Working from home with kids around can quickly turn into a shit show. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped. Kids have a lot going on and they are not always going to fit in with our agenda.
However, it is possible to make it work for the majority of the time. Some simple planning and organisation can help to make the days flow slightly easier. It’s good to understand the difference between how you manage your time and how you manage the kids. Therefore, this post has been split into those two categories.
Read on to find out how to actually get some work done with young kids at home.
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You Can’t Control Time but You Can Control You
Time is a precious resource for working mums. Unfortunately time cannot be controlled but what you do with your time can. This means having discipline around our habits is what we’re aiming for. Knowing where to spend our time is a skill that comes with practice and limiting our distractions when we are working is essential.
Think about your most essential tasks then how to complete them the most efficient way with the least distractions. Of course, kids are a distraction, so read on to find ways to work around them.
It may be useful to listen to Julie Stoian from Create Your Laptop Life. Her podcast by the same name includes episode #32 Sacred Time and the 100/50/20 System. If you feel hopeless about the amount of time you have compared to the long list of jobs that need doing, then this system could just about save your life! Find the podcast here
Batch Your Work
I’m sure you’ve heard of batching but in case you are not yet putting it into practice, this is a little reminder. This is a very efficient way to work. It means that similar tasks are grouped together and completed in one session. For example, content production or accounts. Doing certain tasks on the same day once a week or once a month is a very efficient way to work.
Life with kids is often unpredictable and messy. It’s a good idea to remain flexible with your work arrangements and with your expectations. Sometimes, it may be necessary to work at night and at others the work may not get done at all. Kids get sick or sometimes just will not cooperate. If you are working from home for someone else, keep communication lines open with your colleagues and boss and ensure they understand that flexibility is required.
Create a Fun Box
Kids always seem to know when you need some quiet to focus. A good way to keep them occupied while concentrating on work is to have a fun box setup. The box can contain items such as:
- Play doh
- Coloring in and activity sheets
- Picture or lift the flap books
You may also like to read: 5 Time Saving Hacks for Your Business
Use technology at important times
Occasionally technology is a winner. Whether it’s the laptop or TV, if you have an important conference call or client session, you are going to need some quiet. Do not feel guilty about the occasional use of technology, just do whatever works.
Ask for help
Whether it’s paid help, a family member or your partner, sometimes we need help and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. If your kids are watched either in your own home or at a daycare centre for just 2 mornings a week, that is time you can use productively on your business without distractions.
Also try: A Beginners Guide to Creating New Habits
The great thing about little kids if they nap (if you’re lucky). As long as you are getting enough sleep at night, you can use this nap time for work. Yay! Naptime is the best quiet time. Just be careful about getting stuck into something for work, only to have your flow interrupted by a child waking up!!
Try giving your kid(s) some quality time first thing in the morning to do an activity that you are 100% focused on. It’s amazing how happy kids can be to play on their own with something after having some quality 1 on 1 time with a parent.
Take it easy on yourself. Kids are demanding and work can be too. Remember it’s not always going to work perfectly but there’s always tomorrow. I hope this article has helped a little way with working from home with kids. Let me know if you have any strategies that work well.