For the past five years I've been a work-at-home-mom and it's honestly taken me until now to find a balance between my kids, housework, fitness, and blogging/photography (my two professions). Time management has never been one of my top skills, but recently I decided to buckle down and set a plan into action so I can feel accomplished at the end of each day. I've partnered with LifeSpan to share my top 5 time management tips for working from home.
When our daughter was born five years ago, my husband and I decided that I should quit my full-time job and stay home with her. That was a big adjustment alone, but adding a newborn into the mix was a transition as well. When our daughter got a little older I began taking photos again. I'd done it on the side in the past, and it was a nice little source of income for our growing family. By the time our son came along, I'd dipped my toes into a few multi-level marketing companies and had some success, but I wasn't loving it. I started blogging with Viva Veltoro in 2016 and found my passion! I still absolutely love it. But, I was also doing photography, trying to maintain some semblance of a clean house, get some fitness in, and spend time with my two sweet kids.
Fitness was the first thing to fall by the wayside and while some may consider chasing two toddlers exercise, I was still feeling sluggish and couldn't lose the baby weight from our son. But with housework, blogging, two kids and their activities, and basic self-care, I was running out of hours in the day. I decided it was time to make a change and started implementing these time management tips.
Time Management Tips For Working From Home
- Wake up early. You may already be doing that, but I certainly wasn't. I'd stay up all hours at night working and binge-watching Netflix and then sleep in until my kids would wake up in the morning. It was time to change that! For the past month I've been waking up at 5:30 AM when my husband goes to work. I spend that time blogging and editing photos and I get a good two+ hours in before the kids wake up.
- Set a schedule. I used to wing it every day, but I found myself focused on a task and neglecting other things on my to-do list. I'd look up from my laptop and realize I'd been editing photos for three hours and that my house was a mess and my kids were crabby. I felt like I was failing as a mom and housewife, and even sometimes as a blogger and photographer because I wasn't good at time management. Now, I blog for those couple hours in the morning. While my son naps and my daughter works on schoolwork after lunch, I spend that time responding to messages and emails. The rest of the day I spend with my kids and on housework. Then when my husband gets home from work I'm not super stressed because I don't feel like I've been pulled 100 ways all day. Some days I still feel like that, but most days I feel fairly accomplished.
- Be intentional about fitness. You may wonder how this ties into time management, but fitness is incredibly important to work into a successful work day. Physical fitness can increase productivity, energy levels, and can improve you mood. A sedentary lifestyle on the other hand (for example, sitting at a desk all day) can increase your risk of certain cancers, can cause you to gain weight, and may cause damage to your heart, muscles, and skeleton. When you work, it can be HARD to find the time to get exercise into your daily routine. However, that's where LifeSpan comes in and how I've been easily reaching my fitness goals by 8 AM every morning!
LifeSpan Treadmill Desks
When I first heard about LifeSpan Treadmill Desks, I was intrigued. Would they be something that could help me work fitness into my busy day? Would I be able to work while walking or would that motion be distracting? I'm thrilled to say that after two weeks of using my new LifeSpan Treadmill Desk, I couldn't be happier with how it's changed my fitness life and helped me with my productivity!
I started getting up with my husband at 5:30 AM a few weeks ago and that transition has been a little tough. Since I was used to sleeping until close to 8AM, I needed to adjust to that sleep loss. That's meant going to bed earlier and watching less Netflix, but to be honest I don't miss it. I get up at 5:30 AM and hop on the treadmill with my laptop open and ready to start the day. I used to be so sluggish in the mornings, but now I look forward to the work I'll get done. Plus, you're not going to believe this: I easily get 10,000+ steps in during my morning work session! The rest of the exercise I get during the day is just icing on the cake!
I've noticed that my productivity levels have increased too. I'm able to edit photos faster and blog faster than I have in the past. I think it's because the walking while I write is helping my brain make faster connections. I feel more energized during the day, and I have even noticed more patience with my kids. All huge improvements over where I was just two weeks ago, feeling lazy and overwhelmed. I honestly can't wait to see where things go from here!
LifeSpan Model TR1200-DT5
My LifeSpan Treadmill Desk is model TR1200-DT5 and I chose a 38" cool grey desktop and charcoal frame. There are a variety of color options available to match your home office! You can also choose between a 38" or 48" desktop. While my treadmill is currently in our upstairs guest room, I'm working on remodeling my home office. Once that project is done I'll move it into my new space. Both the treadmill and desk are very heavy duty (and literally heavy too!). I know they'll stand up to wear and tear over time.
Assembly was straightforward though I would recommend doing it with two people if you can. The desktop is adjustable so you can easily find the perfect height. The LifeSpan Treadmill Desk goes up to four miles an hour. You can adjust it to a speed that's comfortable for you! I started at two miles per hour and that seems to be perfect for me. I may increase it over the coming weeks, but for now it's a good start. If you're making the transition from sitting to walking, you can also stand on the treadmill. Then when you want to add walking, you have the necessary equipment.
The treadmill runs very quietly which is important for me because our kids sleep in the room next door. Another one of my favorite features is that the treadmill has Intelli-Step and Bluetooth capabilities so you can send your steps to your phone on the ActiveTrac app to watch your progress.
There is also a console which lets you start and stop the machine. It displays time, distance, steps, calories, and speed.
Overall I could not be more pleased with my new treadmill desk from LifeSpan. I'm so excited to finally have some control over my fitness. I look forward to adding more in each day! On top of that, my time management skills have improved immensely. I feel so accomplished by the end of each day and don't feel overwhelmed as often. I'm grateful to LifeSpan for helping me get things on track!
Buy it: You can purchase a LifeSpan Treadmill Desk from LifeSpan's website. They also offer standing desks and bike desks if walking isn't your thing.
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Disclosure: I received a LifeSpan Treadmill Desk at no cost to discuss time management tips and facilitate a review. As always, all opinions are my own.