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Working from home can be challenging enough when you have to do it just by yourself. There are so many distractions for you to overcome! And if you have to work from home with the kids, it’s a whole new level of complexity.
Kids may be distracting. Always requiring your attention. Wanting to play with you, fighting between themselves, and generally being loud.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some strategies that you can implement in your home life so that it would be possible for you to get some work done even if the kids are around. Here are some tips for finding the right balance to work effectively from home even when the husband and the kids are in the house.
Plan engaging activities
For older children crafts projects is a great idea. They are engaging for kids and take a while to complete, so you’ll have some time to pay attention to your own projects. In addition, such projects support the development of important skills for kids, such as creativity and problem solving.
There are hundreds of ideas for crafts projects online. Browse Pinterest to get the idea of what would be interesting for your kids to do.
A great criterion for choosing a crafts project is looking at the difficulty of the tasks and the materials they require. You don’t want your children to get easily frustrated by a complicated task and often disturb you in your work. And it’s not hard to find some projects that use items you probably already have at home, or which are cheap to buy in a supermarket.
Create a routine early on
Routines are beneficial both for children and their parents. If the situation of you working from home and children staying in the house is something new, then it means a new routine to your daily life.
Kids thrive with a routine, and in the same time they may have trouble following a tight schedule. The best way to set a new routine is to have some milestones throughout the day which don’t change.
Set a special time for waking up, meals, play time, bath time, and bed time. Work in other activities between this schedule. Take into account your own schedule – when do you have online meetings where it would be preferable that kids don’t disturb?
In addition consider putting some of your own breaks at the same time as children’s playtime, so that you would give the important one to one attention to your kids.
Take turns with the other parent
If your partner is working from home as well, you can split the looking after the children between you both. Discuss your schedules and divide the time so that both of you can get some work done at some point during the day.
Having only a specific time dedicated for a certain amount of work to be done will also keep your productivity levels up while working from home.
Take advantage of nap times
For smaller children, there should be nap time or two during a day. When a child has a predictable routine for napping, it’s easy to schedule the bulk of your own work at that time. It’s also a good time for an online meeting if you have those.
Check out these time management tips for working from home to know exactly which are the most important tasks that you should schedule for the time when the children will be sleeping.
Ensure you have a quiet workspace
Having a quiet and organized workspace is important for any worker, and especially those working from home. It should be away from distractions and in a dedicated place so that kids would know not to disturb you while you are working.
It could be tricky to explain to younger children that they shouldn’t disturb you while you are working. Try to explain why it is important that you get some work done, and you might find that your kids are willing to listen.
Encourage your kids to do independent play in a separate part of your house, and they may try to solve their problems by themselves first before running to you for help.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
When you have that important conference call and don’t want to be disturbed, it’s ok to give some technology to kids.
Let them watch a movie or play some educational games on a tablet. This will keep the children engaged while you can get the most important things done.
However, try to limit kids’ exposure to technologies during the day. If they watched a movie, try to schedule some physical activities afterward. Using the technologies can be a real help, but it shouldn’t be used too extensively.
It is a challenge to work from home with kids in the house, but it can be doable. Implement some of the tips above in your daily life, and you will have a bit of time to get some work done. In addition, you should consider some ways to work more efficiently, so that the same amount of work would require a bit less of your time to get done.