The biggest myth of all about working from home as a parent is that you get the best of both worlds – a career and the opportunity to look after your kids. It’s a beautiful theory, of course, but in practice, things can often get out of control.
The vast majority of first-time mompreneurs often find that their to-do lists are always expanding, and every time they fix something with the business, problems arise with the kids – and vice versa. The key to tackling this enormous issue is to prioritize correctly.
While all work from home parent’s situation will be different, some clear guidelines can help. Let’s take a look at how you can set your priorities and achieve a better balance between work and home life.
Work out the big ticket items
The first step is to think about all the most important things you need to do in the day, regardless of whether they are family chores or tasks for work.
These are the big ticket items and non-negotiables that must be done without fail, within a particular time frame. Feeding the family is a must, for example, as is completing the school run or dropping the kids off at the nursery.
Are you learning anything on a course? If so, you have to prioritize some study time. You will also need to allow time for checking your business emails and replying to potential clients and current customers alike.
You might also need to set aside time for updating your blog, packing and dispatching products, or researching. Finally, don’t forget about setting aside time for exercise and healthy activity.
The occasional essentials
As we all know, life tends to throw up some surprising issues every now and again. So, you have to set aside some time to allow for the occasional doctor’s appointment, extra chores you haven’t accounted for, or a particularly demanding client issue.
Given that these types of events happen often, it’s a wise move to set aside an hour or so every day to deal with them.
As every time management expert will tell you, great schedules are prepared for any unexpected situation and allow for them. The result of better time management is that you won’t get caught out and start having to bump your essential tasks out of the way in the event of an emergency.
The desirables and the impossibles
It’s important to remember that if you want to be successful as a parent and home business owner, other things have got to give.
You can probably give up your dreams of living in a super clean home, for example, unless you are prepared to hire a domestic assistant. Your hobby time will need to be reduced, too – not entirely, of course, because it is important to schedule in some time to relax if you want to lead a healthy life.
Most importantly, however, is to change the way you think. If you want to raise healthy, loved kids and run a successful business, you must lower your expectations in other areas. It’s impossible to do everything, and trying to do so will result in more problems than it’s worth.