Want to work from home? Find your routine.

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Pepper, our new kitten, is figure-eighting around my ankles as I sit at my desk. Finn isn’t far away, exploring every nook and cranny of the floor. I’m also giving Tate a spelling test in a few minutes; she’s at her table behind me, practicing her list of words. I hear Reed somewhere in the distance: “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Kyle responds, “Reed, Mom is working. If you need something, ask me.”

My work tasks today are to draft this post you’re reading, button up some other posts, take a few photos and tweak them in Photoshop, set up a Skype chat with a potential advertiser, mail some paperwork for my upcoming trip to the Philippines, and process my email inbox (currently 97 unread emails — not too bad, honestly).

It’s just another day in the life. Lots of you are interested in the nitty-gritty, practical side of how I work. In this post, I’ll pull back the curtain and show you how. (And in advance, I apologize for the length of this post.)


As with most of these “how I work” posts, this is descriptive, not prescriptive. Lots of bloggers work in different ways (and I’ll share some of their routines as well). I’ve also worked much differently in different seasons, and in a few weeks, my schedule will change again.

As I work with my seasons and not against them, I’m required to ebb and flow, staying fluid with my expectations. So I’ll tell you what my work routine is like today. In one month, it will probably be different.

My weekly routine

This is displayed on our fridge:

It’s our weekly calendar, written each Sunday evening as Kyle and I flesh out our upcoming week together. There’s a certain pattern, for sure, but every week looks different. There’s no such thing as a master, perfect routine, but we’ve found a template that we can loosely copy. Honestly, it’s nothing fancy.

Our oldest, Tate, is in half-day kindergarten, and her school is about a 30 minute drive in traffic. This means it makes more sense to stay near her school and work at a coffee shop (or a friend’s house), because otherwise, we’d take an hour to get to school and back home, then another hour to repeat the process a mere three hours later. Not worth the gas money.

Kyle and I switch off taking her in the morning; whoever takes her works in the morning, then the other parent works in the afternoon at home. My work routine looks something like this:

• Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings — work at a coffee shop
• Tuesday and Thursday afternoons — work at home

…or vice versa. And I don’t need to tell you that when I’m not “working” (ha), I’m cleaning, cooking, folding laundry, and being with the younger two kids. Kyle does these tasks when I’m working on the blog and writing.

During busy seasons, one or both of us also work in the evening, when the kids are in bed. This was the case when my book was released last fall, and is also the case right now for the ministry we’re preparing for (Kyle’s main gig). It’s not preferable — my batteries drain pretty fast in the evening, and I’d rather have that time to veg and catch up with Kyle.

But the beauty of us both working so closely on all our projects is that even when we do have to work in the evenings, we’re still spending time together, and we get what the other person is doing. We couldn’t cope any other way.

What I work on, when

Now, I don’t just do whatever at any time. The hours outlined above aren’t enough to finish everything I need to do to keep SLM running, so there’s always stuff left undone. Always.

But I have found that tapping into my natural rhythms helps me get a lot more mileage out of my efforts. For instance:

• If I’m out of the house, I try to do most of my first-run writing on Monday mornings, when my brain is much clearer than any other time. If I’m at home, I save that writing for Tuesday mornings. I can’t finish a sentence when I’m with the kiddos, much less write a coherent thought. It still happens, though — such as the writing of this post.

• The other mornings, I tweak the first drafts, making them much more readable. Editing takes me twice as long as writing.

• In the afternoons, I work on email, schedule Skype chats, and generally emerge from my hole to interact with other people online.

• If I work in the evenings, it’s usually to do much more auto-pilot stuff — embedding links, crediting photos, creating graphics, and the like.

A “typical” morning of work:

This is in pencil, of course, but a session of work could look like this:

• 8:45-9:00: Imbibe caffeine; give a quick glance at email; toss out a tweet or Facebook question. Then close these platforms.
• 9:00-12:00: Write, edit, and/or format posts.
• 12:00-12:30: Check email, Facebook, and Twitter one last time before picking up Tate. Reply to a few pressing inquiries, if necessary.

