I’m going to try to be more consistent with my blog (stop laughing).
Anyway, one of the things I’d like to chronicle for you is the enjoyment of working at home. I love working from home, however, there are some ups and downs. Hopefully, other people can benefit from my successes and mistakes.
The first article in this series will be on scheduling. This is probably the biggest obstacle that I have to overcome on a daily basis. I tend to be a procrastinator, so a schedule is very important. Without one, I will constantly be trying to finish up a ton of product a week before a craft show.
For the longest time, I shunned the idea that I could use a schedule. I figured that because I’m at home all the time, I would be able to get everything done. I mean, how hard could it be, really?
Then, when I couldn’t get everything done, I started blaming others. The Baby wouldn’t give me a break, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, people just started showing up. Any excuse I could come up with. It was never about me. And, heck no, I don’t need a schedule. Schedules are for people who have 9-5 jobs, with meetings that need to be attended. Not those of us who have all day to do our jobs.
I would read Mommy blogs where the Moms had schedules for their day to day activities, and I still didn’t believe I needed one. Maybe those Moms were more disorganized than me, or maybe they were more organized than I wanted to be. Either way, I had to have flexibility, there was no way that scheduling my day would help.
Then I had a conversation with a friend who pointed out that I had no structure, and spent most of my day complaining that I had no control over my life. They pointed out the time that I spent reading emails and blogs, hanging out on Facebook, looking at things on Etsy and Artfire, spending time on Twitter, etc. and calling it research and marketing. Their point was, if you have no product, what the heck are you going to market? I was procrastinating, and the lack of schedule proved it.
So, I sat down and made myself a schedule. I used The Daily Docket from the Simple Mom as a starting point. Mine is more streamlined, but it works for me. I started out with a list of things I wanted to accomplish throughout the day, both work and household related. Then, I decided at what time during my day, I was going to do those things.
For example, I know I can’t think before 9 am, so my mornings are spent doing household chores and exercising. This also helps insure that the chores that I hate the most get done. I also know that I can’t sew when the Baby is awake, but I can check my email and do actual marketing. So, I schedule computer time when he’s awake, and sewing when he’s napping. The schedule helps me keep my computer time to a realistic amount. No computer time before the household chores are done, then only until it is time to make lunch. The Baby keeps me honest, too.
Now, when making a schedule,the big thing to remember is to be realistic.. If you know that it takes you an hour to clean your bathroom, don’t schedule it for 30 minutes and hope you’ll get it done. If you know that at 4 o’clock your child will meltdown, that is not a good time to schedule phone calls. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re writing it down, and trying to fit everything in, sometimes you forget.
Finally, don’t set your schedule in stone. Be flexible. You may not get everything done, but at least you have a place to start the next day.
Try it, I’m sure it will help you as much as it helped me.