As many of you know, I left my corporate job at Google/YouTube earlier this year to pursue my dream of building a small business out of sharing my life on the internet. Before I left, I really knew nothing about being a work-at-home mom or starting a business, but I knew a lot about YouTube and was ready to transition to a more creative endeavor so I dove in head first and never looked back. Here I am about 7 months later with a whole lot of knowledge about working at home and I am super excited to share it with you.
- Get on a schedule. I used to be the type of mom that would roll her eyes upon hearing other parents speak of the rigid schedules they kept for their toddlers. I mean, take a chill pill, it’ll all work out, right? That was because my whole day from 7am-7pm was planned out by default. Wake up, make breakfasts and lunches, drop off both kids, drive to work, meeting, meeting, meeting, eat lunch at desk, more meetings, pick up kids, make dinner, bedtime routines… you get the picture. Each day I did the same things over again and it was exhausting so on the weekends, we lived carefree with no schedule. As soon as I started working from home, I realized I need to have everyone (including my husband) on a schedule because if one ball falls, this juggling act will come crashing down.
- Refine your process constantly. Once you get on a schedule, you will likely find that the juggling act will come crashing down at home just as it did at work. Only 2x what you’re expecting because at work everyone was professional (except that one girl who is miraculously is still employed — there’s always one) but, at home everyone acts like a 2-year-old because well, some of them are. You really, really, reeeeallllyyyy need to refine your process multiple times when it comes to just about everything especially how you make peanut-butter sandwiches (which this week are made with NO jelly whatsoever).
- Be open to failure. You may not have failed a lot in your corporate gig which is why you were confident enough to work for yourself. Remember that juggling act we just talked about? Now when you are juggling work inside the home with kids, your offspring are in your care vs. someone else’s so anything you need to accomplish (including going to the bathroom) comes in second. Here’s a list of failures both big and small that I’ve had in the last 24-hours:
- I burned (and still ate) an entire frozen pizza.
- I left the house 4 min late for school. We all had to run to make it on time.
- This post was suppose to get written last night, but I fell in to a NyQuil induced slumber while listening to The Goal Digger Podcast.
- I don’t recall anything from yesterday’s episode of the The Goal Digger Podcast.
- I was less than nice to my husband too many times to pick just one.
- Ask for help. If you’re like me, you seldom ask for help or even hire help because by golly, you can do it all! (Isn’t that why you left your plush corporate job to make a bigger impact on the world and your bottom line anyway?) Girl, you can totally do it all, but sometimes it’s best that you get a little help with the house work so you can FINALLY edit that YouTube video that is over a month old (like I did yesterday, yay!). Invest in yourself and lean on friends, family, previous colleagues, etc. Just don’t forget to pay it forward and help them out the minute they need it.
- Slow down. I’m type A so when things start accumulating on my to-do list I want to stay up extra late to accomplish them all and I give little thought to what a nutcase I will inevitably be the next day. When you’re working from home, you will have more to do than you ever imagined, but children live in the moment and get stressed when we push our hectic schedules on them. Here’s a few things I am doing to try to make life a little slower for the kids:
- Eliminate “hurry up” from my vocabulary and say something like, “let’s work together to get X accomplished” instead.
- Read for 20 min a night and discuss what we read.
- Eat one meal together a day.
I hope these tips help you whether you are working from home, outside the home or staying at home with your brood. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips to share! P.S. Thank YOU for reading because if it wasn’t for you there is no way I could have the flexibility to spend the time I do with my kids and work on projects I truly love. It truly means a lot to me.