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Month: February 2011

Procrastination: The Enemy of All Work at Home Jobs for Moms

Most work at home jobs for moms allow you the freedom of creating your own schedule. For many, this is the primary draw in working from home to begin with. While this is a rewarding luxury, the fact of the matter is that most of us with work at home jobs for moms fall victim to frequent procrastination.

The following tips are ones that I’ve used at various times to beat the procrastination monster:

1. Work with a timer. I’m a fan of dividing my work time into smaller portions. In fact, I also use this method to get chores done around the house. For instance, I’ll set my timer for 20 minutes and tell myself that I only have to do a task for this long. Whether it’s vacuuming floors or writing an article, when my timer goes off, I move on to something else. Since most work at home jobs for moms are performed online, I highly recommend this timer, as it’s the one I’ve used for years. It sits right on your desktop and it gets the job done.

2. Take it one step at a time. Sometimes just getting started is the real barrier in completing work at home jobs for moms. We begin to think about all that we have to do, we become overwhelmed and we convince ourselves that it’s easier to hang out on Twitter a little while longer¬† or play a computer game instead of working. My suggestion, however, is to take baby steps. When you’re not in the mood to work instead of gallivanting off to your favorite work at home jobs for moms forum, set yourself up to work first. For instance, when I’m in procrastination mode, I tell myself that I don’t have to work, but I’m just going to open a new document and type a single sentence before I go play. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to push myself toward typing more, but if it isn’t, I set my timer for a few minutes and tell myself I’ll return to my work when my timer goes off (and I go play somewhere in the meantime). Often, I’ll even set my timer for a few minutes and tell myself that it’s okay if I write something completely crappy and unusable, as long as I don’t stop writing for those few minutes. Believe it or not, these baby steps (and my handy dandy timer) are all it takes to get my juices flowing and help me enter a full-on work mode.

3. Stage a friendly competition. Work at home jobs for moms can be lonely, since you don’t technically have co-workers. This loneliness, however, often leads us to find online networks with other home workers or self-employed individuals. When you’re in a work slump these relationships can really come in handy. For one thing, engaging in a competition for who will complete the most work-related activities over a set period of time can really boost your energy. All work at home jobs for moms are not the same, however, so it really helps to find a forum of others working in your field when you select a competition. If you haven’t done so already, visit the WAHM.com forums to find a forum that’s perfect for you. WAHM.com is also a good place for information on various work at home jobs for moms.

4. Step away from the computer…or telephone…or whatever. Get away from your desk for a while by taking a walk, engaging in a little exercise, spending time with the kids or working on a hobby. Sometimes your procrastination isn’t due to laziness…you might just be overworked. Burnout is common in work at home jobs for moms and it’s important to know your limits. When you just can’t push yourself any further, place yourself in time out and DO NOT return until you feel rejuvenated and ready to move on.

5. Find your golden time of day. For me, I find that I’m at my personal best at 5:30a or 6a. Even though I’m not a morning person in real life, I find that training myself to arise early helps me hit my “productive spot”. I can get more done before 10a than I can get done all day when I arise later. I also know that I’m no good working in the afternoons, so I’m almost certain to miss my goals if I sleep in and start working late. I often take afternoon breaks and hit another “productive spot” later in the evening, which helps me prepare for the next day. When I work with my natural rhythm, I don’t burn out as often and procrastination is kept at a minimum because I’m more focused than ever. While most work at home jobs allow you to design your own work schedule, some do not. So, while this tip may not work for everyone, if you’re able to do it, by all means, work to find your optimal work hours and schedule yourself accordingly.

Just like other jobs in the workforce, work at home jobs for moms can often be draining and it’s easy to lose focus when you become overworked or when there are too many distractions in your immediate area.¬† Learn to work around interruptions (and train your family to respect your work hours, if possible) in order to maximize your productivity. Work at home jobs for moms are usually not as stressful as other jobs, but they can easily become so when procrastination persists and you miss your work goals. Use these tips to kick yourself in gear and be sure to share any tips for tackling procrastination in work at home jobs for moms in the comments section below.