This article doesn’t just apply to work from home moms. The tips here apply to any mom attempting to do anything that requires one or more hours of concentration a day. Business owners, work from home moms, leisure bloggers, online grocery shoppers, Target deal stalkers…really, anyone.
Just to give you some perspective, this is the third take on this month’s blog post. I have started, stopped, yelled at a kid, and lost my train of thinking more times than I can remember in the last hour, let alone this week. I have two biological children, four and seven, and two teenagers through foster care, 13 and 15. As you can see, this gives me extensive experience on the subject of never being able to complete a single thing, let alone on time.
I should be used to it by now, you know, given the whole pandemic and work/school from home thing from 2019 and 2020. But I am just not one to conform. So I have deleted the last blog post 300 words in and started again. But this time I decided just to spill the beans.
In this tell-all blog post, I’m going to tell you exactly how I manage to work all day and not get any work done. It really is an art, but it’s possible for anyone.
Work from the living room or dining room.
Don’t have a dedicated office in a secluded basement to retreat to? Or worried your children play out the Lord of the Flies if you do? No worries, if you set up shop in the living room or dining room, you will be sure to not get a single thing done. I mean, who else is going to pop all those Uncrustable bags and change the Netflix cartoon every 20 minutes? The Chip and Joanna open floor plans of the last decade have made it impossible to concentrate anyways — I can see one kid eating and one kid pooping all from my home base on the couch.
Use your phone to communicate to clients, vendors, and coworkers.
If you use your phone for communication during the day, your toddler will think that you aren’t actually working and insist on using one of your devices to watch hours of another kid play Minecraft. Never mind that they have their own devices; yours has way better sound and they could even watch a kid watching a kid play a game while talking to another kid if they have your phone too.
Strategically schedule your day so everything can fall apart.
If you are really trying to not get anything done, you can stay up late every Sunday evening and make a list of all your “must do” items for Monday and the high-priority items for the rest of the week. Every time I do this, there is absolute mayhem on Monday and it messes everything up and I am then behind for the remainder of the week. Having four kids helps this.
Schedule yourself as the primary pick up and drop-off person.
Your significant other can help when not working, but if you design your life where you are the primary transportation to and from school for three children that all attend different schools, then you are golden. You will forever be racing to complete all you can in the Twilight Zone that happens between drop off and pick up. What should be seven hours of productivity somehow turns into 15 minutes of a Starbucks drive-thru and one solo trip to the bathroom.
Have a deadline.
Last, but certainly not least, on the exhaustive list of ways to not get anything done, is to have a deadline. Kind of like this blog post that is being written hours before it’s scheduled to debut. You can set yourself up for failure and an anxiety-ridden game of professional roulette by giving yourself multiple deadlines, for multiple projects across multiple obligatory areas of your life.