Time Management for Work at Home Moms

Moms that work outside the home can leave the office and focus on their family, and when they are at the office they can focus on their work.  Many a work at home moms have heard the line, “it must be easy to work from home” or “you have time to get everything done”, some people mistakenly believe that.  The people who make these types of comments don’t understand the challenges work at home moms face.  Work at home moms need to find a way to blend both of those worlds into the same four walls.

Here are just a few time management tips to help work at home mom blend both the work world and the home world together:

Set your business hours and stick to them.  Post your business hours for your clients and family members and as a reminder to yourself of when your work day is done.  When it’s closing time, do just that. Close the door to your office and enjoy family time.  Remember if you worked in an office away from home you’d leave at closing and any calls you need to make would wait till the next day.  Apply the same thinking to working at home.

Outsource administrative tasks to a virtual assistant.  Doing so will free up some time in your schedule allowing you time to market your business.

Limit the number of times you check your email inbox.  There is no need to check your email twenty times a day.  Check it every morning at the beginning of your day and say an hour so prior to your closing time.  This is also a great time saver.

Avoid surfing the net just for fun during working hours by unplugging your internet connection if you can.  Once, you’ve completed your task plug it back in.

Networking via the internet can be good for your business when kept in check.  Participating in forum or social networking group can consume a lot of valuable work time unless you limit the sites you visit and how much time you spend there.  Be selective and join just the ones you really like and can benefit you.

Enlist childcare help.  If you have small children at home during the day consider getting some help to watch over them while you work or if you are comfortable with the idea, a two days a week or a few hours daily of daycare.  This will allow you time to build up your business and your kids will remain taken care of.

Implementing the tips above will help you get more done during your business day and allow you the freedom to spend time with your family.

Neighborhood Safety Plans – What Your Family Needs to Know

Tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires are common in the United States. When disasters strike, neighborhoods usually band together to help each other pull through. Preparing a neighborhood safety plan before it’s needed will help each person in the neighborhood be ready in case of a disaster or emergency.

Start by planning a neighborhood meeting. Determine where the meeting will be held, how long you plan to meet, and ask that everyone in the neighborhood attend. Sending out invitations or flyers with the information might be helpful.

Having a neighborhood meeting does more than get everyone thinking about neighborhood safety. It also gives everyone a chance to meet and get to know one another.

A sign-in sheet would be a good idea for those attending. Include columns for the names of all family members with ages, contact information, any special medical needs, and any special skills they have. Ask if anyone knows of someone who couldn’t attend but may have special needs.

Be sure to note who in the neighborhood is a doctor, nurse, EMT, electrician, or carpenter so everyone will know who will best be able to help if there is a need.

Make a list of everyone with medical conditions. This could be children with bee allergies, teens with sulfur allergies, adults with diabetes, or senior adults with heart issues. The medical condition isn’t important, knowing who has it and what needs to be done in an emergency is. Knowing this information will allow you to know who needs medical attention first after those injured if there is a natural disaster.

Each person should know how to turn off the utilities to their house. Turning off utilities may help save your home from catching fire after an emergency. This could very well save your lives as well as save those of your neighbors.

Draw a map of the neighborhood, indicating each home and the location of each shut-off for the utilities. In times of emergency or natural disaster, people may not be home. By all the neighbors knowing where the shut-offs are, anyone will be able to turn the utilities off after an emergency.

Type up an emergency-preparedness list for each family in the neighborhood and encourage everyone to create their own kit. If you don’t know what should go in this kit, you can contact a fire department or check on the internet to find one.

Check with local officials to get a list of local temporary shelters. These will most likely be schools, school gymnasiums, or sports complexes. It might be a good idea to also give each family a map with directions to each shelter.

Choose a team of people who can act as a damage assessment team. These people will be responsible for evaluating potential dangers after an emergency and helping to minimize them.

If there is a natural disaster or emergency, make sure that no one returns to their homes until they have been declared as being safe. This is particularly important to stress with children as they may try to go back home and get some of their favorite things.

No one wants to think about having a natural disaster strike their neighborhood, but it can happen. This is plain to see on newscasts of people’s homes being flooded, licked by wildfire flames, or tornadoes. By having a neighborhood safety plan in place, your neighborhood can help each other pick up the pieces if disaster strikes.

Keeping an Organized House Maintained

Once you’ve got your house organized and looking just the way you want it, how do you keep it that way?  Getting your home organized in the first place is never an easy task but sometimes even keeping it organized can be just as challenging.  With some work and cooperation from the rest of the family it can be less of a problem.  It will take some time to get used to the new habit of keeping organized, but with some kind, friendly reminders, everyone will get the hang of things.

To keep things running smoothly establish a daily maintenance routine.  Everything has its place but it can’t get there on its own.  So, maintenance is vital to the success of your new system.

Keep the entire family involved.  Even the youngest family members can help.  To help make putting things away for small children, label things.  If they are too young to read use pictures cut out of magazines or the latest circular from the mail or newspaper and tape them to boxes, shelves, or drawers to help remind them where their belongings go.  This will help them to remember where certain items belong.

Assign each family member a particular room or rooms then create a chart showing each room in the house and each family member.  Each family member can then be responsible for making sure that particular room is clutter free daily.  Take a box or basket into the room and anything that doesn’t belong in that room place in the box.  Any other item that belongs in that room but is out of place gets put in its place.  Once everyone has gone through their designated rooms, meet in a chosen area and sort through the items and see what belongs where.  One more quick run through to return the misplaced items and you’re done.  Another method is to have everyone work on each room together, and then each family member can take their own belongings to their room.

Despite your best efforts, dirty laundry piles up quickly.  Designate a single place for all dirty laundry.  Color coding the baskets or labeling them darks, whites and colors can make wash time easier and save you time by not having to sort through it all.  Each family member can then put their clothes that need washed in the appropriate basket and when a particular basket gets full, it’s time to wash.

If you happen to live in a two story home, running up and down the stairs all day can be very tiring.  Try keeping a box at the top and bottom of the staircase, in a safe place of course, so if an item is found that doesn’t belong on that floor it can be placed them in the box.  At the end of the day or when the box is full, the items can be put away without you having to tire yourself out by making several trips up and down the stairs.

Consistency is the key to the organization maintenance system you chose.  In order to keep clutter to a minimum each family member must make the effort everyday to help put things away.

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