How can work-at-home moms find balance? Is it possible to find time to work from home? I have been doing this for over a decade. Here is how I find time through the day to work from home. Even on a bad day, I find atleast 2hrs to work from home. Here’s how.
I recently wrote on my monthly goals post about my two hour a day office routine. I am sharing with you my (Work at Home Mom’s) WAHM routine today. It is a little a peep into what I do and how I do it.
Will a 2 hr routine work for me?
This routine may or may not work for you. I have three children – a grade schooler, a preschooler and a toddler. Previously I have used this routine whenever I had a baby too. (I have four kids- 1 lives in heaven.) I work part time from home.
Since January, I’ve cut down on the amount of time I spend on my laptop. There are a few reasons for this:
- I have gotten busier with my youngest (2 year old) who has dropped her morning and late afternoon nap times and demands my constant attention.
- I have almost cut down my blogging to one post a week. Previously, I used aim for 5 posts a week!
- I have learnt to use my phone better. I am taking multitasking to the the next level!!
- I use my time wisely… Well almost. More details follow…
Let me start by telling you why two hours a day works for me. In other words, let me tell you what exactly I do.
I am a blogger who also does some freelance editing, graphic designing and coaching jobs. I also help people build websites. The website and graphic designing is a project by project job. That means, I only work on it when I have a client. My editing related assignments arrive every Monday and I usually have a week to do my job so that means on Mondays, I focus solely on editing.
Apart from that, I blog but those are ongoing things that usually require an hour or two of my time at the computer. This, is what most of my blogging buddies find shocking. How can two hours a day be enough to publish a whole post from scratch? For this let me clarify how I do it.
My blog focuses mainly on kids activities, crafts and recipes. I also do parenting posts. The crafts and recipe means that I need to take pictures of what we do. The writing part is always the easiest for me. Every craft, recipe or pattern post goes online in three steps here. Pictures, writing and editing and then the graphics. Once I have these three steps, it is just a matter of dumping it all into the editor and hitting publish or schedule.
So, how do I do that in two hours?
How to blog in two hours a day
Well for one, I don’t do it all the same day. Usually, at any given time, I have quite a few posts in the pipeline. On any given day, I may have clicked pictures of my kids doing an activity, crocheted something and taken pictures of our lunch.
Also, that day I may have written yesterday or a few days ago’s activity or edited a post that is to go online after three days not necessarily the same one that we did today. Or I may have been working on some client’s job.
The two hour work schedule helps me ensure that I am sitting at a laptop in front of the screen because honestly, working on a proper keyboard really speeds things up. I am a blogger. My life revolves around what I write. My work never ceases when my laptop switches off. In fact, usually, that is where the real job lies. I am always thinking what will go on next!
So when do I write?
My parenting style is ‘hands on but gentle parenting’ that means we don’t do Cry-It-Out technique for sleeping. Bedtimes, I have found are my savior. I stay with my kids till they fall asleep for their naps as well as their bedtimes. The nap time means a sort of relaxing time for me too. I nap in the afternoon most days. Their bedtime at night, is when I catch up on my work. (Only I hate sitting at a desk then!)
One Hour in the Afternoon:
At nap times, I like to nap too because being around two active toddlers and a very demanding 8yr old along with all the things that I do, leaves me exhausted and cranky most evenings. The kids nap for 2 hours in the afternoon. I nap for 20min. Sometimes, I write while they are falling asleep or a little after and then as soon as they are asleep, I switch off the wifi and fall asleep or lay down to just shut my eyes at least. 20 minutes later I wake up and head to my laptop. My kids sleep from 3-5pm but I fall asleep at 3.30pm. For 30 minutes, I will write. Usually it is enough to type the activities or recipes or search for links. Sometimes, I make the graphics on my phone. I sleep till 4pm at the latest. Then I make my tea or grab a glass of juice and head to my office. Some days, I work on graphics but mostly this is the time I publish my posts so that means graphics and editing is done at this time. I deliberately choose this time after my nap because my mind is fresh. Also, when things are ready and I am excited about hitting publish on a post, I find it easier to get out of bed. (Blogging is exciting!!)
Some days however, I skip the afternoon nap if I had skipped the morning office time and napped instead.
One Hour in the Morning:
My morning starts at 5am because my son leaves for school at 6am. My daughter leaves at 7. Till 7.30am, I do my kitchen work (20min) or have my breakfast and then, I get to my office. Mornings are when I handle the mail. I must confess here that my creativity is totally asleep in the mornings so I usually do other stuff like scheduling social media or Pinterest etc. (At the moment I am without a VA !!) As I mentioned earlier, some times when my kids are unwell or the toddler had been waking me at night, I skip the morning office hour and just catch up on my sleep. That day, I won’t nap in the afternoon.
My youngest daughter gets up at 8.30. Once she is up, I get nothing done because she is two years old and always on the move. I usually start lunch after her breakfast and believe it or not, it takes me three hours till it is ready! This is because mornings are her active time. She plays and does art in the mornings and she demands that I be with her all the time. After her sister comes home at noon, they will both have some outdoor time before lunch and nap. Evenings are homework and family time. My kids sleep at 8.30/9 pm these days. During the week, we usually avoid going out.
I don’t work on weekends unless it is absolutely necessary. Necessarily that will be when I have a deadline to meet.
So what does the two hour a day routine mean? It is one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. With preparations for it the rest if the time.
Is this routine it for you? If you are a kid or creative blogger, may be. If you need extra time then I doubt it…
Reasons why I think my routine works is because:
- I take pictures while I craft or cook. I have my props and set up ready all the time and usually I rely on my iPhone for the pics. I don’t take out my DSLR if I don’t need the pictures that crisp quality. Even then, my tripod is always ready!
- I don’t call my crafting and kids activities as work. It is part of life. 🙂 Ditto for cooking
- My kids commute to and from school on a bus. That means, I save time there too!
- My husband does the grocery shopping.
- I only get out of the house of on weekends. As I said I am a WAHM.
- I use my phone for everything. It’s my productivity tool!
- I am ADD so that means I can only concentrate on things for a short amount of time. This works for me!
2 Hour a Day Office Routine for WAHMS
Here is the routine:
- Wake up 4.30am
- Kid1 goes to school 5.40am
- Kid2 goes to school 6.15am
- Breakfast and kitchen
- Office 7/ 7.30-8/ 8.30
- Kid 3 gets up
- Breakfast and play 10
- Lunch started
- Kid 2 arrives 12.30
- Kids play I clean up
- Lunch with kids
- Kid1 arrives 2.45
- Kid 2/3 nap3-5
- Kid1 naps 3.30-5
- Mom write 3-3.30
- Mom sleeps 3.30
- Office -4-5
- Hubby arrives5.30
- Kids and hubby snack
- Kids play And homework
- 7.30 dinner
- 8.00 bedtime routine
- 8.30 bedtime mom writes on phone
- 9.30 till bedtime I waste my time!!
Bedtime is whenever my hubby wants to sleep but usually I fall asleep with the tots if not before them!
That’s my 2hr a day routine. It works for me… for now. If you work from home tell me how you do it in the comments. I would love to know what is working for you.