As a homeworker, do you find it hard to stay focused during your working day?
My youngest started full-time school in September 2013. After years of having her toddle around me, tugging at my feet/arms/elbows/fingers even, I now have six whole hours of pure, blissful peace and quiet.
Oddly enough, it’s taking me some time to get used to.
I became so adept at working around her nap times, and then later on, around her morning preschool, that I was extremely focused on achieving as much as I could in the shortest time possible. I was super productive.
I now find that the distractions I once so easily ignored – Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Amazon, eBay – because I simply couldn’t afford to fritter precious moments away, have become all the more tempting over a quick cup of tea now that I have a stretch of day ahead of me.
It’s not for the want of having something to do. I have plenty to be getting on with.
Structure might well be down to interpretation. I don’t think your working day needs to be rigid and inflexible (unless that works for you). For me, it means having a framework to work within.
I’ve become so used to working flat out in the mornings, that it seems sensible to stick with that – or at least use the mornings for more challenging/time-consuming projects when I’m more alert.
Late afternoons/early evenings when the children are back home, are perfect for thinking, planning, jotting down notes. I have also lately taken to planning my week on a Sunday afternoon. This helps to keep me focused throughout the week.
Have a Plan
When you are working around young children, you can tend to work in survival mode – simply getting through the day as best you can, from one block of time to another.
It’s important to have a plan. Not just daily and weekly goals, but an overall picture of where you want to take your business and what steps you need to take in order to get you there.
In my case, now that my circumstances have changed, I now have more time on my hands for marketing (who’d have thought) and as I’ve always preferred offline and face to face, but could rarely fit it in, I look forward to doing just that.
Having a plan also puts you in a far better position to identify areas that you need help with, whether that means outsourcing or simply partnering up with others.
Keep it Flexible
In spite of this, it’s still important to keep your work schedule as flexible as possible, particularly where children are involved.
Years of working frantically in the morning has taught me to not over-promise, just in case I couldn’t deliver, and it’s something I still adhere to.
A flexible schedule which allows you some breathing space when the inevitable obstacle comes along, will help you to keep both kids and clients happy.