DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. If you like reading legal jargon my disclosure policy is here.
Today I have Kelsie from SimplyBentley.com writing to you about adding mindfulness to your work at home mom routine. Kelsie is a self care a personal development blogger with a passion for helping women find balance in their busy and hectic lives. She’s got some helpful advice for busy work at home moms who want to be a bit more mindful in their day to day activities.
Being a “work at home mom” comes with its own set of challenges. From trying to hide the ever-growing pile of laundry from the view of a zoom call to developing the ability to push nagging household tasks out of your mind long enough to get through your most important task for the day…or any task for that matter!
All of this becomes even more complicated when adding littles into the mixture! Between their constant needs and the daily grind needed to maintain a home, sometimes it is too easy to feel like our brains always have to be running a mile a minute.
Before we know it, another week has gone by, another season has passed, and we don’t know where the time went!
But what if it doesn’t have to be that way?
What if we had the ability to hone in on exactly what we needed to be doing at any given time, focus solely on that task, and create memories along the way?
Learning to add focus and mindfulness as a work at home mom will help you to push through the daily distractions, chaos, and nagging tasks. It will help you to end the days, weeks, or seasons having made that much more progress towards your goals. And it will help you to stop feeling like you’re always 10 steps behind or allowing important areas of your life to suffer for the sake of tasks that never seem to create any progress or meaning.
Mindful Mama’s Know Where Distractions Lie in Wait
One of the hardest things about being a work at home mom is the DISTRACTIONS. You sit down to work, and you notice the cookie tucked for safekeeping by your two-year-old under the corner of the keyboard. So you get up to throw it away. While you’re in the kitchen, you decide to go ahead and grab a glass of water. But all of the clean glasses are still in the dishwasher, so you go ahead and empty that. Before you know it, it’s been 15 or 20 minutes since you initially sat down to work, but alas…no work has been done yet!
The first step to being a more mindful mama (who just happens to work at home) is to realize where our biggest distractions come into play. Only once we know where we get off track can we eliminate distractions and truly become more mindful about our work at home duties.
The reason that is is so important to seek out these triggers is because every time that we are distracted from the task that we should be doing, we are taken out of the present moment. Then, instead of having the singular, mindful focus that we need for each task, we are filled with stress or worry about something that is urgent and we are pulled away from those things that are important.
I’ll worry about that from 2:00 to 3:15 today.
There’s no place like home…to distract us with seemingly urgent tasks. There’s permission slips to be signed, a ceiling fan with a healthy and ever-growing layer of dust that needs to be cleaned off, and what on earth are we having for dinner?
The problem with all of these urgent tasks is that they can creep into our minds and take powerful mental energy away from the more important tasks at hand. Once we realize what our distraction triggers are, we need to have a plan in place in order to keep them from fully dragging us from the work that is essential to achieving our work at home mom goals.
For me, the best way to deal with distractions as they come up is to keep scratch paper nearby while I am working. Whenever I get the urge to stray from the task that needs my attention, I write that distraction down on the scratch paper.
Then, I make sure that I have a scheduled time to address anything that is on that list. Maybe by the time that it is in the schedule for me to deal with those tasks, some of them don’t even seem all that important anymore.
Start your day by planning a buffer zone into your schedule, or better yet, make it part of your weekly planning session! We can’t be present or mindful when we are constantly switching between tasks!
Create Mindfulness Routines
Creating mindfulness routines is really where we get to the core of being a more mindful work at home mom! Mindfulness routines have a few functions that will help to get us from “busy mind” to “laser-focused mindful mama” throughout our day.
It is a good idea to create mindful triggers that we can build into our days (as opposed to the distraction triggers that we are trying to eliminate!) These are things that we can build into our days, or even just have in our metaphorical back pocket that will remind us to become more mindful.
