Are you a parent working from home? Maybe you blog, have an online business or are employed by a company that lets you work from home.
Working from home can be a challenge especially if you have kids under foot. I like to compare work at home parents to a chameleon. We have to change our frame of mind just as quickly as the chameleon has to change its colors in order to survive the many different roles we play. Many times we are snuggling a kiddo, replying to an email, checking food on the stove and answering the phone all within the span of five minutes! If we are not careful, we end up crawling into bed at the end of the day and wondering what we got done. And if we have a deadline, we lose sleep meeting it.
I am not at all saying that our lives are harder than parents who work outside of the home. It’s just different. We all have similar challenges and workloads.
I am writing this post to the parents who work at home because I work at home, and I have found success from a morning routine I started last November. I hope this routine encourages you. Take from it and apply to your life what inspires you, and ignore what does not. The biggest secret to a successful morning is that you do what is simple and motivating to you, otherwise you’ll abandon the idea by the second day.
Here is my successful morning routine:
10:00pm: Go To Bed
My morning routine starts at night. I have to get to bed on time if my morning is going to be productive. I find that even with the occasional middle-of-the-night kiddo interruption, I am still more refreshed if I have gone to bed at ten.
5:00am: Get Up Early
My most productive days start at 5am! I know I get a lot of eye rolls for that one, but if I want my to-do list to get done that day then I have to get up early. I have a post on my blog that talks about my husband’s and my transition from being night owls to early birds. I spent my entire life as a night owl, so the change was huge for me. I find that I am really much more productive when I get up early.
5:10: Drink Lemon Water
The first thing I do when I get up is drink a huge glass of fresh squeezed lemon water with 1/8 tsp of cinnamon. The water cleanses, hydrates, and wakes my body up. There is a lot of research out there about why this habit is so good for you. Google it!
5:15: My Time
Being up early is blissful because it is quiet and peaceful. I’ll turn on some calming music then read books, pray, and meditate.
6:00: Workout and Clean Up
Hubby and I go get on the treadmill or do a workout on our TV. Then it’s time to shower and dress. I also put make up on even if I am just wearing sweats that day—it just makes me feel good and awake!
My husband and I love a good smoothie in the morning, whether it’s a green smoothie or my Successful Morning Smoothie (recipe below). Depending on our workout that morning, we will have oatmeal too, which is what our kiddos get. We also take our vitamins and supplements. These all keep our energy levels, immune systems and minds working at their best.
8:00: Chores and Homeschool…
With a cup of coffee in hand (love my java!), I get hubby out the door. The kids get started on homeschool while I briefly check my social media and email on my phone. I only respond to super urgent things that only take a few minutes of my time. I then spend time with the kids working on schoolwork. I will also do any early dinner prep that needs to be done, like tossing something in the crockpot or taking meat out to thaw. I do some laundry, dishes, and other daily house chores.
10:00: Work Time
This is when my youngest kiddo’s favorite TV show comes on. She is done with her schoolwork by this time, so she gets to watch her show. My older two finish their schoolwork that does not need my attention. This is usually the first time I get on the computer for the morning. I will check emails, write emails, check in with social media, and prep for that day’s postings. The bigger projects are saved for my afternoon work time.
We unplug at this time for about an hour. I usually serve wraps, leftovers, or smoothies. I like to sit and chat with the kids.
This routine has worked really well for my family and my work life. I have found that making a list and creating a weekly plan on what I need to accomplish really helps this routine go smoothly. If I have a plan and to-do list for the day, I won’t waste time trying to figure out what I need to be doing.
I hope some of these things are helpful and inspire you to switch up your routine to get more productive. For more morning success, check out my smoothie recipe below:
Successful Morning Smoothie
1 cup milk of choice
1 scoop or packet favorite protein powder
1 handful spinach
1 heaping Tbsp of nut butter
1 cup ice
Have a productive day and strive for progress!
Natalie Hixson works from home and has three girls that she co-homeschools with her mom. She and her husband run two successful online businesses. Visit her blog: www.striveforprogress.com