More people are working from home now more than ever. And for the most part, it’s awesome. But it does come with its challenges. Especially for those of us who are parents 🙂
In this episode, I’m talking with Jane Martinito, a colleague of mine (and my first Filipino guest) to share both of our experiences with working from home as parents.
We both share how we balance working from home with littles and you’ll hear from her, some very valuable and interesting tactics you can use to help work less but still stay very productive.
In this episode:
03:20 – Welcome to Jane
05:06 – A career shifter
06:50 – Schedule at home
07:42 – Full focus on work
10:01 – Quick wrap of day
11:09 – Everyone is wired differently
14:55 – Have a plan if internet is bad
17:53 – Using time blocks
18:27 – Plan your day the night before
19:12 – You are the boss
21:45 – Power of deadlines
23:20 – LinkedIn Optimization training
You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.
Connect with Jane:
Featured links mentioned:
Hey, everybody, welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 58 and in this one, we’re going to be talking about being a work from home entrepreneur. This is obviously a very timely topic still, as we’re in the middle of this pandemic, to where a lot of people are forced to work from home. And this isn’t new for most of us web design freelancers, but it’s new for a lot of people who even as entrepreneurs, we’re used to working in the corporate world or maybe working in like a shared workspace environment or something like that. And a lot of those are either closed or they’re limited, and more and more people are working from home, and they’re finding that it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s actually a lot of challenges to it, particularly if you have kids, and for this episode, I wanted to bring somebody who is a parent entrepreneur. This is my colleague, Jane Martinito and she’s actually my first Filipino guests on the podcast. She’s a digital marketer, a web designer and a big time work from home advocate. And you’ll hear why she’s so passionate about helping entrepreneurs work from home in this episode. And then she has a daughter and then I talked about my experience, too, with being a parent. And the big, really important thing from this episode, guys, is that you’ve got to have you’re working from home, you’ve got to be self motivated. You’ve got to give yourself deadlines, and you have to really keep yourself on track. And I’ll give you a free tip that we talk about here before we dive in and that is that you’ve got to plan your day out beforehand. So if you start your day working from home, life is going to happen particularly again, if you have kids, you’re going to get distracted. You’re there it’s very easy just to you know, stop working if you lose a little motivation and then before you know it, you can have a very, very unproductive day at home workwise. So you need to plan your day out, you need to give yourself some tasks. And in this interview and in this episode Jane and I talk about what we both do to maintain productivity with our work from home life and work balances. So I’m really excited to hear how this one helps you out. Jane was on a bit of a time crunch. So this is one of my shortest interviews, but we tried to jam pack as much value as we could in this interview, and Jane was great. So you’ll hear you’ll hear her daughter making an appearance at the tail end of the interview because she had to get rolling. But we tried to talk about how again, both of us manage our time and our schedules while working from home with crazy little ones. So looking forward to hear how this one helps you out. Now if you are starting to work from home and you’re learning web design, I want to help you out with that. One of the best things we can do is you can check out my Divi WordPress beginners course which is kind of my starter course. And I teach you how to build awesome websites with WordPress and Divi. It’s the most cost effective, quickest course that will get you from point A to point B, ready to start building websites for you and your clients. So if that’s you you’re learning web design you feel overwhelmed and you just want a quick down and dirty course to get you going. My Divi WordPress beginners course will be perfect for you and I’d love to help you out. Alright guys, well, without further ado, enjoy my rather short but value packed interview with my colleague Jane Martinito and hey, let’s have some fun. Jane, welcome to the show. It’s so great to have you on.
Oh, thank you for having me, Josh. Such a pleasure.
We we kind of went back and forth we I had to reschedule the first time we had a call scheduled and you had to reschedule last week because we’re 12 hours apart, which makes it very, very interesting getting these calls onboard. But I’m really excited to have you on the show because we decided you know, we’ve been friends on Facebook for a while and colleagues and we decided to dive into working from home as an entrepreneur. You’re a mom, you’re a you’re a digital marketer, a designer entrepreneur. And this is new for a lot of people right now on web design. To be in this position because of the pandemic. So, really excited to chat about this. Before we dive in, can you let everybody know where you are in the world? And then what you do?
