How to Work Less and Be More “Mom” as a Work at Home Mom

How to Work Less and Be More “Mom” as a Work at Home MomBy Martine de Luna

We all know that being a work at home woman is a 24/7 job, especially if you are a mother. As a full-time “WAHM” to a budding 3 year old boy (whom I also home-school), I know what I’m talking about!

We all want more time with our families, less work, and still make a good income. Sounds impossible? Well, there is a way to master the art of the having our cake and eating it too.

Here’s how… just remember the strategies need to be put in to place, if they are going to be effective.

1. Create Your Intentions as a Work at Home Woman.

Helen Keller once said, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.” Let’s apply that to our situations as home-based working moms and women: If we have no set intentions or a life purpose to fulfill as work at home women, we will go through our days and jobs blindly. Doing something blindly can lead to many consequences, the foremost being stress, the next being boredom.

My personal intention in my business, for instance, is to help women create a business or blog that they love. It has a coaching-consulting aspect that lets me use my skills and abilities, so that the work with the clients comes naturally and I get to enjoy the work I do. Now, If I get a client who is not aligned with this intention, then I know I do not need to be working with that person or business. Why? Because if the work goes against my intention, then I’ll need to work outside of my skills and abilities, which leads to more work, more hours of exerting effort.

When you know your intention and purpose for being a work at home woman, you are more likely to experience a sense of fulfillment and mission, each time you get down to work for the day, whether its on your business or for your virtual employer.

2. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Work-Life Juggle.

Tim Ferriss author of The Four Hour Workweek, refers to the 80/20 rule (known as Pareto’s principle) using different metrics: products and profit; income to hours, and so on. In “work at home woman” terms, the principle reminds us to focus on the 20 percent that matters most to us. This 20 percent will produce the 80 percent of the results we achieve.

As work at home women doing freelance or consulting work, here’s how the 80/20 rule would work: What are the 20 percent of your ideal clients that are producing 80 percent of your net income per month? Of course, these would be your better paying clients who give you, say, a flexible work schedule so that you can work at a time most convenient to you (and you can focus on your family more fully). You can achieve this by training your employer to value performance over presence (which I did). This way, you limit tasks to shorter but more productive work hours where you get more done in less time.

3. Edit Your Work-Life Load.

I used to be a big multi-tasker, but I stopped when I realized a better and more effective method: life and work editing. This is a self-coined phrase and philosophy that I personally believe in and subscribe to! Simply put, it means editing out what doesn’t help me fulfill the tasks that are aligned with my intention to be a happy and thriving work at home woman.

This means being able to do the following:

  • Eliminate and concentrate. This is something I learned from author Anne Ortlund: If you want to manage your time, eliminate your distractions and concentrate on your priorities; if you want to instill more quality time with your children, eliminate time-consuming work and concentrate on establishing regular “dates” and time-outs with your kids.
  • Take frequent breaks. Take a nap if you need to! These are productivity boosters.
  • Create not-to-do lists, so that you know to avoid time-wasters.
  • Single-task things, working on one thing without distractions. Multi-tasking is like a computer: When you have too many programs running, you’ll either hang the system or slow down. Better to focus on doing one project well than juggle several and be lax on all, right?

Editing our work and lives is essential if we want to be truly productive. Once we get our life priorities clearly in front of us, guiding our work life, then we just have one “to-do list” to work on! Ultimately, this means spending less time doing time-consuming work; more time doing work that we can more efficiently accomplish in less time, and of course, more time to be a hands-on parent to our children.

Have you needed to edit your work-life juggle? What have been some strategies that have helped you?

Martine de Luna is the director of The WAHMderful Life, an inspirational business suite comprising a blog and live training events for work-at-homemakers. The WAHMderful Life blog and workshops are designed to inspire and equip mothers and married women to work from home, profitably and with intention. Martine began working from home as a freelance copywriter, and eventually ventured into blogging; her lifestyle blog, DaintyMom.com, has received accolades internationally, including an award for Best Home and Parenting Blog at the 2011 Philippine Blog Awards. Today, Martine runs a boutique consulting service, which offers mentoring for mom bloggers and work-at-home women. She also conducts writing workshops for women, writes marketing and communications copy for for small-to-medium businesses, and offers web design services for SMEs. Connect with her at Martine de Luna Creative Services and the WAHMderful Life website.

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