Ask Alison | Creating a WAHM Routine

Today’s Ask Alison is not a fashion post, but it just might help you get dressed!

I’m joining forces with Alissa, Natalia, Aimee and Hillary to share our best tips for work at home moms.  Be sure to pop by and check out their tips on work/life balance, organizing your workday, creating a workspace and more.

On to today’s question…

Hi Alison.  I’m a mom of two who works from home part-time.  I love your outfits and fashion advice but my problem is my days totally get away from me.  Most days I can’t even find time to get dressed.  Do you have any advice for that? – Chelsea W.

Oh Chelsea, can I ever relate.  If you’re not familiar with the reason why I started this blog, you can read more about that HERE.  But if you want the short version,  it’s because I got into a serious mom funk when I left my corporate office and became a WAHM.  Most days I wasn’t getting dressed either, let alone showering.  Eww.

What I desperately needed was a routine.

When I tell people that I work from home the first thing they say is “wow, must be nice!”, immediately followed by “so, do you stay in your PJ’s all day?”  I’ll admit that staying in my PJ’s (or rather, yoga pants) is something that I thoroughly enjoyed struggled with when I first started telecommuting.  While it is very tempting, if I stayed in my fluffy robe and bunny slippers all day, very little would get done.  My key to making working from home work for me is creating a daily schedule and sticking to it.

And yes, getting dressed in real clothes is part of that routine!

The key to organizing my day starts with what I call my “power hour”.  It’s my own personal staff meeting, a daily planning session just for me where I set my intentions for the day and get them down in my schedule.  I wake up an hour before everyone else and with my cup of coffee in hand, strategize how I can be most effective for that day.  I create an hourly schedule which, in addition to work, includes time for my workouts, personal errands and “pretty time” for getting dressed and ready for the day.

Here’s what a typical day looks like:

5:30-6:30  – Power Hour!  Planning session to determine the day’s activities and write out my daily schedule.  I also use this time for devotions, personal e-mail and blogging activities.

6:30-7:30 – Before school routine (make breakfast, wake the kids, get everyone off to school)

7:30 -10:30 – Work (3 hours)

10:30-11:00 – At home workout (3 days a week)

11:00-11:30 – Pretty time! (shower, get dressed, put on make-up)  I take a 10 minute shower, followed by 7 minutes of makeup and 7 minutes on hair, plus time to get dressed.  This is my quick ready routine, I shampoo my hair at night which saves me time.

11:30-12:00 – Lunch (run errands, do light housework, eat) I take a full hour on days that I don’t work out.

12:00-2:30 – Work (2.5 hours)

2:30 – 3:00 – Daughters arrive home from school (make them a snack, talk about their day, get homework started)

3:00 – 5:30 – Work (2.5 hours)

5:30 – 6:00 – Prepare dinner

6:00 – Hubby and son arrive home.

Most days I stick to my schedule pretty closely.  While flexibility has it’s place, discipline is really the key.  An hourly schedule helps me to be more efficient and effective.  It also allows me to spend some quality time with my kids during my work day, which is a huge perk of being a work at home mom.

You may prefer to get your pretty time scheduled at the very beginning of the day and that’s fine too.  The key is to set a schedule and stick to it.  You’ll be amazed at how much more in control of your day you suddenly become and how much more you can get done.

But if there are days that you don’t make it out of your yoga pants, that’s OK.  It happens to the best of us.  Just know that there’s always tomorrow.  🙂

It’s Your Turn:  Does your daily schedule include “pretty time”?  Share your tips in the comments.

For even more tips on time management, fashion and beauty, check out my book, Get Pretty, Kick Butt!

Available NOW on Kindle!

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