Yeah, um, I am Jane by the way, for everyone who doesn’t know me? Yes. And I’m currently a digital marketer or a web designer based in the Philippines.
Awesome. And then you How long have you been doing web design, Jane?
Yeah, I’ve been doing it like quite, um, I think right around 2018. And then I started in 2018 and then I’m still currently doing it. Like, it depends on some, you know, if I got some clients who are interested on making their websites beautiful at their sites. So that’s what I do.
Yeah. So you’ve been doing web design for a couple years. Were you doing digital marketing before that? Like Yeah, stuff with LinkedIn and everything.
I want a job that will let me be with my daughter. – Jane
Yeah, um, started first with social media stuff, actually started my career as an ESL tutor, and then I’m really a premier shifter. And I want a job that will let me be with my daughter, even if she cries, you know, as an ESL, ESL does that’s not allowed. No, she has to be in another room. And so I’ve looked for other options. So that will have given me more flexible time. And yes, that’s why I found a virtual assistant and then grow into a social media manager and then I’ve studied more on about digital marketing. It’s a broad one.
Yeah, that’s great, though. I mean, that’s the beauty about anything web design, or marketing or anything digital service related because you can do it wherever and whenever you want, as long as hit deadlines. So I was gonna ask you kind of what made you you know, become a work from home entrepreneur, but it sounds like definitely family was important. Do you just have the one daughter or what’s your family life look like?
I’m we’re three in the family. So I have my daughter, and also my husband.
That’s plenty to keep up with I’m sure. Right. So yeah, let’s talk about that. Jane. So how old is your daughter right now?
Um, she’ll be turning five this September.
Okay, so wild age. Yeah, let’s just let’s just go for it. How do you balance that? Yeah, cuz I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with having two daughters right now. But how do you balance that? Do you have like, I think before we went live, you mentioned we were you were homeschooling? Do you balance like, do you have a certain schedule that you stick to with homeschooling versus your work? What does that look like?
I’m actually I have a schedule for that. But sometimes it’s hard to follow, but I just have to go with the flow. And just to finish my daughter’s routine, so I first get started with time blocking. So I do have like, specific time for my reading the Bible, for prayer time for that’s, that’s what matters most because I need I need strength from God to, to, you know to survive each day. And then um, and also for a time looking for me to focus especially with my work, I do use Pomodoro Technique. So you’re familiar with that, like, there should be a specific 20 minutes of my full attention or full focus on what I do. And then afterwards, rest for five minutes and then another 20 minutes. We’ll focus in the rest. There’s a link that I can share with you, but maybe you should try that as well.
That sounds awesome. Yeah, I’m not familiar with that. Yeah, if you can send that over, I’ll put it in the show notes. What’s that called again.
Pomodoro…interesting. So 20 on five off 20 on very interesting I do something similar I think mine’s more like two hours on five off. But the same idea like having those time blocks those work blocks that is the way to go particularly when you have kids I feel like because again, you can’t work that nine to five working from home. It just with kids, it just ain’t gonna happen. So, so it sounds like you get yourself right you center yourself you make sure you’re ready for the day. And then you get those those blocks now do you work? Do you like five days a week? Do you work, you know all those blocks or do you just work a few days? What does that look like for you?
Yeah, that’s also what I want to add. Like, um, I also make sure that I have two days off. So I work five days a week. And then with that, while working I do also have a block for my daughter like in the morning. I usually homeschool her. Prepare her for homeschool and her online classes and also her online therapies and then after that when we’re done, she’ll be napping. She’s about to nap and then while she’s sleeping. Um, that was the time I’m gonna do some stuff work related. And then in the evening of course when she woke up, I have to, you know, feed her, go play with her stuff like that. Mommy stuff.
And then it’s dinnertime.
