Protecting Our Time While Working From Home

My work-at-home situation may sound familiar to yours. My husband works a traditional 9-5 office job while I own my own business and work from home. Naturally, this creates certain implications regarding how our household runs. Can anyone guess who greets the repairmen who come to fix leaks, do home repairs or work on our cable tv? What about those chores that can only be done during the day such as running to the post office or other errands such as the laundromat, pharmacy, or grocery store?

To make matters worse, my kids’ schools are big on parents volunteering with each and every event and even day-to-day school life. Because people know that my job is flexible, I am often expected to take on extra work and attend extra events. Little do people realize what a commitment this can be when there is work that I need to do!

My job provides me the flexibility to take time off to make sure our household runs smoothly, but it also means that I have lots (and lots) of extra items on my to-do list that just wouldn’t be there if I worked out of the house. Can anyone identify?

How do we, as work-at-home employees or self-employed business owners, protect our workday hours while still managing to help our household stay on track and be there for our family in all the ways that they need us?

  • Start by making a list of priorities. What are you willing to drop work for, and what should you say not to? A kid’s school play – super important. Helping cut out alphabet shapes alone in the teacher’s workroom – not so important.
  •  Take advantage of home delivery options. A sick family member can’t go without their medicine, but see if you can have that medicine delivered to your home by the pharmacy. If not, consider using a different pharmacy (nearby or via the internet) that does delivery. Even groceries can be ordered and delivered if you’re up against a deadline!
  • Hire extra hands. Need someone to run to the post office or speak with the repairman? Someone out there is willing to be paid to do these things for you. A virtual assistant can even help you do tasks remotely such as answer emails (where appropriate), update your website, or put together brochures.
  • Put your foot down when family members ask you to do too many things that they could do themselves, and which they feasibly have time to do themselves. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you don’t have important work to do, or that you can spare the time. Have frank but kind conversations so that everyone is on the same page as to what you should be expected to do.

Working from home often means being smarter at how we organize our days. Many of us find saying no to others extremely hard. But by doing so, and by finding creative solutions to those measly errands that clutter up our day, we can better manage our time, become more organized, and be more successful at what we do.

what are your tips for managing your time when working from home?

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About Meredith

Meredith Hilton is a work-at-home and stay-at-home mom, raising three kids and running her own business. In addition to owning her own part-time law practice, she is a stylist for Stella & Dot. Meredith blogs at A Blessed and Blissful Life and at her family site, Chase and More. Read more about her here.

Comments

  1. I am in the same position! I have a really hard time balancing my jobs (my blog and social media for another website) as well as cleaning, buying groceries, etc. No kids yet but I can imagine that struggle. I’m still trying to find the right balance so sadly I can’t volunteer tips! I look forward to hearing what everyone else has to say.

    Kindness is the best accessory,
    Rebecca

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