5 Facilitation Steps for Successful Work-At-Home Productivity
Kids running around screaming behind you. Music blaring in the background of their screams. A spouse looking for dinner to be ready on time – just like your clients’ looking for their copy.
The life of a freelancer is chaotic. There’s no arguing that. We’re at the mercy of our clients and often our families. We’re responsible for turning out great copy on time to customers in spite of the whirlwind that spins around us daily.
But most of us can’t run away to an office or coffee shop everyday – it’s just not practical.
And the more work you try to get done, the louder the cacophony gets in your ear.
So what? Are you stuck like this? Creating mediocre copy because you can’t focus? That’s no way to expect your business to thrive.
The Importance of Facilitation
You plan your work day, right? You know what projects you need to get done at any moment. You know what clients you need to contact. You know what invoices need to be sent. You know because you plan. And you focus. You’ve heard it before:
- Plan your day.
- Set a schedule.
- Stick to it.
Well, there’s more to managing a home and a business than just planning and following a schedule. Planning isn’t the whole answer; it’s about facilitation. You have to facilitate a flow so the rest of the house runs on autopilot.
You have to facilitate a flow so the rest of the house runs on autopilot.
For example, with three kids at home who look to mama for help in entertainment, I have to be extra resourceful on days that I have projects that cannot be interrupted.
So I take a few minutes the night before and bring my next day into focus. I plan what I need to do, but I also plan what the kids will do while I’m “on the clock.”
Staying Productive Without Getting Distracted
- Kids have “Learning Boxes” that I prep with toys and coloring pages or handouts. Reader helps non readers with directions because she likes being the teacher.
- They have a Boredom Book that, when they’re done with the Learning Boxes, they refer to. It has images and words for readers and non readers listing possible activities. For example, one day, building blocks, play store, play dress up, pillow case races may all be on the list, but another day, they’ll find other choices. If play dough is on there, I make sure their station is prepped and ready for play so they don’t get it in the carpet.
- We have a pep-talk about what mama’s got to do and we remind each other that if I’m at my desk, that means no talking to me. Whatever they make will be displayed for me during a show and tell when I’m done. They also made a sign that reminds them “Do Not Disturb” with the big circle and line through it.
- I prep their snacks and set the timer, when the timer dings, they know it’s snack time and they help themselves to the fruit in the fridge. If I know I’m going to have to work very long hours that morning, I make lunch the night before so I only have to reheat it at lunch time.
- Then, I plug my ears with binural beats for concentration and I let them have at it until I’ve pounded out the copy that I need to. (Keeping a keen ear out for emergencies.)
They understand I’m busy and productivity time is for work. But, as soon as I’m done, Play Time is just for them. These steps work because they get to make decisions and still have their needs met and I have less distractions.
Facilitation is empowerment for me and for them. I’m more productive. And they continue to learn and grow through their own choices and independence.