A “typical” afternoon of work:

• 2:00-3:00: Spend more time replying to emails; interact on Twitter and Facebook (only 10-15 minutes on the latter).
• 3:00-4:30: Finalize any posts while I simultaneously hold Skype chats, phone meetings, take photos for posts, and other sundry.

Extra tidbits

I do a few other things with my time to help me work smart, and not just hard:

Editor’s meetings

The other SLM editors, the ad manager, and I meet over Skype once per month, lately on the first Thursday. Here, we discuss upcoming events or content series, brainstorm ideas, and provide each other feedback and encouragement.

We also catch up on each other’s “real” lives, share prayer requests, and generally laugh our heads off as we juggle kids’ naptimes and diaper changes. Ask Jamie Martin about her accidental use of the puke emoticon.

Skype hours

Every Tuesday afternoon, I hold open Skype hours for the other SLM editors and the Simple Mom contributors. I leave Skype up as I work, and these people know that this is the best time to shoot me a quick question, ask for some help, toss out an idea, or generally find my attention. It’s akin to a professor’s open office hours for her students.

I have too much email to find their quick-but-important questions, but it’s essential that I respond to them in a timely manner. This is my solution, and it seems to work.

If I’m on house duty Tuesday afternoons, I listen for the Skype “ping” as I fold laundry and chop veggies for dinner.

Behind-the-scenes site

I have a site privy only to those who write regularly for the SLM blogs. Here, writers can find the editorial calendar, a master Style Guide that I wrote, buttons and other often-used code, and each other’s email addresses and Twitter handles.

This eliminates the need to spend hours answering the same questions.

Editorial calendar

Simple Mom’s content is planned a month at a time, at minimum. My preference is two months at a time, just for my sanity. All SLM sites’ editorial calendars are on Google Calendar, and we can all access them at any time, to see what’s on the docket for each site. Each contributor can also see the calendar of the site they write for.

Monthly themes

We’ve created network-wide themes for each month. We don’t stick to this religiously, and not every post is about the month’s theme. But it gives us direction when we’re stuck on post ideas, and it provides some coherency to our content.

Taking a month off

Last year, I took about six weeks off when Finn was born. This maternity leave was just what I needed, because I was starting to feel a bit burned out, and was craving a good chunk of offline time. I came back refreshed, excited about my writing, and ready to devote more energy.

I’ve found that for some reason, I start feeling fazed and distracted around this time each year. I’m not sure why. But for me, it’s a sign that it’s time to take a little break.

Starting this year, I’m going to schedule a month off of heavy blogging into my work routine.
I’ll still pop on Twitter and Facebook a couple times a week, check my email, and otherwise make sure the sites aren’t imploding. But I’m not going to produce new content, hold my Skype hours, or otherwise focus on daily blog tasks.

This year, it will be June, since we’ll be busy moving across the country. I’m pre-writing new posts, my contributors will still publish on Wednesdays, and I’ll most likely toss in a few reruns as well. On the front end, it won’t look different (it’s a business, after all, and we have advertisers). But on the back end, I’ll be catching up on offline projects (sewing!), spending time as a family, and yes, working on some longer-term writing projects, like my next book manuscript.

If I espouse balanced living, I need to live it, too. I’m all about intentional down time, because it makes my work time that much more productive. My writing is better, too.

What others do

Here’s how a few others work differently:

• Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project says, “As a person who loves routine and predictability, after I had my children, I struggled for a long time to settle back into a daily writing schedule. I finally realized that it will be a long time before I have a regular routine again. Instead of getting frustrated by the fact that I can’t plan on working between certain hours, I aim to work a certain number of hours, and fit those hours in when I can, during the course of a day. I think it’s very important for a writer to work frequently, steadily, and productively. I make sure to write every day (including weekends). But I no longer try to have a specific schedule.”

• Katie Goodman of Good Life Eats says, “This past school year my son started kindergarten (full-day). My daughter attended two days of preschool (also full-day). I do as much cooking and photographing as possible on the two days that I have no children at home. The days my daughter is home I do things like grocery shopping for ingredients, since that is something we can do together, and some writing. She is really wonderful at occupying herself. …Some weeks I’m incredibly organized and caught up and I don’t really have to do much when the kids are home. Other weeks I’ve fallen behind or blogging has taken a back seat to other more pressing issues. When both kids are home it is near impossible to get much done productively. I can see that this summer I will have to work more in the evenings after they’re in bed and on the weekends.”


