Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Stay Organized and Work from Home | Organizing Made Fun: Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Stay Organized and Work from Home

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Stay Organized and Work from Home

Last month, I had the privilege to write a post for Hometalk about blogging. I've been in the business now for over 4 years and I really enjoy it. It has it's ups and down. Mostly ups, but I've been learning to manage things even better over the last year or so. I had another blogger ask me a question recently, and it turned into an entire post! So, blogger or not, I think you may enjoy this peak into my world. If you are a work from home mom {or hoping to be in the future}, this will definitely apply to you, as well.

I really admire how you run/manage your blog. I know you've said in the past that you view your blog as your business and you take that very seriously. You've also mentioned that you schedule Pinterest months in advance. I'm wondering if you have any tips for managing your blog, keeping on schedule, staying focused on your business, staying on top of social media...

Work Smarter, Not Harder -- help from a work from home mom/blogger ::

I wish I could sit down with each of you and just talk “blogging” because it’s such a fun subject to chat about and I don’t have a lot of friends close to me that I can talk to about it. My husband gets to listen to me go on and on…but, he doesn’t really get it. YOU really get it!

I'm not perfect, and my ways aren't always the best for everyone. But, what I DO know is that they work and help me to keep on top of things without losing my mind or missing a deadline.

This year my new motto became: Work smarter, not harder. Guess what? I’m telling you that it’s working. Am I the biggest, most successful blog on the planet? Nope, but I’m working way less than I did a year ago and it hasn’t affected my income one bit! So, in my opinion, I’ve worked smarter, not harder!

Here are some of the basic ways I believe that just getting organized has helped me be successful. And, let me tell you that I am NOT a perfectionist, I am a very unfocused person – scatter brained is what my dad called it. I believe nowadays it’s more like “ADD” type of a brain. I’ve addressed this HERE and how I am able to keep organized despite having this kind of wired brain.

My 10 tips for successful, organized blogging:

1.  I get dressed

I know, I know -- that's that whole great perk of working from home is getting to work in your pajamas!! But, in all seriousness, when you get dressed, take a shower, or just get ready, you are likely to take your work more seriously and be more productive. Besides, you might have a meeting via FaceTime or Google Hang Out!

2. I have {fairly} regular works hours.

If at all possible, set some work hours -- even if they are broken up or different for each day of the week. Set them. Try your best to stick to them. Define which days of the week you plan to work or if you are willing to just work when you have a moment to spare. Let me just say, I work EVERYWHERE! I don’t waste a minute if at all possible. If I’m waiting in the carpool line, the doctor’s office, or just chilling watching TV at night – I’m working! It helps me fill in my office hours that I have to miss during the week because I’m being a Mom and need to take care of my family.

This is different than working all the time. I am purposeful about working everywhere. I bring my computer only because I KNOW I have an opportunity to get ahead on work or catch up on something that I’m behind on.

3. Schedule – I can’t tell you how important this is for me. I have several types of schedules. I had a daily schedule – you know, the type that shows what needs to be done for the day. I used to do that specifically with my house cleaning HERE and it worked wonders for me when the kids were babies.

But, I sit down and schedule out my day the next day. I have two calendars – a blog calendar and a daily “life” calendar – both digital. For my blog calendar I use Google Calendar and my life calendar is Cozi, since my whole family can use it on their Iphones.

When I say schedule, I put in approximate times of what I’m doing and the time of day. Honestly, I rarely go by it exactly, but it keeps me on track. It keeps my focus. Sometimes I have conference calls, blog posts to write, social media to schedule, etc. Other times I have errands to run and kids to pick up. I have a full day at home on Mondays, for instance, that I spend the day “working” while I’m also doing laundry that day, as well. Multi-tasking at it’s finest. Here is a sample of what my schedule looks like right now:

Mondays – Work from home, Laundry day
Tuesdays – Bible study in the morning, work in the afternoon.
Wednesdays – Run errands all day, run kids everywhere
Thursdays – Work from home in the morning, teach piano all afternoon {Yes, I’m also a piano teacher}
Friday – Project day. Work around the house and do projects, take pictures, work from home

I fit working also in the evening when I’m sitting on the couch watching TV. That’s when I usually work on scheduling my Pinterest pins and Facebook posts – I schedule Pins a week apart for months at a time to my many boards. It’s great and I can still have a life other nights of the week!

4. Set a timer – I regularly must get up from my desk and go do something. I get a bit stir crazy. It’s not long – usually 5-10 minutes.

5. Have a separate office or work area -- not the couch. I would much rather sit on the couch and watch TV while working, which I do at night. But, to be completely productive, I need to sit down at my desk and work. I have my music and/or iPad of live TV going there.

6. Find help when you need it. I don’t hide the fact that I am only one person and I can’t do it all. I have a cleaning crew of ladies that clean my house every two weeks. I hate cleaning. Love organizing, not cleaning. I have an assistant who does all the grunt work for me. It’s the best money I spend every month – those two things. Cheap? No, but worth it and helps me to be more productive.

7. Don’t be cheap - Sometimes you pay for the email subscription service because the free one doesn’t work half the time. Sometimes you pay the “fee” to have a service to make your blogging stuff easier. It’s just part of life. Don’t be cheap and cut corners. Save up to buy a few quality things – a good computer and a DSLR camera are the two main things. If you don’t have the time, don’t try to DIY everything. Just pay a little more for something that’s finished. Time is money. I pay for stuff – and much of it can be written off if I use it directly for my business. Be selective on how much DIY is too much – it can take up more time and doesn’t always save you all that much money.

8. Keep distractions at bay. Distractions can be people, clutter, or sounds. If you have little ones, you may need to hire a mother’s helper a few hours a week so you can work. You may need to set aside an hour a week to clean up clutter around your desk area or home. You may need to find ways that outside noises don’t distract you.

9. Keep a list of to-do’s. I try to keep a list of thing that I plan to do in the future or need to do for the day. I try not to overload it with more than a couple of things that must get done. If you like writing on paper, do that. Or have it on your smart phone. This keeps you focused on getting things done that are necessary.

10. Know what’s most important. . I have been blogging for 4 ½ years. I have a lot of content on my blog. I had been posting three days a week for almost four years faithfully. Almost never missed a post. This year? I cut back to two days a week. It’s cut back on my workload, given me more time with my family, and I’m more creative. I aim to create REALLY good content on those two days and that will make up for not posting a third day each week – and it’s working! My family is way more important than my readers – always remember that! Your readers won’t even notice if you miss a post here or there. They have lives, too!

So, are you ready to work SMARTER and not harder?

Pin It

 **I have a few affiliate links in this post - this does not mean you pay a dime more for the product when you purchase through my link. It just means I made it easier for you to find what you might like, so I make a few cents if you purchase. I SO SO SO appreciate when you support Organizing Made Fun. Thank you!!**  

 Like what you see here? Consider becoming a follower or subscribe via email! Are you an Organized Reader? I'd love to see your organized space. 

  Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Check
Connect with me:
Follow OrganizeMadeFun on Twitter Follow Me on Pinterest
Google Plus for OMF beckyb_omf Bloglovin’ OMF OMF Facebook page