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Help a Work-at-Home Mom!
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 9:50 am
For many years, I worked out of the house. I had to be out of the house by a certain time, get dressed properly including makeup and shaitel, fight traffic, and schedule my grocery shopping for after work. Then I would come home exhausted to my kids, supper and housework.

A few years ago, I transitioned to a stay-at-home type of lifestyle. I do mostly freelancing now, with some meetings that are time commitments, but it's all remote, and I don't have to leave the house for it.

When I switched to work at home, I was hoping to tackle my housework, laundry, clutter and meal prep routine. Since I would be home now, I could focus on all of those things I couldn't do while working out of the home. But that's not what happened.

I love my new lifestyle, since it's much less pressurized. I love that my schedule is flexible, but at the same time I have a super hard time disciplining myself to get work done.

I assume my issue is common. The very thing I wanted to change (the pressure) is the thing that I need to be productive.

I almost never get dressed properly- I love to lounge around in my comfortable clothes, snood and no makeup. I also gained a lot of weight, which doesn't help motivate me to go out.

I find I waste a lot of time, since my work can be done at any time. I often stay up late and have a hard time focusing by day.

I haven't gotten better with meal prep or organizing. I don't enjoy housework or cooking, so I tend to procrastinate. In fact, my lifestyle has gotten much worse in terms of self-care and housework. I don't want to go back to working out of the home, as I do love my work and get tremendous satisfaction from it.

I would love to hear tips from those of you who also work from home, or who are SAHMs, and manage to have a scheduled day where you actually get stuff done.

I would also love to hear from anyone who has struggled with this issue of lack of productivity (procrastination, etc) and managed to overcome it.

(I have tried working with a calendar, and buy a new one every year, but just never manage to stick to it, even for a day. )

TiA!
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 9:54 am
This is me which is why I work. I need to be extremely scheduled or ill sit on my couch and stare into space. Its an ADHD thing for sure. If I don't have structure and routine I cant seem to pull it together and get what I want done.

You can definitely make your own schedule without a job you need to motivate yourself to stick to it.

Can you afford to rent a desk somewhere and then you can make working hours for yourself out of the house and then schedule the rest of your day around that?
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 1:41 pm
mha3484 wrote:
This is me which is why I work. I need to be extremely scheduled or ill sit on my couch and stare into space. Its an ADHD thing for sure. If I don't have structure and routine I cant seem to pull it together and get what I want done.

You can definitely make your own schedule without a job you need to motivate yourself to stick to it.

Can you afford to rent a desk somewhere and then you can make working hours for yourself out of the house and then schedule the rest of your day around that?



I'm not sure I can afford to rent a desk. I would need more than a desk, I think.

I would love to know how SAHMs who are naturally organized and structured fill their days.
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 1:47 pm
I think like how you organized your life when you worked like getting up and dressing as if you are going to work, having a chore schedule, having set hours for doing your work etc. has to continue when your staying home. Like take all the ways you managed when you worked and adapt it to do the same things just not necessarily at night. So maybe Monday morning is clean X room day vs when you worked and did it Monday night.

If I quit my job tomorrow I would do this myself because I have two modes either really really productive or really really lazy. There is no in-between. Any day off of work that I want to do a lot like legal holidays, Sundays I do this. I make myself get up, get dressed, and make a schedule for when I am going to do each task.
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amother
Cadetblue


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 1:51 pm
I’m not in your situation
Perhaps pick 1 day a week that you will dedicate to the home-
1 day a week that you will be super commited

Also you need to get out more
Pick one afternoon to treat yourself if the other gets done
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amother
Lightcoral


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 2:05 pm
I was exactly where you are. What helped was a super strict schedule

Every day by 930 I had to be dressed and at my desk. Id make a task list the night before in order of priority
At the bottom would be household stuff. If I got work done I'd do house stuff, but otherwise I pretended I wasn't home

By now it's baked in and I'm no longer working in pjs
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 3:16 pm
Thank you! Those tips sounds very helpful.
Anyone else?
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amother
Mintcream


