Recently I have been looking into becoming a freelance writer. I am a stay at home mum and blogger and I love it. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mum but now that Ava goes to nursery for a few days a week I now have some time to earn some money whilst still hopefully remaining at home.
Working from home as a parent is hard. You have limited time in which you can get everything done, and often you will have to work at night once children are in bed to get it all done.
Hiive have asked me to share some of my tips for working from home as a mother. Hiive is a creative network that offers users a portfolio platform, job opportunities and access to careers resources. It’s designed to encourage discussion and collaboration within the creative industries. Hiive was described to me as a kind of LinkedIn for creatives, and I thought that it sounded interesting as LinkedIn can seem very professional and serious, but in my opinion I am not at all creative. I also think of being creative as being good at making things, but it’s made me think that I suppose what I do is creative; blogging, writing, creating content, headlines, editing photos; it’s all creative stuff.
Here are some of my tips about working from home as a mother; I definitely need to work harder on some of these myself.
Chances are you will have a limited amount of time to get your work done. Either your child goes to nursery or school, or they are at home with you all day and you can’t just sit and work and ignore them all day! So you need to plan out exactly what you need to get done in the time that you do have. Create a to do list and a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
Ignore the housework
This is one that I find really hard, but try your best to leave the housework alone whilst you are supposed to be working. If you just quickly wash up, then quickly run the Hoover over, then oh look the washer’s finished and you better put it out, then you’ve probably lost a couple of hours work time. Sort the mess out later. This leads me on to….
Have your own work space
Ideally you need to sit and work in a place that is away from all of the mess and daily chores so that you’re not so distracted by them. Having your own work area also means that you can leave all of your work stuff together, somewhere organised and out the way, so that you don’t have to waste time getting all your things; laptop, charger, paperwork, together every time you start work. It doesn’t have to be a huge space but a little desk of your own can really help. I know when I make the effort to go upstairs and work at my desk I get a lot more done.
Put down the phone
My goodness I am terrible at this. If my daughter is at nursery I just want to spend time checking every social media site under the sun whilst I have the chance. I am so addicted to checking my emails, it is ridiculous. But a few minutes here and there quickly adds up and I could easily lose an hour of work time (or more!) each work day just checking my phone. If you can leave your phone somewhere away from you then you’ll probably pick it up less and waste less time when you should be working.
On the other side of this, you need to put down the phone when you are with your children as well. It’s so easy with everything being available on our phones to just quickly check to see if someone has emailed you back or if someone is happy with the blog post you have written for them, but it can be a constant distraction, and we need to try and give our kids our full attention when we can.
Plan out times to work but be flexible
Working from home as a parent means you may have to change the times you planned on doing something; you may have a child that won’t go to sleep or is poorly, and whilst you need to be organised with the time you have available to work and what you plan on getting done in that time, you have to be prepared that things could quickly change. Make sure you will have enough time to get something done if you are delayed and be prepared to be flexible.
Network and be social
Working from home can be quite isolating and so you need to make sure you still make an effort to communicate with other people; both so that you don’t get lonely and for inspiration. Sometimes as a blogger or freelancer you can get stuck for ideas or feel disappointed that you didn’t get a certain job, so it can be nice to have some online friends who do something similar to you that you can chat to. Hiive can be great for networking with other ‘creatives’, as well as finding new work, so definitely check it out.
Have you got any tips for people working from home? Have you had a look at Hiive yet?