The Nester, creating her usual brilliance on Nesting Place.

• Nester of Nesting Place says, “I am home three days a week without children from 8-2 (my husband is off one of those days as well), so that’s when I try to get the bulk of my writing done. …I’ve learned not to use my silent alone time for cleaning or grocery shopping and try to devote that time to something that will benefit Nesting Place, like writing, it could be doing a project at home and taking photos or maybe it’s stopping in at a thrift store. I am rarely online after 5 pm, not because I’m disciplined but more because I’m not a night person.”

• Mandi Ehman of Life… Your Way says, “We’ve been incredibly blessed that the business has grown in the last year, and with the addition of two assistants, I’ve been able to scale back tremendously. My schedule now looks a lot more like this:

6-10 am: work
10-12 pm: homeschool
12-4 pm: work
4-8 pm: dinner, chores, family time
8-10 pm: whatever I feel like”

• Emily Freeman of Chatting at the Sky says, “My Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are basically my writing days:

6 am – Wake up. Time with my husband to read and pray.
7 am – Kids up. Breakfast, make lunches, walk to school.
9 am – Take youngest to pre-school.
9:30 – Workout. Ish. And shower. Also -ish.
10 am – Take computer to Starbucks or stay at my kitchen table and write like a maniac. Fret. Cry. Stare out the window.
1 pm – Pick up youngest from preschool and worry that everything I wrote for the last 3 hours was ridiculous. Look forward to the next writing day.”

• Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room says, “On a typical day, I wake up, have some quiet time while my husband packs my son’s lunch, then I run around opening blinds, picking up, and drinking coffee and pretending I don’t have to work. I always hug my son goodbye as he leaves for school. I’ll do a quick check of email and my blog to make sure nothing urgent is going on since I’m on the west coast and it is already noon on the east coast by the time I check email! Sometimes I’ll do a couple of quick posts in the morning or check up on my Facebook page. Then I usually shut down my computer, take a shower and get the day going around the house. …I’m always at home to greet my son when he gets home from school, and both my husband and I are home with him most evenings, or we take him with us if we have a meeting. It is nice to have jobs that are flexible and allow us to be home with our son when he is home. If it is a really crazy week I might open my computer again late at night when my house is quiet.”

• Nicole Bennett of Simple Organic and Gidget Goes Home says, “I don’t have a set work schedule these days. I generally spend some time writing/planning while my daughter is at preschool (maybe an hour or two on some Tuesdays and Thursdays), or during afternoon nap/rest time (maybe a half hour to an hour tops on any given day). Other than that, I usually spend one or two nights a week doing a larger chunk of work while my hubby watches a game or TV show.”

Application

Learn your natural rhythms, and work with them, not against them. More of a night owl? Do most of your work then. A bumbling idiot after 9 p.m., like me? Do you brain-heavy work in the morning.

Take the time on the front end to automate or streamline repeated tasks, so that you’ll save time and energy on the back end. This is why my staff site helps so much.

Use technology to your advantage. I couldn’t do any of these things without Skype, Google Docs or Calendar, social media, or Gmail.

Schedule intentional downtime to prevent burnout. Work hard, but goof off a little each day, and take a longer sabbatical each year.

Learn from others, copy what works, and throw out what doesn’t. Don’t feel like you have to work just like someone else.

When do you work? What time of day are you at your best?

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Comments

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how encouraging and helpful this series is for me! As an aspiring blogger/online businesswoman I am no longer envisioning assistants waiting on you hand and foot ;-) It’s real life–a real simple life, with ups and downs that you’ve managed to bring business/blogging into.

    My routine looks very similar to yours–another encouraging aspect! My husband works nights, most of the time and also attends college. So usually there is a regular portion of the day I can dedicate to my blog and business. Thank you for highlighting some of the ‘back-business’ strategies you use to organize your editorial calendar (it never occurred to me to use Google Calendar so I was wrestling with Excel–not a pretty site!) and interactions with your editorial team.

    After reading this article I am again re-energized and inspired to keep at this pursuit of that passion of mine! Thanks again!

