Before I had Cypress I had all the best intentions of running my business from home.
I figured as long as I had a nice work space, and a good routine that working around my little one would be easy right?
Yeah – nah. This is yet another Parenting Myth which I’ll one day write a dedicated post about just for laughs!
Between house work, the dog, the chooks, the scorching heat or freezing cold, the restless teething days, days of pounding rain and solar power that runs out, the past 12 months have been a joke of me desperately trying to get a grasp on Working From Home Mum Life.
Chris recently chucked his job in with no real plan on his next move which is equally exciting and terrifying. Either way – it meant it was time for me to really commit to doing my own thing in my own way.
It became clear that trying to work with Cypress in my space was never going to work very well.
Because we live at least 30 mins from day care and work spaces, I needed a solution that wouldn’t cost much (I’m a total tight-ass) and it had to be convenient and flexible.
I needed a quiet space, good internet, somewhere to meet with clients if needed, basic amenities (aircon, bathrooms, parking, printer, scanner) and good coffee close by was an absolute essential.
Somewhere along the journey of Mother’s Group, we visited the local Library for a bubs story time kind of thing. I was floored by this place that I had never even considered as a good place to hang out on a hot day, or even better – to work in peace and quiet without paying a cent!
I now had a perfect solution. My girlfriend would watch Cypress for a few hours a couple of days a week while I hit the Library closest to her to smash out as much work as I could.
My new discovery also meant that while I was out and about doing the Mum thing, if I had a situation that needed urgent attention, I could whip into the nearest Library, shove a cracker in Cypress and put the fire out a hell of a lot quicker than I could on my tiny phone.
Here’s my tips on how to be as productive as possible…
Get your shit together.
I’m lucky that my work doesn’t require a heap of hard files so working from anywhere is pretty straight foward. I have a zip-up binder for my client files & notes, a small puch for pens, highlighters, ear phones etc., my small diary and my laptop, charger, mouse and glasses.
For now I carry it in my old Afends nappy bag – but I’m on the hunt for a good back pack to save my shoulders. If anyone has any suggestions – hit me up in the comments.
Whatever system works for you – make sure everything is secure, light and easy to use.
Have a solid plan.
Each night before I head off, I make sure I’m organised. I lay everything out, pack my bag and write a list of what I need to get done. On the drive in, I’ll go over it all in my head and use my hands-free to make any phone calls that I need to make for the day.
When I get to the library, I’m straight into the list to make the most of my time. I’ll also usually have a second small project on the run (like this post) that I can work on when waiting on answers from people so I’m not sitting doing nothing, getting frustrated at time wasted.
Zone out to distractions.
There’s a lot going on in public Library’s but I find popping in my head phones and streaming Triple J keeps me focused & motivated by blocking out all external distractions.
As for electronic distractions – make sure your phone is set the vibrate, and use the Do Not Disturb function on your laptop to only allow important notifications to creep through.
I also work really hard at limiting the number of tabs I have open which is a HUGE deal for me. I’m that annoying person with 270 tabs open at any time which confuses the shit out of me and slows down my laptop. It also prevents any accidental online shopping!
This certainly isn’t a long term solution to my workspace / day care dilema, but for now it’s getting shit done and allowing me to pay the bills so I’ll roll with it for as long as it’s convenient.