throw in the trash or recycle as is. We’ve been using it while going through old files as well to make putting away new paperwork faster and easier.
What are your best productivity tips (whether you work at home or not)?!