Thursday, March 12, 2020

6 Time Management tips for work-from-home military wives

Social commitments are part and parcel of the military life. Like many military wives, I spend several hours per week at various welfare meets, parties, and volunteer events. Add to that, last moment event announcements and unplanned stuff popping up every now and then, and I find some of my golden work hours spent attending a social event instead of working.


time management for work-from-home mompreneurs
Time management for mompreneurs & milpreneurs
So, when you’re working-from-home (construed in the military community as a super-flexible career) and also are the primary caregiver to your child, it needs a fair bit of planning and time management to get any work done.

Here’s how I try to make time for my work:

1. Mine your fringe hours. The trick is to create time when your day looks full already. When I look at my schedule, it looks pretty full. With homeschooling, the commitments at the base and my own needs for leisure and fitness, the day already seems packed. But if I stretch it a little bit more, there are the early morning hours and afternoons. I could also use a few hours over the weekends to finish a painting order, complete an article or record a video, or even schedule a coaching call. I do believe that if we really want to do something, we can pull out a couple of hours here and there to do it.

2. Create a rhythm to your days and slot your work.  Earlier, when I wasn’t a mom, I used to be pretty strict about working to a schedule. But with a homeschooled kid in tow, a schedule just does not work. So instead, I’ve begun creating rhythms and chunk time into blocks. For example, I try to wake up at 5 am to work before my son wakes up and try to get in a solid chunk of time writing and recording material for my various blog series, books and courses; mornings are spent homeschooling; afternoons are for my painting orders; and evenings are for social commitments or family time, or a spot of social media marketing, depending on what’s the need of the hour.

None of this is set in stone, but knowing the general flow of the day helps me squeeze in extra work hours. And if your child goes to school, even pre-school for a few hours a day, then on most days you have a block of time to work in.

3. Make time for work. The general assumption about working-from-home is that you can work or not work whenever you want. If you’re doing a self-paced project, then it might sometimes feel like that to you too. But factoring in work into your schedule and assigning yourself goals can help you stay productive.

4. Let your senior ladies in the unit/regiment/military base know that you work-from-home, and may sometimes have to prioritize a client call or a particular deadline. This can be tricky sometimes because not everyone understands what a work-from-home career entails. But I do mention my working-from-home status anyway, because there are times when I have to skip attending a social event and give priority to my work. At the same time, there are many times, when I have to give a social obligation priority over my work.


Work-from-home time management tips
Work-from-home time management for Micro Biz owners
5. Let your clients know that you sometimes have to attend to last minute social commitments at the base. While you don’t have to go into details, but if your business is about coaching clients on phone or supplying handmade items to them, just letting them know about how hectic things can get at the military base may help. This way, if something important comes up at your base that you need to attend, you can let your client know and reschedule the call. But all in all, it’s a fine balance between your work and social commitments, and sometimes you need to choose one over the other.

6. Prioritize your rest and wellness. This can feel impossible when life gets busy. I know some milpreneurs can burn the candle on both ends (because sometimes that seems like the only way to work and be a good military spouse), but I need at least seven hours of sleep every night and 30 minutes of exercise daily, to stay fresh and vibrant as a work-from-home writer, artist, work-from-home coach and homeschooling mom. There are days when I cannot wake up early to work because the party on the previous night hit Cinderella hours. I try to make up those morning hours in the evening or over the weekends. I suggest not undercutting your rest and exercise time, as sleep deprivation and a sedentary routine can cause a lot of health problems in the long run. 

Would you like to know more about being a work-from-home entrepreneur and micro-biz owner? 

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:) Till then, find me here:

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