This post is an extract from our founder Gail’s blog www.writingformummy.com
Funnily enough , this is going to be a short post! I am posting after a long weekend of failed attempts to finish the next book whilst in the company of a teething Rosie. I am currently working from home. I have another office for Writing for Tiny but I feel that working from home is the best thing to do for Rosie. I own my business so I realise how lucky I am to be in a position to do so. Everybody , especially other mothers ask me how I do it. I must say it is becoming increasingly difficult as she gets older, but I am determined to make it work. Here are my 5 tips on how to make working from home work for you.
Tiny Home office
1.Set up your space: I have a little desk set up in a little alcove in our house. It is tucked away yet still in the hub of the home. It is dinky, but it works. It means that I don’t have to clear my work away or risk a spill on my computer or illustrations.
2. Get dressed! I make the effort to dress as if I am going into an office setting( well, an office that allows Converse and tea dresses). I come from a nursing background and once that uniform was on I was instantly in the professional zone. How you are dressed affects your mindset. This is important not only because I sometimes hold meetings at my home office but it also gets me into the right zone. My work dresses may be covered in ink, Rosie’s lunch and Sudocreme by the end of the day but that’s all part of the job(s).
3.Have a routine: Babies love routine, and I don’t blame them. Having a routine when working from home helps you to keep on track. A routine removes the need to make decisions daily, decisions which take up time and energy. As soon as you have set out your routine you have already made those decisions , thus helping you to stop procrastinating . Try to set out an achievable to do list too.
4. Ask for help: Working from home means that you may tend to get side tracked by the chores, the shopping , and of course the baby minding. You are not closing the door behind you in the morning and enabled to focus solely on work. That can be hard. You may feel over whelmed as your mum world and your work world collide. Ask for help. Tell your partner exactly how he /she can help. Take offers of help from others and remember you are just one being, you cannot do it all!
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself: Running a business is not easy. Being a mother is not easy. Those two jobs under one roof is ….not easy! If you’re doing one thing you think you should be doing another. There is a great illustrator called Grant Snider who illustrated this perfectly ( see below). Be kind to yourself and take breaks. After the baby is in bed it is tempting to sneak downstairs and ‘just do a few hours’ of work. This can lead to going to bed at 4 am. I am guilty of this. Realistically , that may be necessary sometimes, but it is not sustainable. Get rest, eat well , get out of the home/office, see your friends and spend time with your family. It is all for them after all.