  2. It was very encouraging to read that you (and most of the other writers) don’t usually write with kids around! I find it very difficult to think coherently when my children are bouncing up and down behind me, or tugging on my pant leg!

    Since I do want to work on my writing skills and my blog, I’ve arranged with my husband to have one evening a week to be alone. It’s only for a few hours, but it’s much better than trying to work and feeling frustrated when I’m interrupted. I’m learning to wait. It helps everyone :)
    Stacy @ Delighting in the Days´s latest post: When small things are BIG things

  3. Right now, I mostly write at night… although, I cannot say I am “working” yet. It is so because this is the time I am least likely to be distracted or interrupted. Oh, well, I guess it is also because I goof off to much during the day. I am a night person because I procrastinate!

    Thank you for sharing even the little details and also the examples of other bloggers. I really want to work from home – I’d like to be home when my kids are. I did not think it was possible until exploring the blogging world recently. It has been one of my motivation to straighten up myself and get my home in better shape. Like you said “… when I’m not ‘working’ (ha), I’m cleaning, cooking, folding laundry, and being with the younger two kids.” If I do not have the discipline to do the rest, “work” will not happen while I’m home. All the routines gave me idea of what I need to improve.
    Messy Wife´s latest post: Surrounded by Angels – Part 1

  4. This was such a great post. My husband is a graduate student and we have a 5yr old a a 19 month old. We are so busy. I love blogging and I feel like I’m at mu computer a lot. However, I’m not sure if I’m being effective. I have a question for you, how much time do you spend reading other blogs? I would also LOVE to know how you schedule looked when you first started blogging seriously. Did you interact more on FB and Twitter? Did you read more blogs?

    • Damaris, these are great questions! I’d love to know, too!

    • I read other blogs when I check FB and Twitter, following the links I find there. I subscribe in my Reader, but I honestly rarely check that anymore (it serves as more storage for certain blogs I don’t want to forget about or lose). So, I’d say about 20-30 minutes per day, tops. Sometimes it’s less.

      My schedule definitely wasn’t like this when I first started, because I honestly wasn’t making that much money. I couldn’t justify spending this much time and call it “work” when it wasn’t generating income. So, it was much more sporadic. Early on, it was just here and there, when I had the time, though I still made sure I posted regularly. I wasn’t on a strict MWF posting schedule like I have now, but I still made sure it was 2-3 times per week.

      As I started bringing in a little money, I started carving out a few more official hours. I think it was something like three afternoons, 2 hours at a time. Nap time, in other words. As revenue increased, so did my hours, because it felt more justifiable. More of an hourly rate, so to speak. That said — early on, my hourly rate was rather pathetic, if I looked at it that way.

      That’s what I was getting at earlier, about being in my element. I’d do it for free if I had to, so I did. And yes, there were lots of unpaid hours in the beginning. That’s just the way it is at the start of lots of businesses, and in an entrepreneur’s life. :)

      Hope that helps.

      • This helps a lot. I find that I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on other blogs and then I end up not finding the time to write as much as I would like. Another thing that has been useful about your post, and all the other comments, is that a lot of women work when their kids are home and even when they are watching their kids. I find this the most difficult and I want to carve out the time that I am with mu kids just to be with my kids.

        This has been a great discussion, thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Thank you for this! I always wonder how ultra-serious, busy bloggers schedule their days! This is something that I’ve struggled with in the past few months. I have a 4yr old and a 2 1/2 yr old who are at home with me all day, every day. I get very little time to myself. I’ve been reading Timothy Ferriss’s Four Hour work week and trying to apply some of his principles to my situation as a stay-at-home mommy blogger. (Obviously I’m not going to outsource my life and go on vacation. ;)) My favorite is the 80/20 principle – 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time. When I find myself spending too much time on unimportant things (too much social media & analytics), I try to remember what really makes my blog grow and focus on the important – cooking, writing, and photography.

  6. Hi Tsh, thanks so much for sharing this post. It’s intriguing to read about the ins and outs of someone’s life! It has also given me lots of ideas on creating some more structure into my day and life. I always try, and I have a weekly calendar, but am not very good at looking at it during the week, despite spending time on weekends to get it sorted.

