Organizing, Scheduling and Menu Planning…No one ever said it was easy.

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.

My brain on the wall ;)

My brain on the wall 😉

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.

expanded office

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:

  1. Real butter is healthier for you than margarine any day of the week.
  2. Coconut oil is filled with omega-3 and fights free-radical damage.
  3. Bone broth is not just good when you have a cold but everyday.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

About Palmer Fancy-Freelance

My name is Amanda (Mandy), recently I have become unemployed and after lots of thought and encouragement from a dear friend I decided to start freelancing business as an Administrative Professional. This blog will document my endeavors to launch a successful freelance business. Why freelance you ask? I have many reasons why I want to freelance and the most important is so I can stay at home and raise my children. In the past year of being unemployed I have found that going to work everyday and being in a management position for a company took me away from what is important, my children and husband. Unfortunately I need two incomes to support my household and freelancing seems like the answer to my prayers. Why blog about it? well I am hoping that I can help others that are wanting to do the same. Maybe someone reading my blog will learn from my mistakes (I know there will be many) and from my triumphs. I am also hoping maybe other freelancers will read as well and help me along the way.
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6 Responses to Organizing, Scheduling and Menu Planning…No one ever said it was easy.

  1. Pingback: It’s Due When? | Palmer Fancy-Freelance

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