I originally titled this post “Tips for Working from Home”, and then I thought… I don’t have any magic tips for working from home. In fact, I kind of stink at it most of the time. 🙂
I get emails a lot asking about how I balance blogging while also parenting my two kids, and I always try to be upfront that it’s hard. In fact, if I actually wanted to have a job, I would go out and find a job outside of blogging because staying home and “working” is TOUGH STUFF.
For example, I’m totally distracted writing this post because Hadley is jumping around the living room 10 feet from me dancing while watching SING. Sadie is napping, so I’m anxious that Hadley is going to wake her up. I don’t want to stop Hadley from enjoying the movie though because right now I want to just sit and “work”. I can’t just go downstairs to the office to type because a wild three year old can’t watch herself.
So, I sit and “work” with a bouncing three year old and singing elephant blaring in my ears. And you wonder why I frequently have typos. 😉
I do consider this little bloggy blog a “side hustle” though because it does help pay a few bills around here. So, I press on because I looooove this silly space and it’s nice to make a little extra money during this season of staying home with my girls and managing the house since Jamie is gone so darn frequently with the Army.
Okay… so how I do it. I actually sat down with Jamie and talked out how I accomplish working from home since he has a front-row seat to how this little production happens day after day.
I sit on the couch in the evenings and work.
And Jamie is right there by my side. I’m not a big TV watcher, but he is, so he watches TV and I work. We talk the entire time, maybe share a snack, and enjoy a couple hours to ourselves once the girls are in bed (we try to put them down at 7 every night, and Hadley is usually asleep by 8.) We love spending our evenings together.
If the girls are napping at the same time, I work.
This only happens a couple times a week, but when it does, I work. I save household chores for when they’re awake and use every second of the quiet time to knock out as much blog-related stuff as I can. I don’t answer phone calls or texts and just crank out as much work as I can.
I try to set aside one hour each morning.
If we don’t have anywhere to be, I’ll sleep in until the girls wake up and then work on blog stuff once they’re fed and settled with toys in the playroom. If we do have to be somewhere in the morning (like school, a playdate, appointment, etc.) then I’ll try to get up around 5:30 to work through emails, blog comments, social media, and so on.
I don’t try to stick to a schedule.
I love having a routine, but I gave up trying to stick to a routine a while ago. No two days ever look the same, so it was becoming impossible to stick to a blogging routine/work schedule. Now I just go with the flow, fit in blogging where I can, and if it doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done. This is why I stink from working from home! This “work” just isn’t my first priority.
To-do lists are GOLD
Ask anyone who steps foot into my house, and they’ll tell you that I typically have 2-3 handwritten to-do lists floating around my kitchen at all times. I typically have one for each day, one for things I need to accomplish in the next few days at some point, and one for long-term goals that I want keep at the forefront of my mind for planning purposes. I write my daily lists in a way that I can realistically accomplish everything on the list. I don’t want to feel like I failed at the day because only three things were crossed off. These lists help me stay on top of as many areas of my life as I can and allow me to think ahead so that I can avoid doing things half-way and/or last minute.
I work in short increments
For example, during this sitting I’m typing up this post during a one-hour block that I spontaneously saw was open. I’ll maybe add a graphic or two later today if I have time. I’ll do some proof-reading, SEO stuff, etc. probably tonight on the couch. It takes many sittings of working in 20-60 minute increments to get out every single blog post! Somebody always needs food, entertainment, or their tush wiped, so I’m up and down constantly.
A little planning…
Next year I’ve set up our preschool schedule where Sadie will join Hadley at school one day a week, so I’ll get an entire morning/afternoon all to myself! My plan is to use that time to park it somewhere outside of our home and work work work without the distractions of home.
I don’t try to do all the things
I don’t try to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to all the things I should do, especially when it comes to social media. I just do what I enjoy and what’s comfortable, manageable, affordable, and authentic to me. This may correlate with the idea that I may never have a “huge” blog, and that it 1000% a-okay with me! Jamie jokes that he wishes he could work from home, but I always laugh and tell him to be careful what he wishes for. It’s hard. There are distractions everywhere and it can be very difficult to meet a deadline (for me, those look like timed sponsored posts.) When home is your office, it can be very hard to turn it off since you never really clock out.
I feel very fortunate to be settled where I am right now. When it comes to what’s down the road five years from now, I don’t even want to talk about it because I don’t know what the future holds for me work-wise. 🙂 For now, I’m so grateful to somewhat juggle a hobby that produces an income as well as being with my girls every day.
Do you work from home? If so, what do you like/dislike about it?
What do you do that allows you to work from home? Feel free to leave links in the comments to your home-based business! I’d love to check them out.