As a work home from mother of three and fur Mama to a pug, it’s not always easy to make every day count. I have learned that when my body is ready for rest, that I have to take a rest. I have learned that when my mind gets overwhelmed to pause and reflect upon how much has changed for the better. I have learned that my next chapter involves some pretty awesome goals being achieved. I remind myself that every day, in my world, is good and a day to be thankful for.
Today I wanted to go through a little bit of a day in my world, because, well maybe it will help you to overcome challenges, find a routine that fits your lifestyle and perhaps, just maybe, allow you to see that we all have day to day challenges that we can choose to let consume us or push us forward.
A Day in my World – Summer Schedule and Routines
The rule around here is to not ask Mama to do anything that requires brain cell usage before coffee. Reality is, I am usually groggy in the morning but have come to find out that when my youngest child enters my room with a smile, asking for a good morning hug, that idea of not speaking to me goes out the window. I find happiness in the fact that he can now enter my room freely in the morning without fear of being lashed out at, as was his life for a few years. I’m happy to wake up to the sound of a happy child who loves his Mama, even if the chatter is a little too much before coffee, sometimes.
Brew that Coffee
Since it’s currently summer break and the younger two aren’t in school, my oldest attends online charter school all year round, I don’t set my coffee for auto brew. You never know when the youngest actually will let you sleep in or not. So I have to head downstairs and hit that brew button. During this time, while waiting for coffee to brew I will try to make breakfast or at least make sure the younger two had something for breakfast, start up my work PC and create a to-do list for the day. By this time, the coffee has usually brewed enough for me to sneak a cup and get that caffeine raging through my veins.
Print out the To Write List
Since I’ve been really focused on building my business even stronger than it’s ever been, I usually have a pretty lengthy “to write” list. These are titles of articles that new and ongoing clients have ordered from me that have a specific due date. This printing out of my “to write” list has significantly increased my productivity levels as it gives me focus. I color code my list so I know which ones are priorities and which ones can wait until another day. I keep that list on top of my desk or I bring it with me in the living room to work from my laptop, depending on the day.
I always have writing articles as my first priority of every day. This is due to the fact that previously my writing brain works better in the morning. I have found that I am getting a second wind of creativity later in the night too, which makes it perfect for summer break because that means I can take more breaks from work to go swimming or simply hang out with my three kids. I start writing and work to set a goal to get a specific number written before moving onto another task load for my clients. This has really helped me to focus on one task at a time and not get overwhelmed.
Pause for Lunch
Since it is summer break season, I do need to actually feed my kids during the day. While I have been known to work continuously all day long, I have to break for lunch time with my kids. I whip up something for them to have and usually make myself a salad or heat up a chicken melt. If the kids want me to chill during lunch break, I will hang out with them as they show me what they’ve been up to all morning. If the kids are all set on being social, I bring my lunch to my desk after giving them their lunch. I enjoy reading a little on my lunch break. This involves social media interactions and getting a little more read in my current reading novel.
The last list on my work day is to get the chore threads dropped for all of my clients. I’ve increased my rates with this area of business as I was charging too little and doing way too much at the end of the night. I started to feel like chore threads were consuming my evening hours and really bringing me down. What I found out was that I just wasn’t charging enough to make it worth the client or my own time. I increased rates slightly and have been able to justify this increased rate with references and reliability. I drop threads in the afternoon and work on them a little bit to offset the late night workload.
At this time I usually find that it’s 4 pm and the kids are ready to have some time with Mama and come 5:30 pm, it’s dinner time. This is what I call my evening break. I may have some more work to do, but I push myself to pause so that the kids know Mama is putting them first. I enjoy taking this break because it makes me pause and be happy that I have three kids that still love me and want to hang with me. Having a teenager, preteen and a pre-pre-teen in the home that still enjoy laughter, game playing, and activities with their Mama makes me feel very proud at what I’ve accomplished in the life of parenthood.
Once the evening has ended, the kids get another break to do whatever they want for about 15 minutes or so. I then start the bedtime routine, get them tucked in and let them sleep. The teenager doesn’t go to sleep really but is required to stay upstairs after our time together. Once bedtime routine finishes, I head downstairs to work in the office. If I find that my creative mind is still roaring to go, I’ll get more content written for both myself and my clients. I force myself to pause at some point to either talk to friends, watch a TV show or read more in my book. I’m usually found watching TV or reading my book because I more often than not feel like these hours at the end of the night need to be spent working on my own self-care.
That’s it, that’s a day in my world in a nutshell. Each day may slightly vary but overall I wake up every single day with this same routine. I have found that setting this summer schedule has worked well for my household. While I still have days where I want to sleep all day because it’s hot outside, seriously, I work to pull myself up and get to it. I highly advise all of my work at home friends to get into a rhythm that works for their own lifestyle, because setting a summer schedule has truly been amazingly beneficial to productivity, income levels, and mental health.
Do you have a daily routine that you follow? What seems to help you survive getting work done at home when it’s so beautiful outside?