    Thanks for yet another inspiring post!
    Lucinda´s latest post: Meet Little Ellie

  7. I love the mornings but I also find this is the best time to “school” the kids, so I need to juggle that a bit. Up until now, my writing happens for an hour after lunch each day. I can’t wait to set up a routine that works for our family and with my natural rhythm, Damien and I will be working all that out over the coming months. Who’s on and when. So excited… and just a bit freaked out. Today is D’s first day unemployed.

    And Tuesday afternoons… I didn’t know about that.

    • Being suddenly unemployed does make things challenging. I am homeschooling 2 of my three kids. The third has to be dropped off/picked up. Then there are martial arts classes. Not to mention the household. Since January, when my husband was laid off, we’ve been struggling to make some sense of our days. When to do housework, when to job hunt, should I continue with the schooling, or should my husband take over more. These are our daily questions. Good luck to you as you find your routine.
      Astreil´s latest post: I Can Not Celebrate Today

  8. During the school year, I have to fit blog work in and around all the homeschool stuff. I make good use of my waiting time and also of my older kids who can watch the youngers or do the driving for me. I plan big writing projects and all the blog work I can during summers. This summer I’m hoping to get out of the house for scheduled writing hours.
    Thanks so much for this series!
    Tiffany´s latest post: Help! How Do I Cook This Pork Spare Ribs

  9. Thank you so much for the insight. I’m at a different stage, but so great to see how you work within your boundaries. Thanks also for the insight provided by others – we all manage, just in different ways. Fascinating.
    Lee Currie´s latest post: 12 of 12- May 2011

  10. Tsh,
    What a rich post. I have recently hit on an amazing, failsafe tactic that helps smooth out many of the bumps of my “routine” in running my writing business. I’ve had too many days that I feel like time just slipped through my fingers without anything important done. This essential part of my routine saves me!

    So I make sure I do the most essential task for me – my business (not my clients) first thing in the morning when I get up at 5:30/6. And then I also fit in a quick exercise burst before everyone else gets up.

    I use this time to line up tweets, work on sales materials, posts, ebooks, etc.

    I’ve written about this in detail – and all the good things that come with it here:

    http://www.yourhealthyhomebiz.com/better-than-your-morning-coffee-how-to-get-your-morning-started-right-for-success

    Thank you for sharing all the other good routine ideas. I often plan my days – but the reality of life, momhood and farming make everything change. But it’s always good to start with a plan to touch base with.

  11. I’ve been a work-from-home-mama for several years now and recently starting contributing to a lifestyle blog. It’s a blessing and a challenge. I constantly need to adjust my routine to accommodate changes in my growing a family like a dropped nap, summer break, or a new mobility milestone (the crawling stage really shakes my routine up!) .

    No matter what’s going in my life, the one routine which remains ironclad is my morning ritual. I get up before everyone, shower, dress ( make-up and hair which makes me feel good about myself and feel ready to work), and some time in prayer offering my day to God.

    I work best in the morning, so I try to get the bulk of my work done then. I’ll fit the rest in during afternoon nap times or sometimes later in the evening, but I try to avoid this if I can as my work product just isn’t as good at this time.

    Thanks for sharing your day with us!

  12. Tsh,
    It is awesome for you to share so much of your life with us! My children are grown now, but I remember the days of running a different type of biz with my kids running around me!
    I appreciate you sharing some of your structure for the backside of your business. At one point I though I wanted to build a network like you have, but I believe God is calling me to a different place, but it is still very interesting!
    Good luck to you as you prepare to move! I don’t know if it something he likes to share in this venue, but would love to know what your husband’s ministry is about!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s latest post: Have you outgrown your space

  13. I can’t believe you would go spill the beans about my puking to everyone! ;)

    I’m working right now by the back window so I can keep an eye on the kids playing in the back yard. Elijah just ran in to ask me to help him put his helmet on, and the timer just started going off to let me know the laundry is finished in the dryer.

    All in a day’s work, right?!
    Jamie ~ Simple Homeschool´s latest post: Relaxed Elementary Education 2011 Curriculum Fair

  14. I love how you shared it takes twice as long to edit as it does to write! I blog for the joy of writing and because our family and friends are scattered all over the globe and it’s the easiest way to keep everyone in the loop, and I still find this to be true! When I don’t take the time to edit thoroughly I’m definitely less satisfied with my writing.

