Work at Home Parent with Limited Time? Try This Trick to Prioritize Your Work

If you’re a work at home parent, unless your kids go to school all day, you’re likely working fewer hours than you would like.  Juggling parenting and working isn’t easy, especially when you have young children.  If you feel like your life is out of balance, try this trick to bring it back into balance.

Chart how you spend your work time for two weeks to a month.

I know, keeping track of your time is a drag, but it will reveal some interesting things that can make you work more effectively.

I recently did this, and I discovered that while it feels like I often work 40 hours a week, I was only actually working an average of 24 hours a week.

I also discovered that I spend half of my work time on my blog, which brings me in very little money.

How to Conduct a Time Audit

Before you start, write down all the jobs that you do and for whom.  Then, for two weeks minimum, keep track of how many minutes you spend on each job.

You’ll also want to write down how much money you made from each job over this two week period.

At the end of two weeks, divide the amount of money you made for each job by the number of hours you worked each individual job.  I’m guessing, like I was, you’ll be surprised to find which of your jobs actually pays the best.

What a Time Audit Can Tell You

Going through the details of a time audit can be enlightening.  I made several important discoveries that will help me manage my time going forward.

Here’s what you can expect to discover:

1.  What job pays the best.  You may assume, like I did, that the highest paying job is the one that pays best.  However, this is not always true.  I found that some of my jobs that pay less can be completed quicker than jobs that pay more, so I’m actually making more per hour than some of my jobs that pay better.

2.  Which jobs offer the least benefit.  I spent a surprising amount of time on social media–linking my blog up to other blogs when there were linkie parties, commenting on other blogs, and sharing my staff writing posts on Twitter and Facebook.  As my income increases in a few years, this may be one area where I might want to hire a virtual assistant to handle these tasks.

3.  How to revamp your schedule.  You may find that you’re spending too much time on one activity that doesn’t offer much in monetary return.  That’s what I discovered with my blog.  Now I’m in the process of deciding how to cut down on what I do on my blog so I’ll have more time for more productive endeavors.

Juggling family and work is difficult, but a time audit can help you keep your priorities in balance.  You’ll also discover what projects you should invest the majority of your time in for the optimal monetary benefit.

Have you conducted a work time audit before?  If so, what did you discover?


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Melissa works from home as a freelance writer, virtual assistant and blogger. Her blog, Mom's Plans, reflects her desire to plan life one step at a time while caring for and homeschooling her children (ages 9, 5 and 3) as well as paying down debt and saving for a house.


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