But it truly can be!
One thing that is essential when working from home is making a schedule and sticking to it as best as you can. Of course being a mother of 4 makes it very challenging. I have to schedule everything, so I figured why not give you the reader my tips for being organized.
Let’s start with Organizing the office: I have a dry erase board where I write down all my work timelines and ideas.
I have found that the board is the best way for me because it’s staring me in the face all the time. It’s close enough where I can update it easily and jot down ideas as they come along.
I was able to scavenge a filing cabinet from my family’s storage unit, and use it for the business.
I filed all documents away and made sure everything was labeled. Having everything at my fingertips is essential, so when I need a particular document it’s available and I do not have to waste time searching.
I know it doesn’t match but that is not the point right now. I just need the essentials to stay organized and when more money flows in I will make it prettier.
Now on to Scheduling: This area is just as important as organizing. Yes it’s good to have a timeline to follow to stay on task, but you really need to schedule properly especially if there is a family involved. Now I know a lot of people think freelance and they visualize waking up whenever you want, working in your pajamas and just taking it easy. I am not a seasoned freelancer but just these few weeks I confirmed that is not so (nor did I ever think it was).
As a freelancer you have to plan your time out because it’s precious. Freelancing is a perfect balance of working, taking care of the home, kids and any other duty that gets thrown your way. This is how a day looks for me:
6:00am – (that is when my 9 month old wakes) , change her, feed her and I get my exercise in (walking 2 miles).
8:00am – Breakfast, clean the kitchen, wash laundry, and tidy house
9:00am – Put baby down for nap and work for 2 hours on my freelancing, blogging and webinars.
11:00am – baby wakes, feed her, change her and try to distract her in playpen or walker so I can work more.
12:00pm – Lunch (make sure the kids are fed (during the summer) and spend time with them.
2:00pm – Put baby down for afternoon nap and work some more.
4:00pm – Baby wakes and start cooking dinner.
5:00pm – Send Hubby to work, spend more time with kids, give baby bath
7:30pm – Put baby to bed.
After 7:30pm I spend the rest of the night working and by the time everyone is in bed and the house is quiet it is 11:00pm and that is when I finally get in the bed. I stick to this schedule because it keeps me focused in what I need to do. I really should go to bed earlier but there are times where it can’t be avoided (baby wakes back up, kids do the “I need a glass of water” routine, etc.)
Finding a schedule that works for you and sticking to is key when freelancing.
Last but not least Menu Planning: This is a good point to think about especially when you have a family. Actually menu planning goes hand in hand with budgeting. I grocery shop every other week and make a menu for the whole 14 days. This helps a lot because there are meals you can cook ahead of time and freeze, or you can plan for a meal one night and the next night use the ingredients from the night before in another meal. I normally in a menu have a pasta dish with tomato sauce, make a double batch of sauce and use it for another meal in the 14 days (i.e. Spanish rice, stuffed peppers or meatball subs).
I make sure I look at the menu before I go to bed at night and take out whatever ingredients that is needed. I also make sure that in the menu I plan at least 2 left over nights (or what we call “must go night”). By doing this you are saving a lot of money. You are not buying food at a whim and trying to figure out what you are eating for dinner every night.
This gives me time to also talk about real food and feeding my family a good healthy meal (I can also sneak in a recipe).
I am a novice at eating real foods and I do what I can on a very tight budget. Some of the things I have adapted are:
- Real butter is healthier for you than margarine any day of the week.
- Coconut oil is filled with omega-3 and fights free-radical damage.
- Bone broth is not just good when you have a cold but everyday.
- Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles (made a specific way), I suggest picking up a copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig (or at least check it out from your local library).
- Meat, cheese, and eggs are better from animals that are strictly grass-fed.
Some of these things I have adapted and some I am still working on, but I try the best I can and the little that I do does help. I have learned a great deal from Soli, Cheeseslave, and others in the Nourished Living Network (NLN)
Now for the recipe, because you work at home and have a tight schedule does not mean you have to be stuck slaving over a stove all day planning a nice healthy meal. Here is a recipe for Crock Pot Coq Au Vin that Cheeseslave has on her blog, it is so simple and easy and it cooks for 4-5 hours on its own while you work.
I hope the information in this post is helpful for anyone who is trying to work, keep home and organize themselves to be successful.
In the next post I will be covering bid placing and tips on what an employer is looking for in a bid.
Please stay tuned.