Yes, dinner time then afterwards Well, when she’s about to, you know when she’ll be on bed and she’s sleepy, that will be the time to finish all the things that I have to finish for the day.
Gotcha. That does seem more it seems more and more common people I talked to who have kids are working from home is like a quick segment in the evening just to wrap some stuff up because I do that sometimes. I don’t often do it. But occasionally, like, it just depends on the day, I might hop on for a half an hour and just, you know, bust out some stuff that I was sitting on. Or a lot of times I’ll be thinking about stuff throughout the day and by the time I can actually sit down on my computer, I’m like, I got to get it out of my head, particularly with ideas on podcasts and content, stuff like that. But yeah, it sounds very common to to go about it that way. Now, are you an early riser, Jane, like, do you like getting up really early to get stuff done? Or what does that look like?
Yeah, yeah, um, I usually get things a lot in the morning. Get things done a lot in the morning. So it’s like, um, but in the evening when my brain’s tired, especially if I’m tired I’m really finding it hard to just think creatively for the things that I gotta do. So for me mornings, the best time for me to work.
Gotcha. It’s funny because I’m the opposite. Morning. I’m Like I’ve got nothing and then 10 o’clock at night my brain is firing on all cylinders. So I have to really try hard to turn it off but we’re we’re all wired differently like it just you know I’ve learned I’ve learned not to to press it just kind of work you to do what works for you and however you’re wired and however it’s gonna work. By golly get it done. Now do you have with your work, I know it’s not not part time but you’re not doing like probably a full 40 hours you know, nine to five type of work, do you just schedule your tasks out to hit deadlines within your time? Or how do you manage different clients and your deadlines with your schedule?
I’m currently I am managing only one client because that’s what I mentioned. I’m doing a lot of stuff specially homeschooling my daughter. Yeah. Um, and also at the same time she’s, she’s diagnosed with autism when she was three. So I also do the follow ups for her therapies and all that stuff. So But my husband and I, you know, we’re a team work is also working. I’m also, um, it’s how we do how we do the magic, you know, for everything. And yeah, so, um, with that a lot really specific hours or time? It depends on what my client wants. So yeah, that’s how I usually manage.
Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, and that’s, that’s the beauty about anything web design digital as well as you can scale up or scale down in certain seasons of life like it like right now you’re in a wild season of life. And I understand, you know, my, my eldest daughter, she, she does have a lot of special needs as well. So we have a lot of follow ups and appointments. And I think, you know, Jane, we were in the NICU for for, you know, 56 days a couple years ago. So there’s been a lot like that too. And it was the same for me. I just couldn’t take on that much in those seasons. So I had to start scaling and kind of changed my schedule a little bit and I kind of learned to not hustle so much and stress myself out if I didn’t need to, like if I can only take on this much work right now, that’s all right. And there’s like, you can all if you only have the bandwidth for one client, and you know, that’s enough right now that’s fine, then you can scale up when you’re ready. So yeah, that’s right. It’s a good point. I think it’s really all about lifestyle design. Isn’t it? Just whatever works for you and your life? Now it’s so with your so with your daughter and your schedule and everything, do you ever work outside the home? Or do you pretty much like, I know it’s different now with the COVID stuff, did you ever do any, like, remote working places or anything like that? Or do you ever work in coffee shops or anything like that?
Um, right now, no. Guess we’re stuck at home. And we really have to just be at home especially, we have to be extra careful. Um, since we’re a small country, and yet really over populated and a lot of people are having, you know, covid, um, you know are being positive. So that’s why we have to be extra careful and what we do usually my husband’s the one who always go go out for groceries. Yeah. So, before what I do, especially with where we had were having like, um, internet interruption, um, we have a co-working space nearby. So I just go there and just in case something happens with my power interruption, so that’s my alternative.
