Organization can be a great challenge for some work at home moms (WAHMs). For others, it comes naturally. Still others wish they could be more organized but don’t know where to begin. Regardless, getting organized can really help you run an effective business from home. Here are some tips.
Your calendar can be a simple notebook, an online calendar, or a business day planner from an office supply store. Some WAHMs like a big desk calendar; others prefer an hourly rather than a daily or weekly approach. Choose what works for you – if you have trouble organizing yourself, a more hourly approach may help in the beginning. If you are naturally task oriented and ordered, a weekly calendar might work better for you.
The calendar is where you divvy up your time. It’s where you prioritize the urgent tasks and separate them from the less urgent ones. Your calendar is also where you note the time it takes for repeated tasks – making meals, running errands, doing laundry, bedtime routine with the kids, etc. It can really help to go ahead and write those things in just so you can realistically see how many hours you have to devote to work.
Meal preparation can take some time, especially if you are concerned about your family eating fresh, whole foods made from scratch. However, you can cut corners on time and not necessarily on health. Here are some ideas for taking a load off of meal prep:
- Have someone in the family go to the store for you. Keep your list specific and easy to read.
- Divide up meal preparation among family members (this depends on the age and number of people in your family, of course, and does not apply to everyone). Let everyone in the family choose a day when he or she makes dinner, or helps make dinner.
- Delegate clean-up to other family members as well.
- Food does not have to be elaborate to be healthy. Pasta tossed with steamed veggies is quick and healthy, and lean meats like turkey can be popped in the oven and baked while you work. Save the gourmet experiments for the weekends.
One of the quickest ways to lose your sense of order and become disorganized is to take on too much. If you are a ‘yes’ person, you may ultimately disappoint your
clients because you promised more than you can deliver. So be realistic about the hours you can devote to working each week, and learn to say ‘no’ when you have to.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.