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Work-at-home moms have a tough job.  We have to manage our work and our homes.  We often get overwhelmed with all the productivity tools available. 

We all have a reason for working from home.  Most of the time it is to accomplish a financial goal that we have.  A lot of home businesses are started with little to no money.  There is not always room in the budget for extras, even if they will help our business grow.

I am going to show you that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to have a plan and be more productive.  All of the resources that I am going to share with you are completely free.

5 Free Productivity Tools for the Work at Home Mom:

Make Your Own Planner

One of the best ways to be productive is to have a plan.  If you have a plan, you will know what you should be doing and when.  It will save you from lots of decision fatigue. 

When you’re a mom that works from home, you are often limited to working in pockets of time like early mornings, nap time, and after the kids go to bed.  You can squeeze the most out of your day by having a plan.

However, the price of planners can be out of reach for most of us.  We’re trying to get a business off the ground.  The last thing we want to do is spend $60-70 on a planner plus pens, washi tape, and stickers. 

There is nothing wrong with pretty planners, but don’t feel bad if they are not in your budget.  I’ve got several great alternatives to share with you.  You may even like them better.

You can make a planner from just about anything.  Do you have a blank spiral or composition notebook lying around?  Have some pens, markers or colored pencils? Some vintage Lisa Frank stickers?  Hey, don’t judge ;).

If you are crafty, you can let your creativity go wild.  Have fun with it.

Or maybe you would enjoy bullet journaling.

No matter your planning style, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

DIY Planner Notebook

How to Bullet Journal 

Bullet Journal Monthly Spread Ideas

Here are my best productivity tips for work at home moms that are FREE. Take advantage of all the free tools out there to help you work from home.

Use Menu Plans & Grocery Pickup

Take advantage of free menu plans.

So now that you have a plan for your day, the next thing you need is a menu plan.  Knowing what you are going to cook and what you need to buy at the grocery store saves time. 

It also saves you from lots of decision fatigue.  This way you avoid the angry crowd of tiny hecklers, aka your kids, chasing you at 5 p.m. every evening.  Or maybe that just at my house….

Having a meal plan makes it easier to get dinner on the table faster and frees up a lot of mental energy that you can use creatively in your business.  I find that the more mental space I free up, the more energetic I feel.

We all know that there are menu plans out there that you can pay for.  While that is a great idea, it may not always be in the budget.  Don’t throw the meal plan out with the bath water.  There are lots of great free options that do not lack in quality.

These are a few of my favorite free meal plans:

Fish Mama’s Free Menu Plans

Free Easy Whole 30 Meal Plan

Brittany’s Monthly Meal Plans (so organized and on a budget!)

Let someone else grocery shop for you.

Let’s face it.  Grocery shopping can be a hassle, especially if you have small children that tire easily.  They grab at everything.  You spend your time fighting them instead of thinking about what you should be buying.  When you finally get to the register, your total ends up being more than you planned.  Then you go to make dinner and somehow you ended up with only about half of what was on your list.

Grocery shopping usually leaves me feeling frazzled and over budget.  Ordering your groceries online can solve that problem.  Not only do you save the time of going to search the store for every item on your list, you will know exactly what your total is going to be before you go.

You can shop online several different ways.  Some companies like Instacart offer a membership-based service that assigns you a personal shopper.  You submit your list, they go shopping for you and deliver the groceries to your door.  There are also grocery stores that offer delivery.

My area offers two choices for grocery pickup, Kroger Clicklist, and Walmart Grocery Pickup.  Kroger is 30 minutes away.  It is not very practical.  They also charge a fee.

Walmart has a free service and is closer to my home. 

You are not limited to only the grocery department.  This service also includes toiletries, health & beauty items, office supplies and more.  I posted my first Walmart Grocery Pickup experience on Instagram

Not only can you get $10 off your first order, you can also get 1% cash back with Ebates.  Just you pay online before you go to the store.  Want to add something to your order or remove an item?  You will have several hours after your order is submitted to make changes.

Learn from Podcasts

If you have never listened to a podcast before, you should try it!  It’s sort of like a tv show without the video.  They are one of my favorite productivity tools.  Put some earbuds in your ears, find a podcast on your phone, and get to work!

Now how can a podcast make you more productive, you ask.  Well…it gives you something to listen to without distracting you with a screen.  Instead of staring at the tv, you can be doing something else at the same time. 

A podcast is usually very informative.  It’s a great way to learn while you are doing something else.  For me, it’s a distraction from the task that I am really doing.  It makes washing dishes and folding clothes a lot more enjoyable.

If you are an extrovert and love to be around people, but work from home, a podcast can be the noise and company that you need.  And for all the introverts out there, it’s a way to socialize and learn without actually having to be around people.

I’m sharing some of my favorite podcasts with you.  You can also find them on Stitcher and iTunes.

These are my top three podcasts:

The Productive Woman

Brilliant Business Moms

Business Boutique

Listen to Free Background Music

When you’re working, it’s hard to focus with all the noise around you. If it’s not your children, then it’s all the household chores that need to be done.  Some of us take our work to the coffee shop or other noisy places.  So how can we focus on our work and actually get something done? I like to wear headphones and listen to music. 

This may seem counterproductive, but it gets your brain one thing to focus on instead of multiple sounds. The kind of music you choose will depend on what you like. Some people prefer beats or instrumental music, while others prefer nature sounds. You can listen to music free from Spotify.  They have a paid subscription, but there is a lot that you can access from the free version. 

If you have an Amazon Prime account, you have access to Amazon music.  It’s similar to Spotify but I find it easier to navigate. They also have a paid service called Music Unlimited.  Amazon gives you access to lots of playlists and stations, includes on called Just Beats (no lyrics, just music). It’s one of my favorites. You can try Music Unlimited free for 30 days to see if you like it. 

Free Business Printables

Who doesn’t love a free printable?  I know I do!  Printables can make you more productive because they give you a place to put everything and have it neatly labeled.

If you have your business budget or list of expenses swirling around in your head, some of the numbers are bound to get mixed up or forgotten.  It is always a relief to have a hard copy to refer to. 

Having a hard copy also helps you take the information off of your brain’s workload.  This will free up more mental space for productivity and creativity too.

Organization always wins.  Tax time is not nearly as much of a headache if you are prepared.  If you are a blogger or the owner of an eCommerce business, you will have multiple income streams to account for.  A free spreadsheet or printable are always useful.

Blogging can also be difficult if you have not planned your posts in advance.  Having already determined what you are going to write about will help ease writer’s block when it decides to show up.  A printable blog planner can help.

Here are my best productivity tips for work at home moms that are FREE. Take advantage of all the free tools out there to help you work from home.

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