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 3:40 pm
I like to plan housework in advance so I can do it while working. So I’ll sort all the laundry the night before and then throw up loads all day. I love doing that because it means I’m getting up to stretch once an hour. Also if I plan supper in advance I’ll have the protein defrosted and take a quick break to put up chicken quarters for example at 2 so that they’re ready later, or put up soup or stews. The cleaning is not as realistic though when I’m on the phone I’ll try to clear surfaces or make beds. And discreetly fold laundry on zoom calls if I don’t need to be typing.
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tichellady




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 3:55 pm
I have a lot of the same struggles as you
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amother
Jean


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 4:57 pm
I work from home too and I dont get the leisure of doing housework during the day at all. Im so busy and have so many responsibilities that im glad if I get time to get up from my desk and prepare lunch or use the bathroom. No kidding! However, I show up to my desk every morning fully dressed, with my face done. I do that since I need to be ready to leave my house right when im done working to get my baby from the babysitter.
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AhavatYisrael




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 5:06 pm
Yes! I'm going through the same dilemma. Continue working from home and enjoy not feeling constantly frazzled or work outside of the home and be productive but have no energy or breathing room. I thought about working outside the home a couple of days a week but I don't think that will completely solve the problem for me.
What's worked for me is to go straight to my desk when I get home from drop off. If I sit on my couch or at the kitchen table it's game over. For me if I get over this hurdle then I manage to be productive for longer. I also schedule my day as if each task is a meeting or a time sensitive project. Other than throwing in laundry I ignore all household tasks until I'm done my work. If I need to stretch I'll do some dishes or now that Pesachs approaching I'll wipe down a couple of drawers or cupboard. I tried setting aside one day a week as an errands day but it didn't work for me. I'll do groceries after drop off one day and try to buy enough for 2 weeks. Other errands will be scheduled in depending on my week.
It's still very much a work in progress but I'm definitely finding that by treating every little task as a time sensitive project I'm becoming more productive.
Thanks for posting this. I'm looking forward to hearing other suggestions.
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amother
Red


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 5:24 pm
I can be pretty unmotivated or procrastinate easily, so I find I need to keep myself to a really organized schedule. I do give myself some flexibility but I make lots of lists and do lots of planning in advance. I make weekly dinner menus on Sunday mornings so I can plan out my grocery shopping for the week and also not have to waste time each day. I have mostly the same daily schedule but I’ll also plan it out on Sunday and adjust nightly if necessary

A typical day for me looks like this:

7:30am- wake up, shower, get dressed
8am- make kids lunches/breakfasts
8:15am- get kids dressed
8:35am- get kids to playgroup
9:20am- get home, change into pjs (lol), make/eat breakfast
9:50am- wash dishes/tidy kitchen
10am- work (until 5 with breaks as follows)
11am- put in laundry
12pm- make/eat lunch
1pm- start dinner prep, switch laundry
2pm- sweep/mop
2:40pm- change/pick up kids
3:20pm- back to work..
5pm- finish work, start on dinner
5:30pm- give kids dinner
6pm- give kids bath
6:45pm- get kids ready for bed
7pm- bedtime routine
7:30pm- dinner w/ DH
8pm- wash dishes, tidy kitchen
8:30pm- fold laundry, pick kids clothes for next day
8:45pm- chill time
10:30pm- bedtime

I’m sure there’s a million other small things I do each day I don’t have written here but this is basically the general schedule I follow. I confirm it the night before to include any things I want to get done

I also find it helps to set timers for myself, I have an Alexa so it’s easy to just ask her to set alarms or timers. Like if I start scrolling on imamother, I’ll tell her to set a timer for 5 minutes so I don’t get sucked in for 45 minutes and then feel totally unproductive and useless
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amother
Almond


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 5:34 pm
Star slow. Pick 2 days a week that are a must for you to get dressed. I find on the days I am dressed properly I get a lot more done. It’s a mindset.

