I only work at home about half the time and some weeks for much less. I never needed encouragement to get my baby out of the house in general, although every single time is still a struggle. I have learned, through two babies, that we are always much happier on the days we have a nice morning outing of some sort. And although I love the one day a week that we’ve arranged for me not to drive anywhere or anyone, this Work-at-home-Mom thing wouldn’t work at all without some of the following places.
- Public libraries. They have storytimes with music at least once a week, if not more. I’m lucky that our local library has such robust programs, including pre-preschool programs that prepared my toddler for a classroom. Find the right library branch and they’ll have games and learning toys to occupy your child while you take advantage of the free WiFi after Storytime.
- Read more at The Mom Forum.
I’ve been a work-at-home-Mom since 2014. I loved being a freelancer, I loved being a Mom and appreciated the privilege of not needing to rush back to work for financial reasons. But by the time my Lil’ Pirate Dude was three months old, I craved the work. I desperately needed to feel a sense of accomplishment beyond getting all the diapers in the hamper which is still a challenge. I refreshed my email hourly in the hopes that a quick gig might appear. More than anything, I wanted conversations with adults that went beyond breastfeeding and formula and sleep patterns.
I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how hard.
Read more at The Mom Forum.
Right around January, that beautiful idealized time when everyone re-evaluates their life and dreams, I followed up on something I’d bookmarked a few weeks earlier:
The Passion Planner.
I checked out how it works, and printed a few free sample pages to see if I could better organize my February workload if I used it.
It requires a lot of dedication, a lot of planning to the minute detail and date as to how you will accomplish your goals. It takes a focused amount of time every week to not only organize your life by the half hour, but also to evaluate how successful you were in implementing your plan.
Here is the main thing I saw from using a Passion Planner that no other planner thus far has done for me:
It helps me understand exactly how much time my various activities take and how much time I have left.
I gained a real understanding of my limits, but more importantly, I clarified my priorities. In order to continue with both my Outreach Nerd consulting, revising my novel-in-progress, keeping my toddler and I active, and eating as healthily as possible, I had to get real on my time commitments.
In no particular order, here are my concrete takeaways using the Passion Planner:
- I have to focus on one writing project at a time. Decide whether I want short term gratification (blog) or to get absorbed into revisions, and plan my writing time that day accordingly (even if it is only an hour).
- Schedule time to prepare food and eat it.
- Plan on Sunday for the following week and discuss the work schedule with my husband where it overlaps with our time at home together.
- Plan on 1-2 days where we don’t take the car and enjoy the lack of structured activities to let my son lead our playtime. This also means his nap isn’t overlapping with driving time and I then get at least an extra half hour of work time.
- Take pleasure in highlighting the items I finish.
- Schedule time to shower.
- Perhaps most importantly: This is not a to-do list. Each line represents a half hour of my life, and some tasks take longer, some take less time. Adjust accordingly.
If you need better time management in your life and have multiple projects to juggle (including household and relationship ones), then I strongly suggest downloading some sample pages and testing it out for at least a month. I ended up buying the undated planner and it is working very well for me.
I am in no way associated with the Passion Planner and was not solicited to write this review in any manner. If you do want to try one, I would appreciate it if you say you were referred by firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll eventually get a discount.