As a mom of a one year old it is incredibly important that when I am working I know exactly what needs to be accomplished and I have a framework for completing the tasks at hand. I’ve always been fairly good at not procrastinating, but I won’t say excellent, at prioritizing the things I need to get done. However, working from home with my daughter has proven to be quite challenging over the course of the year! For one, you never know if the nap is going to go longer or shorter than expected. Then there is the constant distraction of her learning new skills and growing to be more independent. Many of our clients, may second guess our decision to have Mary Catherine home while I work, however one of our big goals was that she would not have to be in daycare for the first year. Trust me, now that she is 12.5 months old, we are now looking at other options!
I have found the following steps to be essential to getting high caliber work done on time.
Tip one: First prioritize your day.
The night before I always create a list of the things that need to be accomplished the following day. From this list I know what are the top priority tasks. This helps me figure out those top three things that my business would not function without and what I could potentially hand off to one of our contractors. One way to prioritize your tasks is through the Bullet Journal technique. While I haven’t implemented this, folks I know who have found it to be incredibly helpful!
Tip two: Keep track of filler tasks.
In addition to the tasks that I know need to get done on a specific day, I also know the tasks that are outstanding but don’t need to be tackled immediately. There are additionally things that need to be done every week, but the day doesn’t really matter quite as much. These items I call my filler tasks. Filler tasks work wonderfully if Mary Catherine sleeps later than expected or is happy playing by herself, but still needs me to check in on her every once in a while.
Tip three: Structure around naps.
This next tip is combining the tasks above. My day is structured where my goal during Mary Catherine’s nap is to complete as many of the top priorities as possible. When she sleeps longer I can fill the time with filler tasks. Additionally, during other parts of the day when I can concentrate on multiple items at once, I do these filler tasks, as well.
However, at times if Mary Catherine’s naps are much shorter than usual, I’ll need to tackle my list once my husband gets home from work and finish up the top priorities from the day. The worst, as I’m sure many of you have experience, is when you have multiple days of short naps and it feels like nothing ever gets done! During these days I put away my computer and just focus on Mary Catherine and the dog – hello work on weekends!