Momentum Monday: Why a Daily Routine is Mandatory for Working at Home – 5 Rules for Work-at-Home Productivity

Somehow working from home is synonymous with overlapping business and personal tasks. Let’s face it – that’s one of the perks of the job!

What other workplace gives you the freedom to play Go Fish with your 4-year-old on your morning coffee break or gather up the laundry during that never-ending conference call?

So why is it that the same freedom we love derails us, and pulls us into a whirling vortex of distraction? The call to the vet about the weird pus coming from the cat, filling out the school forms due Friday, booking dentist appointments, and about 3 million other miscellaneous tasks that go along with the ‘home’ half of working from home.

That is the reason YOU (and I and every other busy working mother) need a daily routine.

5 Rules for Work-at-Home Productivity

#1: Be purposeful about your ‘autopilot’ activities – These are what you default to when you don’t have anything scheduled. If you don’t choose, it gets chosen for you and before you know it, you frittered away an hour.

Create autopilot routines for in-between tasks. For example, your get started routine may include a 5-minute communication check-in, and a quick review of your calendar and task list.

#2: Know your key objectives – Start every day with a clear picture of exactly what you want to accomplish that day. These are your 1 to 3 must-do’s that you WILL finish that day.

Your key objectives isn’t just about creating a list of tasks and must-do’s, it’s about getting results. Consider what you want as outcomes from your activities.

#3: Pay attention to your energy levels – Match your daily work routine to your energy levels and schedule your creative focus time or project work for your peak potential hours.

So for example, if you are a morning person, start your day by tackling your big elephant projects and save your administrative busy work for low energy periods in the afternoon.

#4: Set clear personal boundaries – More important than communicating your boundaries to others is setting personal boundaries for yourself. Think of it as a list of ground rules.

A few suggestions are no personal telephone calls during your office hours, except for emergencies, no television EVER, and no casual chitchatting with friends or colleagues.

#5: Batch administrative tasks – Tackle that 8-mile long laundry list of to-do’s in designated administrative work blocks. Bundle similar or related tasks together to maximize efficiencies.

For example, designate one day a week as your banking day where you handle all tasks related to banking and payments for both your business and personal.

Want to get more done every week? Tune into Momentum Monday bright and early Monday mornings and set the tone for your entire week!

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About Carla Young
Carla Young, MOMeoMagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched MOMeoMagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!

Comments

5 Responses to “Momentum Monday: Why a Daily Routine is Mandatory for Working at Home – 5 Rules for Work-at-Home Productivity”
  1. What excellent tips! Since starting my Au Pair business I have been getting busier and busier and now need to be much more structured. It’s really difficult at times and the personal boundaries have been the hardest as my friends still see me as a stay at home mum not a work at home mum. I think I will have to give them times now to set up those boundaries. Thanks for that.
    Louise Edington
    http://ledington.aupairnews.com

  2. Anonymous says:

    Carla, this is a great list! The one that I have never heard but that makes perfect sense is creating tasks for specific parts of the day that match your energy level. This is a GREAT idea! My problem is that I tend to build the most amount of momentum just before it’s time to pick the kids up from school… So, my energy needs to get started a little earlier (hence the princess lattes;) Actually, my solution for this is that I have created a task list with specific time limits that wind everything down by 2:30, just in time to head off to school. Then, if I need to work again once the kids are asleep, I have action items that can be done in the evening or carry over to the next day.

  3. Carla Young says:

    Take today as an example. I started off my day tackling my must-do’s and got them all done and then spent the afternoon dealing with a tech crisis (thanking my lucky stars that I got the important stuff done in the morning).

    Another trick to get motivated early in the day is organize your work the night before so all you have to do is hop in the chair and start doing! No need to think!

  4. Carla Young says:

    Thank you, Louise.

    Yes, systems and structure make scaling to accommodate MORE work possible.

    As for your friends, sometimes it’s just a matter of not answering the telephone when they ring up and other times, you may need to have the boundary talk.

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