    I’ve really enjoyed learning about the life and work behind the website even though I have no desire to be an entrepreneur at this juncture in life. Thanks for being so candid!
    Sarah G´s latest post: Growing Bacteria in My KitchenOn Purpose

  15. Unlike you I have a set work schedule with my employer. It’s a plus to have my own home office that dedicated to work. So when I walk in there that’s where my mind is.
    Rona´s latest post: Summer is Coming So Lets Keep It Short!

  16. Thanks for this! I have been trying to figure out the best way to organize myself! I love the editorial calender idea on Google!

    I am also going to the Phillipines soon! I am leaving in June for Palawan….when will you be there and what will you be doing?
    Karla´s latest post: Restaurant Review- Lucky Pelican- Sarasota- FL

  17. This post is ABSOLUTE GOLD!! It’s so wonderful that you’re so open with your life and business. I hate reading posts that make wishy-washy statements and offer no actual concrete advice or ideas – this post was a fantastic insight into how you manage to get so much done in such short windows of time. You’re an inspiration!! ;)

  18. Hi Tsh, Thank you so much for this incredibly insightful post. This is just where I’m at with my blog/business. Trying to learn how to balance home and work. Being able to have a peek into your routine is so helpful. Carrie

  19. A mom’s daily schedule is always hectic and it’s amazing to know how you are able to cope up with daily tasks, childcare and still come up with excellent articles and manage your blog successfully. You are an inspiration – a true winner in balancing home and work. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Jasmine@CreditDonkey´s latest post: Top 10 Financial Mistakes Moms Make

  20. Reading other moms schedules really show how, routine and schedule are key in getting a days/weeks worth of work done. Very inspiring!

  21. I’m loving this series and really looking forward to the [possible] Blogging 101. After launching and retracting several “types” of blogs, I think I’ve found a niche and I’d like to build on it. Your routine post just might give me the kickstart I needed to be more committed. So thanks!

    Also, a friend and I invented a “sackcloth and ashes” emoticon for our big fails. It helps us laugh at ourselves and is a nice shorthand for serious personal prayer requests. Here you go: *:_(#
    Becky´s latest post: Shallow Small Groups

  22. I love seeing how others do it…what works/what doesn’t. I just jumped in feet first, starting my new blog just under a week ago! http://www.heartandhaven.com is actually just an expansion of what I’ve noticed I’d been doing primarily on FB for the past year, but just wanted a forum to expand on my thoughts & ideas.

    I liked how you mentioned that you have topics planned for a month or two out. How do you do this, while still keeping your content relevant to today? Do you write most of the content a month out, or just have the topic selected?
    Tonia´s latest post: Seasons in Parenting

  23. I LOVED reading this post! It’s so great to get a glimpse into your life. :) Very insightful! Keep’em comin!
    Catie´s latest post: On Purpose

  24. avatar
    Kristen says:

    Dear Tsh,
    A friend told me about your site about 6 months ago and I’m hooked! This post is one of my favorites so far. Thanks for being realistic and open in your posts. It is work in and of itself to manage time in a way that your actual “work” is at the quality that it needs to be. I’m an architect and have been working part time (office and home office) now for 4 years, always learning and adapting.

  25. It is really interesting to see how this all falls together.
    Thanks for sharing. I feel like I have a better appreciation of all that you do for everyone as a community.
    Thanks you are doing a great job.
    T

  26. These are great and useful tips. I personally “automate” as much as I can. I fly on autopilot on the mandane tasks so my brainpower is used for creative things:-)

  27. Hi Tsh– what a great post!! I’ll be honest, I haven’t finished reading it yet, but am adding it to my list of ‘very important things to read!’. I’m a mom of two small girls who has had some small successes in freelancing for small local newspapers and magazines, but really would love to take freelancing/blogging/writing to the next level and while I thought it would be “easy” (hahahahaha) once I was at home with my kids…I’m finding this is the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do (they are 4 and 2!)…some days I beat myself up because I am SO unscheduled and not good at making consistent time for my writing…grrr….it’s all a process I know….

    p.s. I’d really LOVE to attend the RELEVANT conference, but it’s all sold out!!! Any tips for finding a ticket?!!!

