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The following are 8 tips to help you have a more productive work day while working from home and caring for a tiny human or multiple humans. Some of these are obvious (like #8) but I figured it was worth mentioning again. Just in case 😉

1. THEME DAYS (for both your business & meal planning):

Here’s an example of using theme days for meal planning. Even just the simple idea of having a theme day, no matter how loosely I follow it, makes it so much easier to think of what to make for dinner.

    • Meatless Monday
    • Taco Tuesday
    • Wet Wednesday, as in fish & seafood
    • Turfy Thursday, as in the Turf portion of Surf and Turf {yes, I’m aware of how cheesy I am!}
    • Fun Friday {anything goes – make pizzas, order out, etc}

Or you can assign a food theme like Pasta night, Salad night, Chicken night, Rice night, Vegetarian night, etc.

*If there are leftovers, we eat them for lunch or they might make their way to the next day’s dinner. In that case, the theme day is thrown out the window because if all I have to do is warm something up, I’m happy.

For your business, use theme days to help structure the work you’ll do on certain days. ie. Pick a day during the week and block off time where you can schedule phone calls and meetings.

    • Monday: Returning emails and Client Projects
    • Tuesday: Marketing/communications/growth {write blog posts, social media, newsletter}
    • Wednesday: Morning Office Hours {calls/meetings} and Afternoon Client Projects
    • Thursday: Client Projects
    • Friday: Morning Client Projects and Afternoon Off
    • Saturday: Family time
    • Sunday: Family time, getting ready for the rest of the week

 

2. SLEEP TRAINING AND A TIGHT SCHEDULE

Better naps on a predictable schedule = get more done. For sleep coaching, I used RestfulParenting.com because they believe in a holistic approach that works for your individual family needs. We didn’t want to use a cry it out method, so they personalized the sleep method that would best work for us and our child. It took about a week to get his naps down with some tweaking periodically as he gets older.

With sleep training comes a predictable schedule and uninterrupted, good sleep {usually}. Having a schedule is not only good for baby but it helps form the structure of your day. If you’re LO is a great napper/sleeper already or is an older child, no need for the sleep training but if you have an unpredictable/short napper, a sleep consultant will be a sanity saving investment.

He’s 11 months old. This is his schedule:

    • 7 am – wake, bottle
    • 8 am – breakfast
    • 9/9:30 am – first nap
    • 10:30/11 am – wake, bottle
    • 12 pm – lunch
    • 1/1:30 pm – second nap
    • 3/3:30 pm – wake, bottle
    • 5 pm – dinner
    • 6:30/7 pm – top up bottle, bed time

 

3. ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING

Super convenient and a major time-saver! The first time you order it will take a bit more time than your subsequent orders. The initial grocery cart set up is a bit time-consuming, but the bonus is you get to do it from home in your pjs. Once you place your first order, all your regular grocery items will be saved to easily add to your cart for your next order. I use Loblaws Click & Collect, which does not disappoint!

 

4. OUTSOURCE WHAT YOU HATE DOING

When people think outsourcing, they usually automatically think of outsourcing a work-related task but it doesn’t need to be work-related at all. It can be anything you can easily pass off for someone else to do that will make your life easier. First thing I thought of was house cleaning and I have never looked back. In my areas, once a month for a deep clean is about $100 for a mid-sized 3 bedroom home. I sometimes used to wonder how I’d pay for it but if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. And seriously, that is money well spent if it helps your sanity and relieves your workload. For you, it could be something else, like meal prep or doing your newsletter. Whatever it is, think of the tasks you dread doing and figure out how to get them off your plate.

I have used Mopify for cleaning and Jiffy for household tasks like lawn care, snow removal, handyman services, etc. For $25 off your first service with Jiffy, use referral code: rbrisindi

 

5. BATCH WRITE BLOGS

Take a day or a block of a few hours to write blog and social media posts, then schedule them using something like HootsuiteBuffer, etc. Since we’re on the subject, you can also batch prep your meals. I still have a hard time getting organized to do this but it’s something I’d like to do. For now, the theme meal days works well for me.

 

6. CREATE DESIGN TEMPLATES

This does two things:

    1. It creates a consistent visual for your marketing efforts, which in turn builds brand awareness, brand recognition, increases trustworthiness and let’s people know you’re a serious biz.
    2. It makes life so much easier. Once you have a template set up, whether it’s for social media shareables, your blog posts, or pinterest pins, all you then have to do is change the photo and/or the accompanying text. No need to fiddle around for hours playing with design software trying to come up with a new design.

    I know Canva and Picmonkey are popular design programs but they’re also overused and you can spot a Canva design a mile away. When it comes to design and marketing, standing out from the crowd is what you really want. I highly recommend Snappa. The interface is simple, it’s really user-friendly, and the pre-made templates and stock photos are so much more appealing and professional looking! As a professional graphic designer for almost 20 years, I’ve even started using it for my own social media graphics. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it. Check it out here: SNAPPA

7. USE A TO DO LIST APP

Keep track of your ideas and your to-do list. I use Wunderlist for general and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants ideas. I love it because you can check off what you’ve completed, which is so super satisfying.

For business-related tasks, notes and ideas, I use Teamwork and Evernote.

 

8. GET BETTER SLEEP

Easier said than done but one of the ways I made it happen was to go to bed super early, so if the baby woke up in the middle of the night or ridiculously early, I was still okay.

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