I thought that’s cool. Yeah, cuz I thought I remember you posting something about that on Facebook at some point about doing some work there. And that’s a valuable lesson to like if you’re going to work from home, have a plan B have a backup of your internet goes down or your power goes down. For me, it’s coffee shops, but there are local, you know, spots that I could go to as well that are like remote working and stuff like that. But that’s a great lesson right there just to have a plan B. And particularly for you guys, So like in the Philippines, I wonder what it looked like for you. If it was really populated? Or if you had any issues like that? It seems like the Wi Fi is pretty I mean, we’re having we’re having to find connection, but do you struggle with that this is Wi Fi become an issue for you every once in a while?
Yeah, before it was an issue because when they started working from home, I had only five Mbps plan to just really, really slow
Jane’s not transferring big files with that.
It’s taken me like hours to transfer huge files and to transfer it to Cloud and stuff like that. So but now I do have like somehow I think improving like it’s now around 50 Mbps okay. Yeah but but compare to you I know that you have like 100 Mbps
Yeah, we’re Yeah, we’re pretty fortunate I always feel bad when I talk to some folks, particularly from Australia, it seems like Australia they have like the worst internet. So I always feel bad. Yeah, we’ve got 100 here. So but yeah, you know that that isn’t it’s like that is one thing. I think a lot of people who trance transition from working like in an office or somewhere else and then they work from home, you have to think about all that some people don’t think about what the internet is if it just used to watching Netflix or streaming like that, that does become something that’s extra important and the reliability like there are just times where you know, like for us, it’s pretty good. Very rarely does our internet go down. But there have been times where like our power went out, and I got to get to a coffee shop and you got to kind of have that that plan B in place. So it’s a valuable lesson for sure.
Yeah, that’s right.
So, so with your, so it makes total sense. You know, it sounds like you get up early again, you kind of you know, get yourself ready you do those, if you can send me the link on those time blocks. I would love to learn more about that method. That’s really interesting. Okay, the Pomodoro Technique, okay. And then you balance time with your with your daughter and then yeah, before you know it, it’s evening and it sounds like you, you know, do a little bit of work to catch up on the evening. So it’s, it sounds very common. So if that makes you feel any better. That sounds like everyone, I’ve talked to you about working from home. It’s pretty common. Yeah. What I’m interested in though, like, with your work blocks, do you? I mean, it seems like with anything digital, the work just never ends. There’s always something to do. Do you get more done in those blocks? Do you feel like, like, do you have a deadline of things that you want to get done per day?
Like, um, if my Hello Josh. Sorry. Okay. Are you there?
Yep, I’m here. I can hear you.
If you plan your day, the night before, you have a schedule for it. – Jane
Good. Okay. Okay. So what I what I like to say is that it works fine. It works best for me like if my days already planned and here’s what I’m gonna do. Um my brains already processing it, like, it’s already planned on my, my brain, stuff like that, like, um, I have to do this, these are the things that I have to do. There’s actually a study, like if you plan your day, the night before, or if it’s already planned, you have a, you know, a schedule for it. You can do a lot of things within a day and I can prove that like it’s really true. Like, if it’s already planned, it’s already scheduled. Like it’s more likely you can do a lot of things if you can do it. Like sometimes it’s because there’s some things that some emergencies have happening, especially with like my daughter sometimes it’s not followed. But, um, it can be, you know, it can be worth it.
Yeah. Well, that’s such a great point. Yeah. Particularly when it comes from working from home because you are your own boss. I mean, everyone’s got some sort of deadline, but you might have a few weeks to get whatever done. So you have to put that schedule in place and that plan of action. I’m so glad you mentioned that, Jane, because yeah, working from home, like, that’s extra important because you’d be working in an office or you work somewhere else, they might have that for you. Like, here’s your to do list and you have to do it. Well at home it’s like, even if you have that, it’s like today, I could do nothing and I could do it all tomorrow, but I rather you know, have like three hours today and then have the rest of the day you know, so that’s a great point. I’m so glad you mentioned that and particularly the night before, I like that that you think about you know, planning it out the night before and then getting to it the next day because there are some times where I struggle with that, especially now that I have a really free schedule. I have endless things to do, but I’ve got to like, give myself a plan of action to get stuff done. And otherwise, like if I just start the day thinking, Okay, what am I gonna do today? Hmm, it’s probably gonna be some wasted time. Whereas yeah you really haven’t planned out, you know, you know what to get done? Do you have a number of things that you recommend getting done? Like I’ve heard a lot of people say try to get three big things done a day. Do you have anything like that, that you found helpful?
