10 MAN­AGE­MENT TIPS FOR WORK-AT-HOME MOMS

Be­ing a par­ent is a full-time job in it­self al­ready. With a cer­tain amount of drive, dis­ci­pline and de­ter­mi­na­tion, you can make it work – as long as you make it a pri­or­ity. These prac­ti­cal tips will help work-at-home moms (WAHMs) be­come ef­fec­tive, by iden

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY NEHA KIR­PAL

We show you how to ef­fec­tively man­age your home and ca­reer

Time al­ways seems to be at a pre­mium, es­pe­cially if you’re a work-at-home mom. While it’s the per­fect mantra of work-life balance for moth­ers want­ing to ‘stay in the game’ while rais­ing chil­dren, there’s surely an el­e­ment of for­ward plan­ning, time man­age­ment and good or­gan­i­sa­tion skills in­volved. Here are some ways in which you can have the best of both worlds:

1 WE LIVE IN A CON­NECTED AGE.

With ac­cess to a good in­ter­net con­nec­tion, you can eas­ily work from home or any­where you’d pre­fer. A lot of com­pa­nies of­fer re­mote po­si­tions, projects or as­sign­ments to moms look­ing to balance their work and fam­ily life. Keep your mind open. Re­search has shown that do­ing what one loves makes a per­son most pro­duc­tive. This might be a good time to ex­per­i­ment and ex­plore your hid­den tal­ents and skills. Scour all the re­sources there are, ap­ply and land up with some­thing that you’re will­ing to give your time for. For all you know, you might even stum­ble upon some­thing that you might want to turn into a busi­ness of your own!

2 THERE ARE PLENTY OF WAYS FOR YOU TO TAKE OUT TIME FOR WORK.

Whether it’s in be­tween feeds or while your child sleeps, you can find the time to be pro­duc­tive. Even though these may be short bursts, they can be quite re­ward­ing, if you can fo­cus and chan­nelise your at­ten­tion and en­ergy well. If you live with fam­ily or in-laws, get them to babysit ev­ery once in a while. They’ll be happy with the qual­ity time, but more im­por­tantly, you’ll get that much­needed free­dom to get some work done. Sleep train­ing is an­other huge boon. If you can man­age to put your baby to sleep by about 7 pm, you have a few hours in the evening to work.

3

FIG­URE OUT THE TIME OF DAY WHEN YOUR MIND IS MOST FRESH.

When work­ing on your own, you’ll need to dis­card the con­ven­tional nine-to-five model. In order to bet­ter utilise the hours of your day, fo­cus on work­ing when it suits you.

4 COM­PLET­ING THE MOST IM­POR­TANT OR DIF­FI­CULT TASKS OF THE DAY FIRST THING IN THE MORN­ING.

This usu­ally works well be­cause this is

when your en­ergy and con­cen­tra­tion is pos­si­bly at the high­est. How­ever, while some WAHMs find morn­ings most con­ducive, late evenings or nights work best for oth­ers when their lit­tle one is asleep. Ei­ther way, be flex­i­ble about mak­ing use of a time win­dow when­ever you get it. But re­mem­ber, recog­nise your point of di­min­ish­ing re­turns. When you’re at a point of se­vere ex­haus­tion that it takes you longer than usual to do even the sim­plest of tasks, it’s time to call it a day!

5

KNOW­ING WHAT YOUR WEEK LOOKS LIKE IN AD­VANCE MAKES IT EAS­IER TO SET THE RIGHT MIND­SET.

Or­gan­ise your week into spe­cific days for sim­i­lar tasks with an al­lot­ted time frame. You could group sim­i­lar tasks to­gether to fur­ther sys­tem­a­tise your work. Fo­cus care­fully on one task at a time, and get it done be­fore mov­ing onto the next.

6 MAKE A TO-DO LIST OF AC­TIV­I­TIES AND STICK TO IT.

Setting weekly goals and pri­ori­tis­ing tasks based on their im­por­tance, will help you fo­cus on the most cru­cial tasks at hand. You could post­pone the mi­nor tasks for when you don’t re­ally have to fo­cus. In order to make sure that all your de­liv­er­ables are in place, stick to dead­lines and turn in the work by the de­sired time. How­ever, set re­al­is­tic goals for how much work you can get done. Don’t set un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions or bur­den your­self with work that you may not be able to han­dle, given the fact that your prime re­spon­si­bil­ity is tak­ing care of your child.

7 KEEP AWAY FROM DIS­TRAC­TIONS.

Whether it’s your phone, tele­vi­sion and house­hold chores, when you’re sit­ting down to work, leave them for their al­lot­ted time.

More­over, con­stantly check­ing emails is an­other waste of time. Re­spond to in­com­ing mes­sages in batches and don’t check them more than three or four times a day.

8 SQUEEZE OUT TIME FOR NET­WORK­ING EVENTS IN YOUR CITY.

Step out for quick meet­ings once in a while, leav­ing your baby be­hind with a trusted care­giver and some ex­pressed milk or pre-pre­pared food. Carry your busi­ness cards along and al­ways fol­low up meet­ings with an email or text, just as a re­minder to the per­son you met. This way, you’ll build con­tacts and in­crease your chances of get­ting more work. 9 NET­WORK ON­LINE. Keep your pro­file and re­sume up­dated on sites like LinkedIn, Naukri, Mon­ster, Flex­ingIt, etc. Don’t for­get that a lot of com­pany make hires or as­sign free­lance projects on a ref­er­en­tial ba­sis, so keep your eyes and ears open or ask friends and for­mer co-work­ers to put in a good word for you. So­cial me­dia also helps in this re­gard. 10 TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR­SELF. The fi­nal step in ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing your work-at-home life is by eat­ing well and get­ting plenty of rest. You’ll only be a pro­duc­tive WAHM if you aren’t tired, hun­gry or ir­ri­ta­ble. Don’t push your­self too hard or ne­glect your baby at the cost of your work. Re­mem­ber, noth­ing is more pre­cious than the well-be­ing of you and your baby.

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