  28. Thanks for the sneak peak behind the “curtain”. I work a typical M-F 9-5 job and then work on my personal blog at night and on the weekends. I feel like I’m most productive in the mid-morning and late at night. Sometimes on the weekends if I’m feeling a super productive bug coming on.

  29. Thanks for this very candid post Tsh! I appreciate you sharing so many details. It is very helpful.

    It is a relief for me to see that you (and the other ladies who contributed) don’t write very much with the kids around. I certainly have trouble thinking clearly when my children are chatting and running and doing general kid things.
    Stacy @ Delighting in the Days´s latest post: When small things are BIG things

  30. avatar
    Caroline says:

    Hi Tsh!

    Loved this post, because I no longer feel guilty about NOT having a blog. It absolutely takes more time than I have!

    : ) Caroline

  31. I started out going to a coffee shop three times a week for 2 hours, while my husband or my mom watched the baby. I’d been wanting to start a blog since shortly after my son was born, but it took till he was 8 months for me to get this time away from him. I can’t write a thing when he’s around, he just has my full attention!
    Lately with my husband’s work schedule increasing, I’ve had a hard time getting out, while at the same time feeling more driven and inspired for work I want to do. So my son is starting daycare this week!
    I’m envisioning coming home and doing an hour or so of housework, having lunch, then spending a couple hours either on my blog or freelance work, on alternate days. We’ll see how the transition goes!
    Erin OK @ it’s OK´s latest post: Fundraiser for a Local Family

  32. Thanks so much for taking the time to go into detail regarding your busy schedule. I can only dream about being this organized and I don’t even have a blog! All my kids are grown and out of the nest but I spend entirely too much time on my computer reading blogs and just the “news”. I am going to take some of your tips and just literally set myself a schedule of how much time I can spend on the internet and that is it! I so admire you and your husband, how you work together and care for your precious kids. I want an iPad 2 but really it is a good thing that they are in short supply as I probably would never get a thing done! Right now, I need a new laptop and am having difficulty making a choice. Any advice on that end? I have never used a MAC but I have a zillion photos, videos, etc. that I want to work on and organize. Photography is my passion so it makes sense to me to buy a MAC. I am thinking a 15″ or 17″ MAC Book Pro. Am I on the right track?
    Thanks for any help. Blessings to you and your family!

  33. Wonderful post! Thank you so much for this great insight into your home and work life. I am learning a lot from you and your wonderful contributors! Keep up the great work!

  34. I must say you execute time management excellently. Thanks for sharing details in your life that help encourage and inspire WAHMs. You’re doing a wonderful job – keep it up.
    Jasmine @ GoalsOnTrack´s latest post: To Reach Goals- Bypass Resistance &amp Gather Assistance

  35. I have yet to find my rhythm. I need to get away (Starbucks) so I can jot down the projects I want to accomplish and create a posting schedule.

    Right now, I am a hobby blogger. I earn tiny amounts of money, but at this season in my life, I do not have the time to make a serious business out of it yet. Actually, my main goal in this season is to build a platform. I eventually want to write an ebook and maybe further down, publish a book.

    I feel like I’m in the learning process of some things yet and although I love writing and tend to string words together OK, I would really like to brush up on that skill and learn some technique. I want to write like me, and not like every other writer I love, and that has been challenging.

    I am curious to know how people with large families (say 5 kids) work a blogging schedule. I think I would tend to resonate with Gretchen. I can’t set aside a bulk X amount of hours to work. It has to be fit in here and there. I have 5 children and I home school…there isn’t a whole lot of spare time to play with as it is! :)
    Christin´s latest post: Day 10 Feeling Overwhelmed 31 Days to Clean Link Up

  36. This post was so helpful. My husband was laid off in January and now we both need to get jobs. Therefore, I am nearing the end of my homeschooling career for now. The kids have two more weeks of intense school. Then my eldest comes home for summer break. We are both having to figure out our daily rhythms while trying to find an income source. At the same time, I want to keep writing and working with my church as much as possible.

