Anyone who works from home knows that it can be difficult to stay focused and get things done, especially with so many potential distractions all around. One way to ensure you get in work mode is to have a designated office space. Natalie Borton shares her tips for getting work done as a work-at-home mom and how her beautiful Havenly-designed office space has helped her stay focused and be more productive.
I’ve been working from home for almost as long as I can remember, but becoming a mom changed the whole game for me and forced me to develop some new strategies to ensure I got everything done and had proper boundaries. Now that I have another baby on the way (due Oct. 31!), I’m so thankful I know what works for me. While I know adding a second kid into the mix will lead to some logistical complications, these tips are what’s worked so far and I feel confident they’ll still apply when my little girl joins the family.
Find a reliable childcare solution.
Whether it’s a grandparent, a daycare/school or a nanny, at a certain point in your baby’s life you need to know you have a regular childcare solution if you hope to get anything done. When Jack was really little, I was able to get away with just working during nap times every day, but there comes a time when you need to know you will have focused time to accomplish what you need to do. We eventually found a twice-a-week nanny who has been with us since Jack was just over a year old, and it’s been a life-changer.
Have a designated workspace.
When we moved houses last year, it was high on our priority list to have a real room for me to design and make jewelry, store shipping materials, etc. (it had previously been done from my garage!). Because my new office space is actually a lofted area that’s visible from the front door, I knew it not only needed to be functional, but really beautiful as well. When I reached out to Havenly for a little design assistance, they happily offered to help me put together the space, helping me take my initial inspiration and turn it into a gorgeous space I love to work in (which you can see here in all the photos!).
The process was surprisingly easy for such a large task—designing an office from scratch. I picked a designer based on my styling goals and filled out a style profile, then the real collaboration began. My designer, Priscilla, sent over ideas and I shared my likes and dislikes from the different concepts. From there, she took the dimensions I’d provided her with and created a 3-D rendering of my room featuring two final design concepts for me to choose from. Once I picked the design I loved, I was able to purchase the products directly from Havenly‘s site, which honestly made the whole process so simple and stress-free. I’m so happy with the final outcome!
That being said, not everyone has the space for a home office, and I don’t think everyone needs it. Depending on your job, all you may need is your laptop and a place to put it—a corner of your home, a favorite coffee shop or a co-working space. No matter where you end up, just make sure you create a space that helps you focus and be productive the way you need to be for your job.
Eat real meals.
This seems silly to mention maybe, but I swear it’s taken A LOT of work for me to break my cheese-and-crackers-at-my-desk lunch habit. I find that when I take proper breaks for meals and snacks, I’m way more focused and energized. My favorite go-to meals are big salads, hearty soups, quick sandwiches or leftovers from dinner. Also, don’t underestimate the value of proper hydration to fuel your work day.
Separate your worlds.
When you’re working, be focused and don’t feel guilty, and when you’re with your kids, don’t work. I’m often tempted to scroll through my email or Instagram feed when I’m with my son, but I know the days of him being little are limited, and I want to savor the time with him before he decides his friends are cooler than me! Plus, making that intentional separation ultimately makes me more productive and efficient during my designated work hours.
Create space for self-care.
This is something I’ve been terrible at until just recently. As mentioned above, cheese and crackers at my desk became the norm for me, and I honestly hadn’t worked out in about a year until a month ago. When you’re a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, your time feels so assigned all the time. You’re either in mom mode or work mode. And if you’re like me, it feels sort of wasteful to get a workout in rather than get work done when you’re paying a sitter. Whether it’s getting in a workout, choosing better nutrition, making time for a pedicure or regularly scheduling a massage, figure out what kind of self-care you need and make it happen. You’ll be a better mom for it!
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