Like the tools?
No, no, just like, do you do try to get like one big thing done a day workwise or three? I know a lot of people say three for whatever reason, if you have like three tasks that you want to get done. Do you have any thoughts on that? Have you ever done anything like that?
Um, like listings?
Yeah, like like projects or things? Anything like that?
Yeah. So I will just program myself to example if my if it’s web design, like, if I have to do on this facing like research or the planning stage, all this stuff, wire framing and all that. So I got a, I have to do it in a day, and stuff like that, you know what I mean? So, so that at the end of the day, I have something to report with the client like, Hey, this is what I did and here’s what I’m gonna show you and all that for approval and all that stuff so that on the next day if there’s some any revisions, I can easily do that right away just to avoid any major revisions right after you do the design.
Yeah. A few episodes back, I just released the episode on revisions. So yeah, that’s crucial. But yeah, and even that, yeah, even that idea of you know, balancing all that with a deadline. I I actually have learned the power of deadlines. Like they’re actually good, particularly if you have less time. Let’s be honest, when we have kids, there’s just less time in the day to get work done. So you have to get stuff done, in a certain amount of time, so it’s actually there’s this saying that there’s a lot of freedom in responsibility. And I found that same to be true with deadlines. Like there’s actually, you’re a lot freer to get stuff done quicker with a deadline, because if you have three months to get something done, you’re gonna give your, you’re gonna get it done in three months. You’re gonna like, you know, add more work than you need to So…
Yeah, Uh huh. Um, I just want to add something like, um, if you’re familiar with scrumming, so it’s also a method like for revisions. So there’s reasonable care about revisions. So, I I’ll also send you a link about Scrum.
Yeah, yeah, Scrum Yes, I went through the book a couple years ago. Yeah, such a great framework to go through, which is basically just, in short, just you know, planning your project and phases and sprints and, you know, getting that done before you move on. I know, I know you’re cutting close on time here, Jane, I want to be respectful of that. And you have plenty to get to. I wanted to ask you real quick about LinkedIn, because are you doing LinkedIn training and stuff like that? It looked like you had done done some stuff like that recently.
Yeah, I’m actually before I did some LinkedIn optimization training. So I did that for free. Like, um, just for you in case that you have some questions about LinkedIn, I’ll be so willing to help you out how you how you’re gonna make it work for you as well. So I’ve learned that through also, also, one of my mentors here is in the Philippines how I’m going to play around with…And then recently, I did also have a Facebook marketing workshop is one two years with moms who are also doing businesses, online businesses on the sidelines. And yeah, it was pretty successful and they had over 60 students.
Yeah, for my first Facebook. Yeah. So it’s a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun with that.
Yeah, very cool. Well, yeah, I’ll link that in the show notes because I know you’re not doing as much web design right now you’re focusing on that with your schedule. So I’ll definitely link that and that’ll be a good place sounds like for people to connect with you. But yeah, Jane, I want to be conscious of your time here. I know I hear your daughter. She’s like Mom, what’s going on? So we’ll, we’ll wrap this up. But thanks so much for your time on this and I’ve been look we’ve we’ve covered some good tips. I’ll outline all this for us. As far as you know, getting yourself ready doing those time blocks, sharing the the duties with your your spouse and everything. And then we’ll we’ll link to some of the stuff we talked about. So Jane, thanks so much. I’m looking forward to chatting with you again here sometime.
Thank you so much, Josh for your time and really had a great time chatting with you. And I hope this won’t be the last.
Yes, definitely not. I know we’ve been colleagues for so long. It’s so nice to finally connect one on one though. Thanks again, Jane and tell your daughter she made it on the Josh how Web Design Show.