I am a completely disorganized (yes, I'll admit it) work-at-home-mom with my own business. How do I keep it together? One step at a time, but I am trying to create systems and routines that make it easier on me (and my family).
Today I sat down and thought about what I would have if I worked in a "real" law firm. You know, all those little things I don't want to do because they take away from my billables. There's quite a lot, actually. First, I would have a set work schedule. OK, I can do that. DS is in daycare, so his daycare days help define my work schedule. I need time without him to do some housework, so I need to set some hours while he's in daycare to do household things as well (cleaning, laundry, that type of thing).
The scheduling has worked pretty well at least today. I considered the time I dropped him off as my time to start work – I did a planning session and hit the ground running. When I got home, I kept reminding myself that I'm not "home" until later today, when I can take care of the dishwasher, etc. I'll get "off work" about 2 hours before I pick up DS from daycare, hopefully enough time to get the house somewhat manageable.
The second thing I would have if I worked in a "real" office is support staff. I would have a janitor, a bookkeeper/accountant, a secretary/paralegal (in an ideal world), and an office manager. So I assigned chores to these people – what would each of these people be doing so I can do my work? I also listed my "lawyer" job description.
Then, I started working – I brought the janitor in for 30 minutes to clean. Wow, my office looks better! Then the janitor left and I worked as a secretary for another 30 minutes. Decided that's not nearly enough time, but at least I made a dent. The office manager then came back in and did more planning. Now I am freed up to be a lawyer for the rest of the afternoon. And, the best part – I actually feel like I've gotten things accomplished today! Recently I've had the feeling that I'm spinning my wheels and spending all day not getting anything done, so I feel much better about what I've done today.
I finally feel like I'm getting some progress toward having systems in place. Yay me!