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Children & Relationships, Staying sane, Staying Sane, Staying sane at work, Work and career tips and advice

How to stay sane this summer when you working from home starts to take a toll

For many mums the ability to work from home is like a dream come true!: flexibility to do the school run, a few minutes to spare to put a load in the washing machine and dinner on… all while making enough money to live the lifestyle of choice…
You know what it’s like when you buy a product: the description and the ingredients on the packaging make everything look perfect for what you need it for. But sometimes, when you use the product, all the promises made seem like fraud. Working from home can seem like that sometimes, too – especially at this time of the year when the children are on a very LONG summer holiday.

How do you juggle work, children, boredom, tiredness and everything else without losing it? Here are some tips:

Be honest and realistic

If you are juggling three children under five, the chances of you being able to work eight hours a day without disturbance are slim – unless you have another pair of hands to help. Optimism is great, but this is one occasion when you have to be realistic.

Schedule phone calls during nap times so you can sound as professional as possible. Make a a priority list with no more than three must-dos on them and make all efforts to achieve them. If it helps to put in an hour of work when your spouse or partner comes home from work to clear important tasks, then do it, but be strict with yourself – burning the candle on both ends will tire you out before it’s time to do it all again the next day.

Get into a routine

Similar to the last point mentioned above, make a plan to work when you can be most productive and least disrupted. I’m always amazed at how many self-employed PRs send emails to Motherswhowork.co.uk after bedtime. I’ve had a giggle or two via email with some of them about making the most of bedtime, so you really won;t be on your own. If you set a routine to wake up say an hour before everyone else at home and get the all rolling, and do the same immediately after bedtime, you’re bound to make up (most of ) what you couldn’t achieve during the day, especially anything that’s admin-related.

Know when to switch off

There’s a saying that goes, ‘Happy wife equals happy life’, and that’s true where your hubby is concerned, but it’s not just him in isolation: it refers to everyone in the household!

If your work hours are 9.30am-2.30pm, try to work really hard during those hours and plan the work you couldn’t finish for the following working day. Don’t spend quality family time ploughing through work – every night. It will start to take its toll eventually physically and emotionally.

If you were working for an employer, it would be a rarity that you would work through the night every night, and at the weekends…if you found yourself in that position you’d be justified for asking your boss for a pay rise, a promotion, or you’d be resigning from the job because of stress! And yet, so many employees do it to themselves because technology allows us to do it. Is it any wonder so many employees are exhausted and disgruntled at work> Don’t be a statistic. 

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Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.