I often get other moms asking me for my tips for working from home. “How do you get it all done each day? How do you work AND manage the home?” I think that a lot of my determination and I'll get this crap done no matter what or WHO gets in my way “can do it” attitude comes from my background. Growing up I watched my single mom juggle it all, and right before I had kids myself I worked in some pretty dang hectic offices. So I basically traded one hectic workspace for another!

My tips for working from home are: scheduling, get help, and use the right tools

I'm blessed to have a lot of helpful people in my life, whether I need someone to keep an eye on the little guy while I hop on a conference call or have to recruit a few helping hands for a blog project that I can't finish on my own.

skype away message

Scheduling also has a lot to do with the other people in my life: one of my biggest tips for working from home is that it's important to set a consistent schedule and communicate to coworkers and partners when you're available and when you're not. The same goes for family time. I try to maintain at least two days per week that are just for me and my family without constantly checking emails and tending to my phone. In return, I expect Nate to understand when I need to work for a few hours consistently. It's a lot of give and take.

skype logo
It's time to say more and stay human.
It's time for Skype.

Lastly, tools. Without many of the tools, technology and apps in my life, there's NO way I'd be able to manage it all. I use an app to schedule all my meetings, email filters to sort the massive amount of data I receive, and Skype to connect personally when messaging back and forth just won't cut it (and when I need to get some encouragement and tips for working from home from a friend or colleague – none of us can do it without support!). One of the things I love about Skype is the ability to set away messages so that people I work with across the country can see when I'm not around the computer. Setting expectations in that manner helps me avoid a lot of calls on my cell phone and disruptions when I'm in the middle of something else.

skype facebook

My favorite feature of Skype, by far, is the Facebook integration. “Facebook integration?” you say, “That sounds like a distraction.” Well, it would be, except that it actually saves me a lot of time. All of us internet workers tend to flock to Facebook when our eyes are burnt out on memos and we just can't blog another word. With Facebook integration for Skype, I can hop on over there and see who's updating, and reach out to them directly on Skype. They get the message on Facebook, and suddenly we're chatting…yes, about work stuff. It's my sneaky little way of pulling them back into the “work zone” when they're off in the “Facebook zone,” yet I don't actually have to leave my work tool and I don't end up getting distracted with an endless barrage of social media updates. Win, win. Well, it's a win for ME, anyway! I can even send files or start a video call just like I do with any Skype contact.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Skype via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Skype.