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Creating a Balance When You Work at Home

Audrey Okaneko
 


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I can not tell you how many times I have women say “how do I do it all?" Many women want to work at home, but they're already holding down full time jobs. They have children, a home and other responsibilities. I'll share one of the strategies that has worked for me for many years.

A calendar or schedule is a must. While I believe in flexibility and I believe in being spontaneous, I also know that without a schedule, you most likely are not going to fit it all in. I suggest you start with a plan. Right now, we're not going to assign days or times to the plan, we only want to look at what your week looks like.

Start with your job. How many hours per day are you working? How long is your commute? Perhaps you're working 8 hours a day with a 30 minute commute each way. I strongly suggest books on tape for the commute. If a book is 2 ½ hours you can get through two books per week on the commute to and from work. Check your local library for their free offerings.

Next, take a look at your kids. Your plan should include driving time, some alone time with each child and meal times with the kids.

Look at your home. What needs to be done? Laundry, cooking and cleaning are some examples. What else?

On the personal side, you'll now want to allow time for both your relationship with your spouse and also yourself.

Now, let's write in your business. Where do you need to spend time? Make a list. You need to spend time returning calls, marketing, answering and writing emails, preparing materials, possibly writing articles or blogging and of course you'll need to spend time with existing customers and team members.

It's a lot, I know. Now that you know what your week looks like, let's break it down by days. Write out each day of the week. Fill in the HAVE TO's such as work for you and driving the kids to school.

Now start breaking up your other business and personal tasks so that each day you're allowing some time for the business and some time for the cooking and cleaning. You do not need to do laundry every single day. You can choose one or two days per week to do laundry and that's it. You can choose two days a week to work on marketing your business and one day to write. Start plugging in each task from your plan into days of the week.

There are some things that can be combined. For example, start making double batches when you cook. This allows you to not have to cook a full meal every day. Make enough for two meals when you cook. This frees up 3 nights per week. One night can be pizza night. Now you're cooking only 3 nights, heating leftovers 3 nights and having pizza one night.

Do you take lunch breaks and rest breaks at work? Use those times to answer business emails. One half hour break and two 15 minute breaks is one hour per day of time you can put into your business.

Depending on the age of your kids, some of the cleaning tasks can be assigned to them. They can certainly dust, do dishes, set and clear off the table and even wipe down counters in both the kitchen and the bathrooms.

If you're a morning person, get up ½ hour earlier each day. This will give you 2 ½ hours more time each and every week to work on your business. If you're a night person, stay up ½ hour later. Again, this gives you 2 ½ hours more per week.

Can you cut back to 35 hours per week at work? Or, can you work one day per week at home? The first option gives you 5 more hours per week for your business. The 2nd option allows you one more hour to work on your business on the day you're at home as you won't have the commute.

Really work with your schedule to see where you can make some changes, where you can combine some tasks and where you can save some time. I see many women start a business and then leave 30 days later saying they can't do it. I believe you can do it, but you'll need to plan and work that plan.

Audrey Okaneko has been in direct sales since 1983. She can be reached at audreyoka@cox.net or you can Become a Tupperware Consultant

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