Working From Home With Kids? Unique Tips You Need.
Find out how you can work from home with kids and actually get work done.
Working from home can seem perfect because you can spend time with your kids while still earning money.
It also means no stressful commute to work.
Well, as great as that sounds, when kids are involved, it’s an entirely different ball game and can be very challenging.
The thing is, kids, don’t care if you have deadlines when they want and need your constant attention.
I’ve been there.
I have had to work from home since I gave birth to my son, up until his toddler years, and if there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that some days are good, some days are bad, and some days are awful.
The simple truth is, working from home with kids is great, but it is also a lot of hard work.
These are a few tips you can tailor to suit your family’s needs to be more productive working from home.
Nevertheless, please remember that every family is different, so use what works for you and leave what doesn’t.
So let’s get into it.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVELY WORKING FROM HOME WITH KIDS
Here are a few ways to help you balance working at home and being there for the family. I hope these tips help.
1.Create a Schedule
It’s essential to plan how many hours you intend to work each day.
If possible, schedule set times for important calls and high priority items.
If you have these planned out, it will help you decide how to occupy your kids during these times to enable you to achieve set goals.
2. Ask for Help
Yes, hiring help is expensive and may also seem impossible right now with social distancing due to coronavirus.
However, if you can ask close family members for help for an hour or two a day to get high priority work out of the way, this will help a lot.
Also, you could ask you are significant other for help. You could both take turns watching the kids give the other person a couple of uninterrupted hours to focus on work.
It’s essential to plan to use the times you have help wisely.
Remember, use your “help time” wisely. Use this time to do things you absolutely cannot do when the children are around.
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3.Use Naptime to Your Advantage
Naptime can easily give you one to three hours of uninterrupted time to achieve a lot.
If your kid still takes naps, be sure to save this time for tasks that require full uninterrupted attention.
Schedule meetings and challenging projects for this time and save less challenging work when they are up and about.
If your kids are too old for naps, then make them have “quiet play time” every day at the same time.
I save a box of toys and books for my son, which comes out only during certain hours during the day when I need to have uninterrupted time to work.
This keeps him busy; they seem fresh and exciting, which takes his attention away from me.
Despite your best efforts, there will be days when things don’t go as planned.
This is where flexibility is essential.
Don’t sweat it. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.
Take out time to attend to your kids while you plan for an extra hour in the morning or after bedtime to clear out your tasks for the day.
4.Have a Dedicated Work Space
Having a dedicated space to work, whether it’s a home office or an area in the house you carve out to work every day, will help you focus and manage distractions while working from home with kids.
If you want to work and still be in the middle of what your family is up to during the day, you can carve out some space around for a play area where your kids can carry out different activities while you work.
While working at home and watching my son, I put together a box for different crafts.
Examples of what you can put in the box are
- Construction paper,
- Pom poms,
- Pipe cleaners,
- Popsicle sticks,
- A stamp set,
- Googly eyes,
- Foam circles,
- Watercolor paints,
- Plastic cups,
- Bubble wrap,
- Paper towel rolls,
- Masking tape,
- Tissue paper,
- A hole punch,
- Paper plates,
- Coloring books,
- envelopes, and
I also came up with a list of activities for him to accomplish using the items in the box, like building an animal.
This activity box kept my son busy for at least an hour.
I think he liked the feeling of working with me and being able to see me.
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5. Practice Makes Perfect
Make it a habit to explain to your kids the importance of staying away when you are in your workspace.
Explain to them that you are having an important meeting or doing something essential and you need them to play somewhere else or occupy themselves so you can finish your task.
As hard as this may seem, it is possible to teach your kids this, and all it takes is some practice.
6.Early Hours or Late Nights
When I say early hours and late-night, I am not asking for you to be up at 3 am or sleep at 1 am to be able to work from home.
Not only is this not sustainable, but you will also be less productive in the long run and lead to burnout.
Waking up an hour earlier than your kids or carving an hour after your kids have gone to bed to do some work will make you more productive.
The early hours will give you a good head start on your day and would also show productivity and commitment to your employer. It is a complete win-win situation.
Carving out time when your kids have gone to bed will also allow you to round up on an unfinished task that you couldn’t get to during the day, and you can plan for the next workday.
7. Use What Works
You must make use of what works for you, completely guilt-free.
If you have an important conference call coming up and your kids won’t settle down, you can turn on their favorite show.
They can play games on your tablet for an hour or two to give you some time to focus.
It is hard already as it is working and watching over kids, so it is essential to balance the things that work.
Occasionally you will have to let your kids have lots of screen time so you can meet your obligations.
Sometimes survival mode will need to be activated.
Don’t feel guilty.
How has working at home with kids been? What tips and tricks do you use to get more done during the day?