There are tons of ways to create mindfulness routines as a work at home mom, such as:
- Deciding that when we sit down at the computer with our coffee, we take a moment to enjoy the smell and the first delicious sip for the treat that it is, as opposed to just gulping it down in the desperate need for caffeine;
- Keeping a sticky note on our computer to remind ourselves to take a few minutes of deep breaths and stillness before each time that we log on;
- Having a positive affirmation that we practice before beginning any new project;
- Working in the Pomodoro Method so that we don’t exhaust our brain (Set a timer for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After 4 sessions of 25 minutes each, take a 15 to 30-minute break. This helps keep our minds fresh!)
- Using a program such as freedom.to to block distracting websites from our browser and phone.
Create a Buffer Zone Between Work and Home Life (Even if they happen in the same place!)
The reason that mamas want to work from home is usually to have more time and flexibility to be with kiddos, right? But if we’re constantly distracted by an ongoing list of tasks that need to be done for our business, we aren’t able to actually BE with those kiddos.
In order to be a more mindful mama, we need buffer zones between our two roles! Mindfulness centers around our ability to uni-task. Even though modern life doesn’t reward this ability (and seriously, in the digital age, this is an ability and a talent!) this is something that we need to practice when it comes to our home and work lives.
Remember that “distraction list” that I mentioned earlier? The same thing applies here. Each morning, list out a few of the “momming” things that might be a distraction to you while you’re working. Knowing that they’re written down will allow your brain to let them go while you’re working. Then, for the last 15 minutes of working time, do the same thing for work tasks.
Knowing that you have a list of things that need to be done, but that they’re safely on a sticky note in your planner will allow your mind to let go of them so you’re better able to be present when your 5-year-old is telling you about their favorite dinosaur while you rock the baby and stir dinner.
Mindful Mama’s Know to Utilize Lists
Have you realized by now that I LOVE lists? If you don’t, it’s time to give them a try. Lists get their own heading, because of their many, MANY uses. We already know that we need them for distractions and to create space between work and home, but the most important thing is…TO USE THEM!
This is especially important in the working side of life because when we run a business from home, we are wearing a LOT of hats. “I need to write a new blog post, I need to pin to Pinterest, I need to make social media graphics, I need to email my list, I need to work on that freebie, I need to network….” And on and on and on…
But when we are trying to do all of these things at once, none of them get completed. We end up feeling exhausted, decision-fatigued and burnt out. This is literally the opposite of the kind of mindfulness and peace that we are trying to bring to being a work at home mom!
Okay, so we have made our lists, created that buffer zone, now what? Now we have to prioritize. Each item on the list gets a number in the order of importance, and there can be no ties. We must fully complete each item before moving on to the next. This is the ONLY way to gain traction in our business and simultaneously learn to be a more mindful mama!
Allow Yourself to be Present
Distractions will happen. We will find cookies under our keyboard, or make zoom calls whilst feeding babies. That’s what this work at home mom life is about! Having the tools and systems in place to be able to get back on task, or to be fully present in our home lives is what makes this job worth it.
When we understand where distractions trip us up, we can be prepared to avoid jumping into them full-force and instead, give ourselves designated time to deal with them (if they still seem important when that time comes!) By building mindfulness into our days with simple routines for being present, and lists to help us learn to do single tasks, we can learn to be a mindful mama in whatever situation that our work at home mom life demands of us.
It is a special thing to be able to make a living from home, and when we are able to be mindful and present, both in our jobs and with those we love, that is when we reap the true benefits of the life that we have created as a work at home mom.
Kelsie Bentley is a self care and personal development blogger at www.simplybentley.com. She got her unlikely start after nearly a decade of meeting struggling, burnt out women from behind the chair as a hairstylist. Kelsie’s keen sense of observation combined with an empathetic nature and an insatiable desire to help others led her to the online world to teach women that caring for themselves is the key to living the fulfilled life that they dream of.
- How To Stay Positive No Matter What
- How To Avoid And Recover From Burnout
- 10 Secrets You Need To Know From Highly Motivated People
- How To Set Goals So You Can Achieve Them