About Working Mom 3.0

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Are you addicted to social media and always connected to technology? You might be surprised by how much it's limiting your potential as a stay-at-home working mom.

Boost your productivity, maximize your pay

In this issue of Working Mom 3.0, Stephanie Taylor Christensen explores how you can increase your performance and potentially boost your pay, just by eliminating distractions.

Though you're no longer receiving feedback on your productivity from a "boss" (at least, not an adult one!) when you're a stay-at-home working mom, the idea behind an annual review is worth keeping alive. Not only will checking in with how you spend your time help you identify opportunities to improve your productivity and reclaim some sanity when you feel like you're running in circles, it can actually reveal ways to make and save more money. Make these small changes to your work-at-home habits to eliminate distractions and boost your success.

Put a dollar figure to your time

If you're like me, you've entered into your stay-at-home working mom gig by becoming self-employed and contracting for others. The beauty is that you now have the freedom to set your own hours and spend more time with your family. The challenge becomes making every moment you have to work as productive as possible. You probably have a rate established for your services — but do you really know what that amounts to based on the time you spend working?

Online time-tracking tools are critical management devices when you're a team of one. Not only can they gauge where you spend your time, they reveal which of your actions and projects are profitable, so you can focus on the most "bang for your buck." If you have an Android smartphone, check out Timesheet, a free tool that can be a first step in understanding where your day goes. RescueTime is a tool that desktop users can use for free and tracks time spent on projects, as well as online activity.

If it doesn't serve your goals, avoid It

It's easy to fall prey to time-sucking websites (hello, Pinterest!) when you're tired or hit with a wave of brain freeze, but there's always something you could be doing that is more productive than Web surfing. Banish "entertainment" sites during your work day, just as an employer might. If you lack the self-control to stay on task, try free add-ons like LeechBlock, which will literally block the sites you know waste your time. Keeping a simple spreadsheet or handwritten account of what you did each day, approximately how much time you spent on it and how much money, if any, it made or saved you can also put the cost of distractions into perspective.

Stop the social madness

Unless you are using Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare for actual business reasons, like promotions, building relationships or content marketing, steer clear of these time-wasters during your self-proclaimed work hours. The same is true for instant messaging and habitual email checking. Set aside a couple of times a day to scan messages, but respond only to pressing matters immediately, to maximize productivity.

Working Mom 3.0

The modern woman is redefining what it means to have a successful career. Rather than feeling torn between climbing the corporate ladder and having a happy family life, many women are choosing to merge the two and transition careers from a traditional role to a more flexible one. Working Mom 3.0 is reinventing the definition of "working mom," as office hours are held at home and revolve around nap times.

This column begins by chronicling the experiences of Stephanie Taylor Christensen, a former marketing professional turned self-employed stay-at-home mom, writer and yoga instructor, as she strives to redefine "having it all" on her own time and terms.

More tips for working moms

Working Mom 3.0: Tech tools for working moms
Working Mom 3.0: Divide and conquer
Working Mom 3.0: Co-parent for work-life balance

Tags: productivity raise

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Comments on "Working Mom 3.0: Eliminate distractions"

Megan March 16, 2013 | 3:42 PM

We decided as a family to not use the computer or watch TV on Sundays. It allows us to fully cherish each moment with our kids and it forces us to get out and have fun. It's honestly the best decision we ever made!

Amy January 21, 2013 | 12:30 PM

I eliminated social media during the workday and allow myself like 10 minutes in the evening to goof off. I have SO MUCH more time it's not even funny.

Shannon August 15, 2012 | 9:09 AM

I think it's good to designate certain times of day for "time wasters." My husband works full time, and he goes online before work for about 10 minutes and after work for about 20, whereas I find myself on the internet atleast once or twice every HOUR! Even though I'm just quickly checking facebook or twitter, that time adds up and could definitely be spent being more productive.

Gracie May 07, 2012 | 4:32 PM

I have disabled social media email updates. Hearing the constant ping of new messages every time a friend liked one of my pictures or comments was preventing me from getting work done. Now when I log into my social media accounts I can catch up on all the activity I missed while I was away all at once.

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