How I’m Working on Balance and Less Overwhelm

work at home mum

 

Working from home is definitely not the walk in the park many think it is. Yes, it has it benefits but this being the first Christmas/New Year break where I’ve continued to run my business was exhausting to say the least. Trying to juggle work as usual on my normal work days while Mr. G and Elliott were home or trying to fit some family holiday time at the beach while having to work was tough. I’ve received many emails saying ‘Hi Eva, I hope you have a relaxing break and are back in the New Year refreshed’ and I just thought to myself ‘oh, I wish’.  This experience and the fact that the last couple of months have been a bit too crazy has made me realise how important it is that I try REALLY hard this year to make time for family, work and my blog without neglecting either of them.

Get back into routine

I can’t remember the last time I actually followed a routine and its a shame because I used to be really good at it. If I can stick to this and set rules for myself, not only will I have a better chance of fitting everything in, but I’m sure it will help me reach my goals, feel as though I’ve achieved something and have me feeling less stressed.

Here’s what my new work day routine looks like for Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

6 – 7 – Wake up and work out!

7-8.15am Shower, dress, eat breakfast, pack Elliott’s lunch and get him ready for daycare. Mr. G is great and organises his breakfast while I’m doing my workout.

8.15 am – drop Elliott off at daycare, stop in for my morning coffee and come back home to get prepared for the day.

9am – Work (no checking of emails!)

12.30 to 1.00 Lunch (away from my desk)

1.00 – 3.00 Work (now I can check emails)

3.00 – 3.30 Break – prepare dinner, tidy a room

3.30 – 4.00 Work

4.00 – 4.30 Reply to emails, plan the next day.

4.30 – pick up Elliott.

No more work! It’s family time!

Limit work on the weekend

Working from home means you can easily get caught up in your work because it’s always there and you’re always switched on. I’ve now decided that apart from checking social media briefly (I have to, I’m a Social Media Manager for goodness sakes) I will not work unless it’s absolutely necessary. Weekends are my chance to have some time to myself, recouperate, enjoy time together with my family, get things spick and span for the next week, cook up meals for the week.  Limiting work on the weekend is all about setting things right for the week ahead and starting fresh.

Learn how to say NO

I suffer greatly from the whole FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) thing, I like to take every opportunity that floats right past me, that’s just me. But I’ve learned recently that I just can’t sustain that anymore and am putting too much pressure on myself. It’s going to be hard, but this is one of my goals towards balance.

Accept that I may be a multi-tasking mummy, but I’m not superwoman!

For as long as I can remember I’ve been independent, an overachiever and intensely ambitious. I tend to go 5 more miles than other people do when really, I’m the only one that notices. It’s time for me to take a couple of steps back and realise that doing my best is enough.

Does some of this resonate with you? How are you working to get the balance back and focusing on being less overwhelmed?

 

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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29 Comments

  1. January 13, 2015 / 6:30 am

    Yes it sure does resonate with me. I manage my overwhelm by having a no or very little work on the weekend rule and spend limited time on social media on the weekend too. I also swim when I can. I think you doing a daily workout is a great way to start each day, plus I love that you allow yourself a lunch break away from the desk and another break in the afternoon. Good luck, Eva! #teamIBOT

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:29 pm

      Social media is a sucker! As much as I love it and it’s pretty much my job, sometimes I wish I could just turn it off…but, if I did that I wouldn’t be doing my job properly and I wouldn’t get paid! So that’s where my routine comes into play. I never ever gave myself a lunch break, I would quickly make something crappy for lunch and sit at my desk and eat while I worked. That was a very bad idea. Now I take a break away from my desk and recoup.

  2. Tonia Zemek
    January 13, 2015 / 6:55 am

    Love this post. I do a lot of work from home too and agree it can be “challenging” to switch off. I like your idea of getting a schedule in place – probably something I need to do in 2015. Thanks and all the best with your new plan, Tonia (stopping by with team IBOT)

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:27 pm

      Oh, thanks so much Tonia. Yes, it’s so hard! Putting a plan together is so easy, and don’t forget to include breaks and YOU time!

  3. writeofthemiddle
    January 13, 2015 / 8:41 am

    Good on you! When working at home, setting a routine to stick to is key! I work at home (though I earn no money haha). I’m trying to establish my photography and I blog. I am lucky that I don’t have small children anymore but I do have three young adults living here + hubby. They still create lots of work and need attention. As university students they are in and out all day. Sometimes I can get too absorbed in either my photography or my blogging and neglect myself (eg ‘movement/activity’)! I need to take a leaf out of your book and actually physically write myself up a routine! 😉 x

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      I hear you! I too get very absorbed, so absorbed I forget to not only move but sometimes I forget to eat…crazy I know! The way things were going, if I didn’t come up with some sort of a plan, I was going to get sick, my family were going to start getting very frustrated and I’d probably start losing lots of hair! Good luck with your photography and blog!

  4. January 13, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Sounds like a great plan. I really want to be a routine follower but it never works for me. Not sure how to get myself to stick to it.

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:24 pm

      I’ve never really been one either but I made the decision that I had to do it otherwise things would simply go haywire!

