Life as a Work-at-Home Mom: My Daily Routine

by - January 20, 2021

If there's anything 2020 taught me, it was to work smarter, not harder.

After years of working in a deadline-driven environment managing 20 or more people, I've learned a thing or two about establishing a good routine.

How many of you are still working from home? It's been nearly a full year and the world is not back to normal. Working from home isn't a new thing for me. I've been doing it since 2018, but even so the swift change in everyday life also affected me, especially during the six-plus months that Alexis was out of school. Now that she's back in the classroom during the week, many of the people I work with are still juggling working from home or chose not to send their kids to school in person, so there are still some differences in my routine from when I first started my work at home journey.

I've talked about my daily routine on the blog before, most recently here, but in the months since I've refined it even more. The biggest change? I've added more intentional blocks of time. Specifically, I've tailored my first work hour and added space to tackle small chores (so that they don't all pile up on the weekend).

6:45 a.m. - My alarm goes off.
6:55 a.m. - I wake up Alexis. She gets dressed, and I do her hair.
7:00-7:20 a.m. - Alexis eats breakfast while I fix her lunch and pack her bookbag. I also drink a cup of juice.
7:20-7:30 a.m. - Alexis brushes her teeth while I change into jogging pants and a hoodie.
7:30 a.m. - We leave for school.
7:35-7:40 a.m. - Return home. Seriously, our neighborhood is right next to the school.
7:40-8:00 a.m. - If the weather is nice, I walk or jog. If it's not, I do light exercise inside.
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - I shower, do makeup and hair, and get dressed. Tidy up the kitchen if it needs it. Maybe throw a load of laundry in the wash.

9:00-10:00 a.m. 
The first hour of my work day is the most important. This is where I set the tone for how the rest of my day is going to go. What I actually do in that hour varies slightly from day to day, but here's a general idea for you.

1. Make a cup of coffee. I'm attempting to cut back on my Mountain Dew consumption during the day, and this is the first step.
2. Spend a few minutes on social media to get a feel for the tone of the day. It impacts how I interact with my clients and readers.
3. Go over the previous day's to-do list. Check off all that have been finished (if I haven't already) and shift any that I didn't get to down.
4. Schedule out my daily tasks. (I typically plan a week in advance but I tweak my to-do lists every day.)
5. Check my email and reply to anything that came in overnight.
6. Read a few of my favorite blogs and reply to any new comments or messages.

10:00 a.m.-1:45 p.m. - This is where I get the majority of my work done. It's the part of the day where I'm typically alone in the house, or at the very least am not getting interrupted every few minutes, and can really concentrate on what I need to get accomplished.

1:45-2:45 p.m. - After school pickup. Yes, it really does take this long. No, it doesn't matter that we live two minutes from the school. Yes, I take a book.

2:45-3:00 p.m. - I get Alexis situated for the next couple of hours. Throw laundry in the dryer if needed.

3:00-4:30 p.m. - What I do during this time truly depends on the day. If I haven't made it through my to-do list for the day, I finish that. If not, I relax in the living room with a book.

After Work
4:30-6:00 p.m. - This time frame is generally devoted to dinner and includes cooking, eating, and clean-up. It's really important to me that we eat together as a family at least once a day, and this is it.

6:30-7:30 p.m. - It's all about Alexis from this point on. Bath time, story time, bedtime.

8:00-10:00 p.m. - Once Alexis is in bed, I tidy up the living room, fold any clothes that were washed that day, maybe take a bubble bath, read some more, possibly watch a movie, and eventually go to sleep.

How do you stay on track during the day? Are you a planner and schedule everything out? Or do you go with the flow and do things as they come? I'd love to know!

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