Make some sort of schedule you can stick to. Set goals for the day/week. Stay far away from your phone when you want to get tbj gs done.
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amother
Daylily


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 5:39 pm
Wake up early coffee and davening
630-845 get the kids ready and out to school or playgroup
915-30 sit down to start working
Randomly cook dinner, tidy up and laundry
300 finish working
Pickup kids
Dinner then bath time, bedtime

Sundays meal plan for the week
A load of laundry daily helps and extra clothing enough to get through a week without worrying
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 7:15 pm
Thanks everyone!

Amother red, I wonder why you change into pj's at 9:20??

These are all great ideas.
I'm excited ti start implementing some of them.

If someone here can tell me that she also was completely unfocused and managed to greatly improve, it would give me hope that it can happen for me too!
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amother
Red


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 7:21 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thanks everyone!

Amother red, I wonder why you change into pj's at 9:20??

These are all great ideas.
I'm excited ti start implementing some of them.

If someone here can tell me that she also was completely unfocused and managed to greatly improve, it would give me hope that it can happen for me too!


I like to be in pjs at home, I can’t spend all day dressed I’m too uncomfortable to get stuff done

But I also hear why some need to be, because it adds to their mindset of starting the day and being productive. I find it has the opposite effect on me, I’m much more productive when I’m comfortable
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amother
Jade


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 7:37 pm
When I get dressed I put on my sneakers and workout clothes. This way I’m forced to work out at some point!
Once I’m at my desk I put my phone on the side and only check it once an hour.
I give two hours to workthen stop to do errands (some work related such as the bank, sometimes groceries). When I come home from errands I usually eat lunch and head back to my desk.
I have a set menu for supper so I only shop once a week. I know exactly what I’m making so I break at 3 to put it into the oven.
My kids come home at 4 and no matter what between 3:30 and 4 is my rushing time!
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mra01385




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 8:06 pm
I understand the struggle as I also work from home. I’m a reading specialist and I proofread for a local newspaper. I have many free hours but I have a hard time keeping to a schedule because I waste a lot from being on my phone. I’m mainly on social media learning how to find clients as I struggle with that and I’m also always learning new things to enhance my tutoring. My problem with working outside the house is that I’m physically disabled due to severe shortness of breaths so it’s hard for me to work out of the house especially in the winter. This is why I quit my regular part time day job. I wish I could get out of the house more.
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amother
Moccasin


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 8:33 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thanks everyone!

Amother red, I wonder why you change into pj's at 9:20??

These are all great ideas.
I'm excited ti start implementing some of them.

If someone here can tell me that she also was completely unfocused and managed to greatly improve, it would give me hope that it can happen for me too!


Last year was my first year working from home and I found it very challenging. I would find myself distracted all the time! This year is way easier and it’s because I decided I am in charge of bringing my toddler to playgroup. It gets me out of the house and dressed by 10. I then come straight home and since I’m dressed and I know I only have a certain amount of time until the kids come home, it motivates me amazingly.
Also my job has gotten more challenging and I like a challenge so that helps me too.
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amother
Wheat


 

Post Mon, Feb 26 2024, 8:53 pm
I get back from playgroup dropoff around 9:35. I daven, tidy up a bit, and then sit down by my desk with a breakfast and eat while I start to work by 10 or a few min after. I rarely do any housework while I’m working (from 10-3) besides for ex:
Thursdays sometimes I’ll put gefilte fish in the oven, sweep the floor while on a phone call that I don’t need to be at the computer for, switch a load of linen from washer to dryer because the cleaning lady is coming/here and I want her to be able to put it back on the beds…

I don’t have advice really, just chiming in to say how my day working from home looks.
I used to wear a slinky skirt every day but I started getting more dressed (tights, shirt skirt, not just a zip up sweatshirt) and I definitely like feeling more put together even just for my short trips to the grocery or for playgroup dropoff and pickup. But no shaitel or makeup unless I have an appointment or something lol)
I recently got asked by a fellow playgroup mommy “what do you do? You’re always dressed, but you somehow always manage to come to pickup in a snood”😁
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