Sample Daily Routine for Working from Home

by Melanie Edwards on January 27, 2010 · 46 comments

in Wahm

Last week I posted a message on twitter and facebook about being happy with my daily work from home routine. Specifically, it looked like this:

Happy with work from home routine Many responded that they wanted in on the secret and wondered if I would share what I’m doing. Though my routine is not extraordinarily different than most, I’ll go ahead and share my new schedule that is helping me to feel balanced. Keep in mind that this is a sample of an extremely smooth and good day. Some days my schedule adjusts to my personal mood or those interruptions we often have to deal with. However, the days that I follow this routine, are the days that I feel my best and feel like I truly have achieved work-life balance – for that day at least.

Daily Planner

Photo by Joshua Stevens from Flickr

Sample Daily Routine for Work at Home Moms (WAHM)

  • 6-8 am: This is wake up and get ready time. I’m not always up at 6 am – most days it’s closer to 7 am, but the plan is to be up, dressed, and get baby girl ready for school by 8 am. She helps a lot by getting herself dressed (most times I pick out the clothes for her the night before) and not dragging her feet when eating breakfast.
  • 8-9 am: It doesn’t normally take an hour to drop off baby girl at preschool and get back. But, I like to allow some padding room in my schedule. So, as long as I’m home by 9 am, the rest of the day will flow more smoothly.
  • 9-10 am: This is my time to work out and eat breakfast. I recently started exercising using my Wii and have found that if I get my work out done early in the day, it helps set my mood for the day and gives me a little boost of energy to keep going. The days I waited to do my work out later in the day or even in the evening, I had to force myself to exercise and I felt like I was dragging during the day.
  • 10 am – 1 pm: This is when the bulk of my work is done. Whether it’s client work or blog-related work for myself, I try to do most during this time. I may not get all that I would hope to get done in this time, but if I can make progress each day, at the end of the week, I feel like I accomplished much.
  • After 1 pm I grab some lunch, shower, and get to doing something for the house. Notice, I did not say I “clean the house.” No, instead I do something for the house. Even if it’s just one thing. For example, I can put a load of clothes to wash, or fold another load, or do the dishes.
  • This normally brings me to about 3 pm at which point I try to get a head start on dinner. I also go back on the laptop and check in again on email and various social media sites to answer any comments, manage followers, etc.
  • Around 5 pm, I wrap up for the day and either go pick up baby girl from school or wait for my husband and her to get home, if he picks her up.
  • The rest of the evening is spent doing the dinner/family thing, along with the nightly bath-bed routine for baby girl. After that, the husband and I have some time together. Sometimes this means watching a movie or playing video games together, and other times this time consists of me on the laptop doing more work while he does something else. But, we’re still talking and interacting together.

Why is this schedule working for me?

The reason, simply, is that it contains a little of everything. I am able to work on the house, the blog, client work, and exercise. Though I didn’t spend all day on any one activity, I still got things done and overall feel like there was a good balance of things in my day. For me, it works. And again, I have to stress that not every day goes according to plan. There are days that I don’t get much done around the house because I have priority work that has to be done. Or days that I don’t do much work and concentrate on cleaning the house, if I feel like it’s slipping.

For those who have kids at home with them since they don’t go to preschool/school, you’ll probably have many changes to such a schedule. I know the days I’ve kept my daughter home from preschool, I had to tweak my routine to fit in activities with her. But, I involved her in the cleaning and exercise parts of the day and used my night hours more to compensate for the lost work time during the day.

I hope that in sharing my daily routine, you find some things you can change in yours to feel more balanced. Remember that the most important thing to keep in mind – and the one that has helped me the most – is that you don’t have to do everything in one day. But, doing a little of each will help you feel productive without losing your sanity.

What does your daily routine look like? Share with us in the comments below what you’ve found works for you and let’s all help each other find our personal work-life balance.

You might also like: 5 Tips for Working from Home for the WAHM.

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