Organizing home and work is tough enough for everyone, but for those who work at home, organizing presents the special challenge of keep both family and work organized as the two realms mingle under one roof.
Everyone has their own style of and ability for organizing so a one-size-fits-all approach definitely doesn't work. However, these resources cover the types of things you'll need to consider as you go about organizing home and work.
A few people can carry around in their heads all things they need to remember, but the rest of us need lists. For the most part, I find that the humble paper list is very versatile, but many find software programs, such as Microsoft OneNote, or devices, such as netbooks, smart phones or PDAs, helpful organizers.
One important tip on keeping lists is that lists are only helpful, if you remember to look at them. So your lists have to be accessible and well organized. I have a (paper) notebook where I make lists of all kinds. I like to have work and home lists on one page but separated. The work one I often divide by client.
But other ways to segment a list can be by:
- Family member
- Type of task (medical, school, household, etc.)
Those of you who are trying to balance the logistics of part-time telecommuting in a full-time job may find this Part-Time Telecommuter's Checklist helpful, when packing up at the office for a work-at-home day.
Effective time management for work at home moms means setting ground rules for family and for yourself. Learning to deal with distractions is an important skill. Setting working hours in advance can bring better family balance, and time tracking products can help you tell is you are sticking to your schedule.
And, of course, a calendar is an essential time-management tool. I keep three. In my purse, there's a small organizer, which has two-year calendar (handy when the dentists wants to schedule your 6-month check up); a large blackboard one-month calendar in the kitchen, where all in the family are free to add their events; and a Google calendar, a great free online tool, that my husband and I both use for organizing home and work events.
Keeping work and family separate when you work at home often means maintaining a physical separation. And if each of those spaces is well organized, it make everything easier.