When you work at home and you are a mom, you are bound to get stressed. But the stress does not have to impair your ability to be productive and get your job done. Trust me… I have been there and done that! Using my experiences and the lessons I learned, I have created this series to help you manage WAHM life and the stress that comes with it.
To recap… in part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of organizing your schedule / time (click here to read part 1). In part 2, we will discuss why it is essential to define your workspace. As Cynthia Rowley said, “I’ve got a theory: if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more.”
Now… depending on the business you are in, when you work from home your office can be anywhere. And let’s be honest, one of the best perks when you work from home is the flexibility that it gives you to work when and where you want to. So, when it comes time for you to choose your workspace, it is important to find a place where you will be productive with minimal distractions. Why? Because in the end you need to meet your bottom line, and that’s to get your work done.
Choosing a workspace can be difficult for some, especially when you have little ones to keep in mind. There are so many options to choose from and factors to consider. I am going to share with you 6 ideas for workspaces that may (or may not) work for you.
1. The Home Office
Work from home… literally! This of course is probably the first idea that popped into your head. Defining your home workspace depends on your business. When I first started working from home, I didn’t have an office. My first entrepreneurial endeavor was making no-sew tutus and tutu dresses so I would sit on the sofa, lay out all of the materials next to me and work on the dress form in front of me. When I became a Beautycounter Consultant, I wanted an office.
Designating a space that I could call my own and keep all of my materials, information and technological equipment (laptop, iPad, device stands, etc…) was a must. Fortunately and unfortunately, my little one’s bedroom was too cold for her (we bought a move in ready fixer upper). We decided to move her in with my oldest daughter and now they share a bedroom. I then turned her room into my office (and a big plus is that my girls love sharing a room).
Over time, I have learned that I am not as productive as I can be when I work from my home office. Since my office is across the hall from my daughters’ bedroom, I become easily distracted when I look over and see a mess. That thought then snowballs into the million other things I need to do around the house. Through trial and error, I have found that I am most productive when I sit in my sunroom to work. With three walls of windows, there is a lot of light which keeps keeps me awake and makes me forget that I am home. Looking into my backyard also makes me feel more relaxed as there are tons of greenery and flowers. However, working from a home office or space may not be for everyone which leads me to the next suggestion.
2. A Local Coffee House / Cafe
When you have the ability to work from anywhere, a coffee house or café is a great option. There you can find free WiFi, drinks and food, and the energy of other people around you. I tend to grab my iPad and headphones and go to Panera’s or Starbuck’s when I need to send emails or write a blog post.
Coffee houses and cafes also make for great meeting places. Whether you are meeting a client or an accountability partner, there’s nothing like chatting/working over some coffee. It really is a satisfying feeling when you are able to get out of your house and stay productive at the same time. But if this does not sound appealing, why not try my next suggestion?
3. The Library
At the library you will find free wifi and the energy of other people around you. There will also be tons of books at your disposal if you are in the need of any resources for your business and quiet (if you prefer to work in a quiet environment). With minimal distractions, the library is also a great place to stay focused.
4. A Coworking Space
Something that’s becoming very popular and I think is a really cool idea, is to rent out a coworking space. A coworking space is a space where multiple entrepreneurs can go rent out a space to work. The cost ranges depending on the type and size of the space, which is usually an office, a desk or a cubicle. It can be a shared space that you are allowed to use at certain times or designated for you only. This is a great idea because you are going to work, but yet you still have the flexibility to work when you want to. So go ahead and google “coworking spaces near me” and see what you find near you!
5. Create a Work Group
Do you know other WAHMs / entrepreneurs near you? Whether you answered yes or no, why not reach out to them and create a support group of some sort. I actually did this and we now meet on a monthly basis (at least) to discuss our businesses and how we can help our businesses grow. At our last meeting, someone brought up an idea that I absolutely loved. The idea involved creating a work group and working around the town idea. So you would say, “Mondays, we’ll be at this coffee house. Tuesdays, we’ll be at the library. Wednesday, we’ll be at the YMCA. Etc…” so that every day there’s a different location to work at.
The works around the town idea is beneficial in many ways. First, you meet with other people who can hold you accountable for getting work done. Second, it makes it easier to schedule the time you work because you will be meeting up with other entrepreneurs. Third, you are able to visit different places and actually see what work environment you are most productive in. You might decide that the library is too quiet for you and a coffee house is to noisy. Lastly, by seeing other people work, you become motivated because you know you’re not alone.
6. The YMCA
Work at the YMCA. That’s right… I said the YMCA. This last suggestion is specifically geared towards moms who work at home. If you are a member of the YMCA, most facilities have childcare! It is great because when you need to get work done and have a little one (or more) with you, you can put them in the childcare and sit in the lobby to work. There’s free WiFi and even free tea and coffee! This is such an ideal situation because your kids are being watched and entertained while you are close enough if anything happens.
Lower Your Stress
Define your workspace. Find the location that is going to make you comfortable and productive with minimal distractions. Once you have your regular work space, your stress level is sure to decrease.
I challenge you to use this week to find your workspace. When you do, comment below and share what works for you and why.
My name is Michelle and I am the wife of the hardest working man I know, the Mami of 2 beautiful and AMAZING girls and a Pathologists’ Assistant turned Stay at Home Mami turned Mompreneur of not one… or two… but three businesses! I am super excited to share my experiences and learn from you. As women/moms/entrepreneurs, we must stick together and support each other!