I will lead with my clause – some days are better than others. In no way do I follow this exactly every single day.
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With that out of the way, I do want to say that I keep myself fairly in check when it comes to deadlines and tasks. This includes what I want to do behind-the-scenes in my business and client work.
As always, I use lists. Checklists, to-dos, bills due, errands to run, school functions, etc. are all included. I prefer to have mine in a planner because there’s something satisfying about physically marking off an item, but I also keep a digital record of client tasks.
Next, the flow.
I use the planner to color-code all the things. If it’s for a child, each child has a specified color (because then at a glance I can usually tell if it’ll be around school hours or during). My husband gets his own color and I have a personal item color in case I have an appointment for myself. Each client has a separate color so I can see who I’ll be focusing on that day. All of this helps me to stay accountable.
Some people use block scheduling, which I love in my brain, but trying to implement actually stresses me out because of the kids being at home interrupting my idea of how the blocks should happen. It’s a spiral that makes me feel like I’m either behind or not doing a good enough job.
After color-coding, I write down everything I need to get done and want to do if time allows.
What this step means for me is that if I knock off all the need to-dos, then I may choose to take a break, go on an adventure with the kiddos, or continue on to the wants. How my day has been derailed dictates the decision. I celebrate the days I check off every item on both the need and want side. Let me be clear, those days are few and far between, but I relish them like the luxury they are, for sure.
Unexpected events will come up (like our youngest disappearing and thinking she needs to try to clean the litter box and put the litter in the kitty food dish thus resulting in an impromptu bathroom cleanup). That’s the name of the game when you work at home with children around. With all the measures in place for staying ahead of deadlines, working ahead when I can, and preparing mentally for the disturbances, I can maintain a steady work pace.
When you fly by the seat of your pants, you can still get the job done, but items start to slip through the cracks or you have more stressful procrastination happening.
I don’t know about you, but there’s enough stress to deal with in my day. Tracking my time for certain clients tends to hold me accountable as well. You are “on the clock” so-to-speak, so you remain focused until that particular duty is completed.
What do you find seems to help maintain a steady work pace when put in place?
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And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to spend the day with the girls before brother gets out for the long weekend.)