“Kids are super experts at interrupting in the most inopportune times. Their internal switch triggers as they see their mommy flipping the laptop covers.”
Till now you must have started acting on some ingenious make money online tips. But, things may not flow as predicted. Working from home isn’t easy as it seems especially with children. Most women complain that their kid’s internal switch triggers as soon as they open their laptops!
But, you need to be realistic. The kids will constantly demand your attention when they are home. Expecting them to sit in a place with their books, crayons, iPad, etc. for hours won’t work. In fact, the mother is a major attraction for the little one.
If you have small school going kids, here are 12 easy tips to survive working from home.
1. Communicate to them
Kids going to play way or kindergarten are old enough to keep themselves occupied for some time. Talk to them and make them understand the situation. Explain to them that you need to focus on your work with minimum distractions.
Make them realize that family is a team and their role is to help mom and dad to stay productive.
2. ‘Emergency’ Drills
Do you know the most embarrassing situation for a work-from-home parent or entrepreneur? Yes! When the child suddenly outbursts during a call with the client. Not every business client understands the situation.
It is always better to simulate a series of situations and proactively prepare your troops. Things are not guaranteed to work with children but it’s worth a try. Kids are super experts at interrupting in the most inopportune times, so here’s what you can do.
- Practice your child to sit quietly or not to enter the office-room when mommy or daddy is on phone.
- If for any reason the office door is unlocked and mommy is on phone, ask your child to stay silent or shut the door before switching on the TV. And, keep the TV, iPad, smartphone’s volume low when mommy/daddy is in the office area.
- When mommy is working on the laptop, practice your kids to demand politely and not to scream to grab her attention.
Things won’t work in the first attempt. But, a regular practice would make the kids acquainted and would give you time when you desperately need it.
3. Offer them Incentives
Every child falls prey to lucrative incentives. Try it! The best way out is to set goals for them to keep them engaged and occupied. On successfully meeting the target, reward them suitably.
Kids have small and innocent wishes which can be fulfilled easily. You can go for a pizza night, half-an-hour at the park, a movie or his favorite ice-cream parlour on the weekend.
4. Designate an Office Area
Designating your kitchen table as your office won’t bring out quality work. No doubt, you don’t want your children to be isolated if no one is around to attend them. But, to concentrate better on your work you need a well-lit and secluded space, where you can work without being distracted.
5. Graveyard Shift
Desperate times, desperate measures! It may happen that you were not able to complete the work and are on the brink of an approaching deadline. Just pull up your sleeves and work the graveyard shift. But, before that, ensure a good power nap to reinstate your energy levels.
Don’t make this a habit, as you need good sleep to maintain your productivity levels.
6. Use your Time Wisely
Having a toddler means a lot of naps throughout the day. But, it shouldn’t be a part of yours. It may be tempting to unwind yourself for a few hours, but stay focussed and on-track. In fact, you can accomplish a lot in that small interruption-free zone.
7. Be Flexible
Working from home means, a surprise visit by friends or unexpected relative stops for a few hours. It gives you a break. Take it as a refreshing activity and make the most of it. Always keep some buffer time so that you can manage the leftover work easily.
8. Give Kids their Time
The kids may drive you up the wall because they genuinely and desperately seek your attention. Get rid of any internal guilt and just take a break! Give the kids their time. Watch movies, their favorite cartoon, go out for a walk in the park or do some craft activity with them.
Whatever you do, kids would be grateful. They would (probably) stay out of your way when you resume your work.
9. Create a To-Do List
Things are more sorted when the kids are in school. Every day is not the same, especially on holidays. Their nagging and interruptions may completely make your work go off-schedule. The best way is to plan some activities a day before.
Assign them some work such as organizing their wardrobe or arranging book-shelves. You can get them a folder of fun-filled educational activities. Explore Amazon or Google out some engaging activity kits for children.
10. Plan Ahead
For a work-from-home parent, even 24 hours seems to be insufficient. Avoid making last-minute calls. Prioritize your work. When you are planning out the schedule, always add some buffer time for completion.
Suppose, if you can finish work in 2 hours, keep 30 minutes as a buffer. Things are unpredictable with children around. By adding a buffer time, you are rest assured that work will be delivered on the promised date.
11. Become an Early Riser
This is the best trick to maximize your working hours. As the children aren’t awake during the morning wee hours, grab this opportunity. Plan and organize everything before the madness kick starts.
You can complete the household chores such as cooking, rearranging clothes etc in the morning. Get the most of out it during those hours when no one is around to disrupt your flow.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Working at home and handling kids along is complicated and way beyond difficult. But, things can be managed. Pat yourself on the back as you are doing a great job! Keep pampering yourself occasionally to avoid being crushed into a mental wall of work overload! And most importantly, stay patient and hang in. Things will become easier as your children age.