    This post is getting archived in my Google Reader for use throughout our transition. Hopefully, our family can find our groove and some work! Looking forward to a good balance and a wonderful summer with family.
    Astreil´s latest post: I Can Not Celebrate Today

  37. Hi, Tsh! This is a wonderful post.
    What I do is to get up at 5am when everybody is still asleep. I like the early morning peace and quiet. That’s when I’m most creative, no distractions and interruptions.
    During schooldays, when the kids are in school the whole day, I have time in the morning to focus on work, time in the afternoon to do the household chores, and in the evenings, help the kids with their homework and some family activities.
    Thanks for sharing. I got some ideas I’d like to try as well.
    Theresa Torres´s latest post: Top 10 Financial Mistakes Moms Make

  38. Thanks Tsh! It’s great to see the behind-the-scenes view of how other parents work from home. My husband and I found ourselves working from home together, to our great surprise, in late 2009 and we have been ever since, swapping the “parenting” and “work” roles back and forth each day as we work on our apps and supporting tasks. With 3 kids (18 months, 4 & 6) it’s a challenge but it’s been an enjoyable one, although frustrating sometimes as the lines become blurry between home and workplace, and we both need to get out in order to stay someone sane!
    Rosie´s latest post: Makeover your home…in very small steps

  39. I relate to the color coded schedules and post the family’s version on the fridge in 3 week increments. I have a more detailed, personal version on my desk! Both are in sync w/ my outlook calendar! It help keeps my “natural rhythm” in rhythm!

  40. I love this post! I am an aspiring blogger, but I am having trouble sticking to any sort of routine with my two little ones around. I usually try to write when they are awake, and do household tasks when they are sleeping. I think I just need to figure out how to do the housework with the kids around. Thanks for sharing the tips from other bloggers as well, it’s so great to see different perspectives!

  41. Thank you, I loved this post! I recently made the transition from work to stay at home, and I’m trying to sort out how to schedule and be productive. I totally agree with being flexible. I look more at the whole picture of what I’m able to accomplish over the course of the week than trying to schedule hourly/daily. This post was very helpful.
    Stephanie´s latest post: Pregnancy and the Marathon

  42. Mrs. Tsh
    I am curious to know something. Did you have prior experience with photoshop, coding and design before your blog? Or did you learn along the way? This whole series has been awesome and I am learning a lot. I am really trying to get a network like yours in the future but those above areas are holding me back. Do you have any suggestions?
    Angela Johnson´s latest post: Oprah’s Last Episodes Proved She was Mom To Millions

  43. I write better at night and sometimes when I find my rhythm I will write more than one post in a setting. I also try to get up a couple of hours before My girls and work while they are asleep and when they are up I can be with them and not on the computer all day. When My husband is home I use that time to check on my Etsy shop and take pictures of my products. I also like to keep my weekends free but I try to take at least one day week off to just have fun with my girls.
    Katie´s latest post: Giveaway

  44. This post was great!!! Helped me out a lot, I’m between apartments, just started grad school, and I’m a blogger

  45. avatar
    english bulldog puppies says:

    Being suddenly unemployed does make things challenging. I am homeschooling 2 of my three kids. The third has to be dropped off/picked up. Then there are martial arts classes. Not to mention the household. Since January, when my husband was laid off, we’ve been struggling to make some sense of our days. When to do housework, when to job hunt, should I continue with the schooling, or should my husband take over more. These are our daily questions. Good luck to you as you find your routine.

  46. Thanks for sharing this Tsh, and it’s interesting to read the other people’s work-plans too. My husband and I have both worked part-time almost every since we had kids, with some cross over in hours. But now I am working from home (having taken a redundancy earlier this year), we are able to be more flexible – he still has set hours, but does some of his work from home too.

    Right now I am finalising a book I’ve been working on – my first – which is a huge learning curve and means a lot of evenings spent working too (and yeah, I do burn out quickly if I do that for too long). But, I am planning on a month “mostly off” from mid December – when the kids finish school for the summer – until mid January. Knowing that’s coming up, helps keep me going now (that, and my fast approaching deadline!).
    Kirsten McCulloch´s latest post: Sunscreen, Nano-particles and Other Nasties

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