  5. 26 Years & Counting
    January 13, 2015 / 11:25 am

    I’m trying to work out how to manage my blogs while working full time – and all I can come up with are nights away to focus on writing, editing and scheduling. I find it hard to concentrate at home because my husband is always there – and through no fault of his own he’s distracting! I don’t blame him; if I had been at home for a few years on my own & sick I’d be wanting company when he got home too. But it’s just not a productive environment, even with the best intentions.

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:24 pm

      Wow, you’ve got your hands full! Nights away sound like a good idea though, I’m sure you’ll get lots of inspiration. I know what you mean about your hubby. Mine has been home on holidays and my son has been home with him and working with them here has been HARD. Good luck!

  6. January 13, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Good luck with the new plan Eva – I can see how things will work well if you can stick to that routine. Glad you have the self-care workout as part of the daily routine – don’t forget to make time to dream!

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      Thanks Kathy! Doing a workout was my priority actually. I have noticed a huge negative change in myself from not exercising and I plan to turn that around because I know it will have a huge impact on everything else. Oh I’m a dreamer, I dream all the time! 🙂

  7. January 13, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    I struggle with working from home. I’ve never really made enough of an effort to get my business off the ground, but – because I was used to very long hours as a public servant – I still spend ALL day at my desk at home – even on Saturdays and Sundays. I suspect I waste time, but I don’t allow myself to watch TV at all during the day and minimise commitments. At least when I worked I had weekends off! Good luck with the new plan!

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:20 pm

      That’s what I miss, Deborah. I remember when I used to work for someone else I could just come home for the weekend and taking a holiday didn’t have to be as planned and I didn’t have to worry about not being paid.

  8. January 13, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    I’m hoping to do some work from home this year, so I read these tips with interest. Thanks for sharing Eva.

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:19 pm

      Oohh, good luck working from home. It certainly does have its benefits, I wouldn’t go back to what I was doing!

  9. January 13, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    I’ve had my overwhelmed phase, and wrote about it as we bloggers do, and now I try to stay ok by being organised and having lots of to do lists. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed again I stop everything and make a list so I can prioritise my time again.

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:18 pm

      Lists are great aren’t they? And I don’t mean lists using apps, I mean real note pad type of lists that you can cross off with delight when something is done!

  10. January 13, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    SNAP – my post yesterday was that I am NOT superwoman and that I had to learn to say NO more. Just do things that make you happy, that is my goal for 2015! x

    • January 13, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      I loved that post of yours. I’ve already said NO once this year and I”m glad I did otherwise I’d be drowning!

  11. January 14, 2015 / 6:08 am

    Great tips. You’re right. It’s not easy working from home when the family is about. I totally lose focus. This year I’m working from home full time, so I will need to be particularly resourceful with my time while the girls are at school. I want to be up early to exercise and do some creative writing (so far so good!) and then walk the girls (and dogs) to school and then get stuck into a day of work and some housework in between, until 3:30pm. Here’s to plans that come to fruition!

    • January 16, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      Thanks Jodi. Yep, it’s all about the focus. I need total quiet when I work and especially when I write so it’s been really hard. My problem is that I’m finding the early mornings REALLY hard because I’m more of a night owl than a morning person and don’t really feel safe running the neighbourhood at night. I hope your plans pan out as you’d hoped!

  12. January 16, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    Sounds like you have a great plan Eva – I wish I was that organised since starting to work from home! Well done! But it’s a work in progress I say and I still feel like I’m settling into things. Plus with baby #3 on the way, I know I’m going to have to be flexible and realistic about what I will be able to achieve so I don’t totally burn myself out. I often need remind myself that I left my full time job for a reason and that was to spend more time with my family so anything else really is a bonus for me!

    • January 16, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      Thanks Erika. Oh, don’t be fooled…I’ve only just become organised this week! lol! Good luck with #3 and I might just see you this weekend. x

  13. Guest
    January 16, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    I’ve actually already started this and I’m feeling fabulous, less stressed, have turned down work and made the weekends about kids not computers! It is hard but we have to find a balance otherwise our stress levels will never be low. Very happy for you x

    • January 16, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Good on you! Damn computers and social media! Pity that’s how I make my living (no, not really) 🙂

  14. January 16, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I am trying to get the balance right at the moment. Trying to blog more and get a following whilst trying to be in the moment with the kids, hubby and everything else and not be in social media a lot of the time is tricky. Ill get there..Patience…I envy your morning coffee!!

    • January 16, 2015 / 7:15 pm

      I hear you, that’s exactly my problem. I definitely agree with patience and if there’s anything you’d like me to share, please message me and I’ll add it to my weekly schedule! Oh and the morning coffee, don’t worry, it’s really not all it’s cracked up to be ;). x

  15. Grace
    January 21, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    It can be all so overwhelming, can’t it? But it certainly sounds like you’ve got a great routine going on there! Good for you!
    I try to take a deep breath and just think that what doesn’t get done, will get done tomorrow. And if it’s that important, it’ll get done no matter what! And yes, there isn’t a day that doesn’t start without a morning coffee!