Organizing you day when you work from home with a toddler

Margaret - posted on 07/02/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I run three business' from home. I have a 1 1/2 year old that wants my attention, but I have bills that want payments. I don't need to find the work, got that. What I need is help organizing my day so I can dedicate some time to work and time for the child during the day and my husband in the evening and weekends. Oh yea, within all that I also need to wash clothes, clean the house and fit a shower in there some where. Any suggestion?????????????????????????????????????

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Deena - posted on 07/07/2009

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HI there!



Oh yes, this age is a tough one! It sounds like you have your hands full! Have you thought about a mother's helper this summer? Just someone to come over to your house, so you are still there supervising, but their main job is entertainment, snacks and diaper duty? At least during you most busy times like morning?



The great thing about cleaning is that 1. you can write it off as a business expense if you hire someone and include your work area in the cleaning! or 2. just clean as you go. Used the potty? Keep a spray bottle close by (but hidden from kids) and always a brush next to the bowl, spray swoosh flush and done. Keep wipes on your sink bowl and wipe off any water/dirt when you use the sink.

Use paper plates and cups for snacks and lunches, toss when finished, less dishes to clean up! Prepare ahead of time lunches and snacks. Make PB&J sandwhiches and freeze for the week, pop out to defrost, keep soups on hand, eat last night's leftovers. Break up large packages of crackers into small snack sized bags for easy quick snacks, get a few juice/sippy cups filled up with juice in the morning and keep in the fridge and just pull out when needed.



Set up a table right near your work with crayons, play-doh, washable markers etc and set up an activity while you work. Rotate activities every 30 minutes.



Take a break from your work to play for 30 minutes JUST for your child.



Seperate your work time into Red light and GREEN light activities:



Red light are those activities that can be done that don't require you to have interaction - like listing your e-bay stuff, sending Avon customer e-mails etc. do those at night when you go to bed or first thing when you wake up, NOT during the day.



Green light - returning phone calls, making trip to post office for ebay deliveries.





Plan your family time FIRST, put each thing in the calendar and then schedule your red light and green light.



Oh, also if one business is not profitable, consider taking a break from it for a while to give you time to re-energize. You have alot going on. Also if it takes you twice at long to complete something that you set out to do, while you might lose out on making more money because of it taking so long but your family is intact and happy then that is probably better right?



Good luck!

Bronwen - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Stacey:

A clean and organized house is a happy house. You will be more productive and happier if everything is in it's place and gets put away immediately after use.


I agree 100%!  So how do you get your family to stick to the organizing?

Bronwen - posted on 07/07/2009

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I'm always looking for advice on this myself, so I echo your sentiment (I have the job; now I just need time for it all!). I have a three-month-old, and in between feedings and diaper changes I run a business as a Pure Romance consultant, usually with her at my side. She's with my husband or a sitter when I go out to do my parties, but it's very difficult to do my office work with so many constant interruptions. I'm finding more and more that sticking to a schedule is necessary. Even if my daughter causes deviations here and there, I need time management goals for which I can strive. That way even if I don't accomplish everything in a day, I know I did my best. I'm also very, very fond of my Google calendar, which I use to organize my household tasks and my job tasks. I haven't quite mastered the work-at-home game yet, but my routine and my calendar have made things so much easier.

Stacey - posted on 07/05/2009

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Hi Margaret! I was in the same boat and it is difficult, but not impossible. Organization is the key. We have a remodeling company (just scaled that back quite a bit for now) , I have my business as a professional makeup artist and we have our MonaVie business.
Here's what I did/do:
Write everything down.
I have a huge calendar on the wall to write appointments, due dates, etc. I have a different color for each person/business. So, I highlight all my appts./business stuff in pink. ETC.
I have a pad of paper which I make my "Daily To-Do" list.
I try to plan that certain days and times are for certain things.
Mondays are phone calls...pick a time.
Computer time/email is at 8am and 8pm.

With a child that young, it's going to require being creative and figuring out what works best for your lifestyle.
Playdates work wonders. Is there another mommy in your area that you can trade time with? 2 days a week your baby stays with her/her kids for a few hours, and then you reciprocate?
We are a family of 5, so that means 35 pairs (or more) of socks a week, 35 pairs of undergarments, 35 shirts, etc. It adds up quick! I had to pick certain days to do laundry. My boys are older and can help get their dirty clothes to the laundry and I'm slowly relinquishing control over the laundry, so it seems to be getting easier for me.
How many are in your family?
I usually shower early in the morning or late at night. I'm not really a night person though. I finally had to bite the bullet and get up before everyone else so I could get my shower in and do so in peace (one full bathroom in the house).
A clean and organized house is a happy house. You will be more productive and happier if everything is in it's place and gets put away immediately after use.
We have team meetings at our house once a week, and people stop by quite a bit, so I like for the house to always look orderly. It's a very humble home though with a couple of 1970's chairs, grandma's couch and a vintage chair. HA!
So, tell me what your day consists of and I'll try to be more specific.
Take care!
Stacey

Margaret - posted on 07/05/2009

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I tell you ebay is a great stay at home business. You would be shocked the amount of toys, baby clothes, etc. that sells. My husband and I started a landscaping business right after we got married. I tried swinging the 2 full time job thingm, it didn't work. Then in 2006 we started a ebay store. Part time at first but then it blew up. Then I tried to sell old AVON stock. It all sold, so I decided to sell AVON, and some of it on ebay. Now I have an AVON web store which plays off what I sell on ebay. Just beware of alot of these work from home business'. Look into ebay, I think it's great for stay at home moms. Thanks for the comment.

Patty - posted on 07/03/2009

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How funny, I used to sell Avon before I got pregnant with my little one. I just wish there was something that had a consistant income base for me to be able to quit my full time job. Hope you do well. Take care.

Margaret - posted on 07/03/2009

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We have a full time lanscaping business that we've been running for 7 years, I do all the office work. We recently strted a ebay store selling toys and mostly items we find at yard sales and flea markets. Plus I sell AVON which is really great if you have a great network of friends and family, and now you can have your own web site curstomers could order all over the USA and they ship directly on your behalf. Feel free to be in touch with any further questions or ideas.

Margaret

Patty - posted on 07/03/2009

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Hi Margaret, well, I don't really have any suggestions on how to juggle all of that, but I do concur with your lack of time in a day. I am curious as to what kinds of business' you have from home. I would love to be able to quit my current job and work from home so I could be there with my 2 1/2 year old son more. Thanks in advance. Patty

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