12 Tips: How to Work from Home and Run a Family Productively

There are a lot of MommyPrenuers running a home business whilst juggling family commitments. I am a single mother of four beautiful gems aged 9 -20 years old. I work full-time, volunteer for a charity organisation, I am a Mommy Coach, studying part-time, writer, and I run my own parenting business UMMUKA for moms. Are you wondering where I get the time to do all of this?!

In order to make all of this possible, it’s crucial to have solid routines, discipline, detailed plans/schedules and to-do lists in place.

It’s important to find a system that aligns with your preferred way of working, and stick to it, but do allow an element of flexibility. Remember, what works for you works for you. Keeping your eye on the ball and not dropping it! Means you will be very productive and efficient in all of your endeavours.

Lots of women are excellent at juggling working at home and family activities. I do marvel at their sheer sense of calm and ability to co-ordinate their family and business in a cohesive, productive manner.

It’s been my experience that Moms who home school are the most organized individuals. They manage their home and business efficiently. May Allah bless, strengthen and reward all moms with Jannah Firdaws! It goes without saying that parenting is the most challenging and rewarding job on the face of the earth!

There are only 24 hours in a day. So how do Working At Home Moms (WAHMs) achieve balance in their work and family life without being overwhelmed?

The 3 key principles are:

  1. Identifying and creating pockets of time where you can work with minimal disturbance and distraction.
  2. Multitask by combining work tasks with house chores. For example, whilst dinner is cooking, you can quickly work on a simple business task like sending a quick email or arranging an appointment.
  3. Maximize your productivity during the times you are working, this will enable you to get a lot done. The key to working with kids is to Always Be Consistent (ABC), once they are used to a routine they will learn to respect your space.

Here are 12 top tips for staying productive whilst working at home and managing a family.

  1. Allah is only a du’a away – All things start with the worship of Allah. It’s important to start the day and end the day by spending moments in the remembrance of Allah. Anything is possible by the will of Allah, if you put your mind to it. Ask Allah to strengthen you and bless your time. Always seek guidance for the day ahead.
  2. The day starts the night before – Plan what you and your family need to start the day. From getting school, work and nursery bags ready and placed by the door; preparing packed lunches and ensuring all clothes for the next day are ironed. This will make the mornings more productive and rewarding.
  3. Wake up Early – wake up an hour before the rest of the family and meet with Allah. We know he descends to the lower heavens to answer the dua’s of those asking, why not wake up and meet HIM? The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) has already told us that the early hours of the morning are the blessed time for his ummah. I urge you, and I, to take full benefit of these blessed hours. Re-energize yourself, have a bath/shower etc, whatever floats your boat and then get dressed for work. It does not matter whether you are a working or stay at home Mom. Prepare yourself to handle the challenges of the day.
  4. Organize and plan your schedules – Make a Daily or weekly plan for your family and business. It’s easy to fall off the wagon and lose track when you have kids at home and trying to run a business simultaneously. As Moms we can get side-tracked with household chores with too much multitasking, particularly for self-employed work at home moms (WAHMs), which could leave us overwhelmed. So begin each day with the end in mind. By reviewing your schedules, calendar, appointments, on-line meetings etc; then ask yourself what must be done at the end of the day. When a work at home mom makes lists for both family and business related tasks, this technique will bring about better organization and order to the day.
  5. Keep chaos at bay – Keeping a clean immaculate home can be very challenging, forWAHMs the house naturally gets into a mess. Keep clutter a bay, by cleaning up your home as you work.
  6. Kids nap times – Work your routine around your kids nap times. Nap times gives Moms chunks of time to work productively. If your kid does not have an established routine, find their natural rhythm and start working on a daily basis till you find a routine that works for both of you. For Moms with school aged children, try to fit your business tasks in during school hours.
  7. The 15-Minute rule – The Fly Lady is a great advocate of working in chunks of 15 minutes. A great way of getting things done, instead of trying to complete a task, work on it for 15 minutes and see how much you get done. By staying focused & challenged you will really accomplish a lot. (This tip is especially effective for those tasks you don’t like doing or something you keep putting off).
  8. Establish routines – It’s important to establish routines and stick to them firmly. Do allow for flexibility in your routines to deal with unforeseen contingencies. I find it important to have morning and evening routines. Doing things at the same time every day, to get the whole family into a regular routine. As a WAHM, you need to keep your children busy and engaged through stimulating games and activities
  9. Interactive games – Set up stimulating fun games and activities that will engage the kids for durations of 15 – 30 minutes whilst you get some work done. Let the kids know that you will be working; they will give you the space you need. Once you train kids to be independent you will be able to work uninterrupted for a few minutes. I work for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the evening this fits in nicely with my daily activities. Get the older kids to babysit, so you can get some work done.
  10. Quality time – Give your kids your undivided attention when they wake up in the morning, during the day and at bed time. Reminding them how much you love them and how they are the most important thing in your life. You are more likely to get happy confident kids, who have had their basic human needs satisfied. Give them lots of hugs and kisses. Make them their favorite meals. Enjoy laughter and have some fun. These are moments that will stay with them forever. You will be able to work for sometime without any distractions.
  11. Set realistic goals! – Let go of perfection and aim to be excellent in what you do. Perfection belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). I use the analogy of the tortoise Mom. You will get to the finish line by making steady progress. It’s okay if your business takes a little while to grow, once you take care of your primary obligation as a Mother. Allah blesses and puts Barakah (Blessings) in your time to manage your family and business. What is not set will not be measured. Set realistic goals that will take you slightly out of your comfort zone, and work on achieving them. Take action, even if they are baby steps that build up to the bigger goals. Allah loves what is small and consistent.
  12. Reward yourself and kids! – Always reward your kids for good behavior, from a walk in the park to short trips, or shopping for something special. Aim to achieve three things and celebrate success at the end of the day. These little milestones of achievement will eventually build up to the bigger goals. Having a sense of fulfillment and achievement leads to greater motivation, energy boosts with the zeal and passion to do more! You will find you become highly productive achieving more in less times.
    Evaluate your day and thank Allah for your accomplishments. Thoroughly inspect what you are expecting. Praise and thank Allah for the GOOD things HE grants you. Always remember to seek his forgiveness for your short comings. Being a productive Mom means working smarter and efficiently.

About the Author

Khafayah Abdulsalam is a proud single Mum of four children aged between 8-19 years old. She empathizes with issues other mothers face especially on family management and juggling the joys of motherhood. Over the last few years, she has successfully coached mothers using Islamic principles to take them through the journey of motherhood.

Her primary profession is motherhood, Khafayah also works full-time as a Payroll Manager. She is a certified Mommy coach trained by Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef and a NLP practitioner. Khafayah recently obtained a Masters in Business and Payroll Management. You can follow her on Facebook and visit her new website:www.ummuka.com