I love working from home and feel fortunate for the opportunity. Having three children at home while working from home has its challenges. To make daily goals I must use different tools to stay on schedule.
My home businesses include a technology-service company with a high level of customer service and interaction. For this company I am responsible for all marketing, advertising, and promotion in addition to overseeing the accounting and customer service.
A second home business is my handmade jewelry shop on Etsy. In this business I am responsible for all duties; manufacturing, photography, marketing, sales, shipping, accounting, and everything else associated with running a business.
Finally, I am an amateur blogger and freelance writer. I love writing and started blogging to market my other companies. As time progressed I have become an active blogger and writer. It is a pleasure to share information or write about the humorous life with four kids.
Clearly, three businesses, three kids at home (one applying to colleges this year), school activities and sports, family, friends… Yes, I need good organizational tools to stay on track.
5 tools to stay on track, schedule, and increase focus
Planner & Calendar.
I use multiple, linked calendars. I share my phone calendar with my husband to coordinate business and kid activities. A Day Planner for writing tasks, appointments, ideas, etc. Google Calendar is great for my son’s college tracking. I share this calendar with my son for test dates, college application deadlines, scholarships, etc.
I love this blog planner from Krystals Kitsch. I use this in a cute binder to write my ideas, plan social media marketing, and more blog activities.
CoSchedule for WordPress.
I discovered it through Tamara Bowman and I am eager to give it a try.
It is essential to tracking customer service calls, installations, employee work schedules, and holidays. Old school but it works.
My phone timer is a new tool (as described by Tamara Bowman). I can get distracted and swallowed doing research on the internet. To help stay on track while commenting on blogs, writing, or researching I set the timer for a specific amount of time.
Write everything down in a list format. This technique is so great I use it for everything. My lists look like this:
I write everything down in task order and priority. Sometimes I divide how much time each will take so I can stay on schedule. I do this for errands too. It forces me to stay on track.
I schedule writing days, blog commenting at specific times of day, check email specific times, and so on.
So often I overwhelm myself with tasks, high expectations, and the when those are not met harsh criticism. Self-compassion and kindness are my most valuable tools.
First Monthly Challenge:
List every interruption and distraction during your day. Distractions include social media (getting lost in status updates), kids, housework, phone calls, text messages, or YouTube.
Start a schedule or calendar for family and work.
Target your listed interruptions and distractions with scheduling. For example: “vacuum Mondays 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.” “Fun time / park / crafts with the kids 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm”
Let’s check in during the month with tips and successes.