Although the lockdown is slowly lifting, most companies are urging their employees to continue working from home.
For example, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has recently informed his employees that they can continue working from home.
Other companies like Google have extended their work-from-home policy for the remainder of 2020.
So it seems that working from home is the new normal.
However, when you have kids running around at home, it can greatly affect your productivity at work.
For me, I have two toddlers who are quite a handful and they require constant attention so I had a really hard time adjusting to the work from home situation.
Thankfully, my husband- also now at home, is always there to help me out.
Regardless it has been a challenge because now as parents, we have to find a way to balance taking care of the kids with performing our work duties.
So in today’s post, I’m going to be sharing with you how I manage to work from home with kids and still be productive.
How To Work From Home With Kids
1. Wake Up Early
‘The early bird catches the worm.’
I couldn’t agree more.
You’d be surprised by the amount of work I manage to get done before the kids wake up.
Typically, at this time, I focus on work that requires intense concentration so that nothing distracts me.
So, on a normal day, I’m awake by 5 am giving me at least 3 hours before my kids wake up at 8.
My husband is not a morning person so he really doesn’t understand how I’m able to do this every day 😂.
He has to do all his work when the kids are awake, which is hard because try as he might, he simply cannot wake up early.
If I’m quickly done with my ‘intense’ work, I manage to do some extra house chores and by the time the rest of the family is awake, I’m 30% done with my day!
2. Have A Plan
The only way you’re going to have a balanced work-life and family life at home is through planning.
I love to plan out everything that I’m going to do in my day so I actually have a scheduler.
Since we’re all at home right now, I’ve created a family plan that includes everyone.
There is a schedule for everything at home right now.
For example, the kids have their playtime, screen time, reading, etc scheduled and we try to follow this schedule as much as possible.
You can utilize these free resources to create a schedule for your kids:
- Khan Academy schedule for school closures – This is an awesome schedule already prepared by Khan Academy for children of different ages.
- CDC tips for building structure with children – This shows how to use consistency, predictability, and follow through to build structure for your kids.
When I created the family plan, I sat down with my husband and kids and we went through it together.
We discussed the entire plan/schedule and we agreed on what should be changed and what should remain.
So at the end of the meeting, we were all in agreement and everyone knew what they were meant to be doing at all times of the day.
I did not simply create a schedule and force it on the family because I knew it would only end in disaster.
4. Set Your Own Expectations
I had to understand early on that working from home is completely different from working in the office.
For example, in the office, you can have 7 hours undisrupted to do your work meaning you’re more productive.
But at home, there are many things that call for your attention.
For example, you cannot leave the kids unattended for 8 hours. You have to constantly check in on them.
You also have to take some breaks in between to prepare snacks, lunch, etc.
So when you’re setting your goals for the day, you have to put into consideration all these factors so you don’t become disappointed at the end of the day.
5. Set Boundaries
Communicate boundaries as early as possible.
For example, you can set a rule that when you’re on a conference call, they’re not allowed in the room.
You need to be as transparent as possible about what’s allowed and what’s not acceptable.
Draw a clear line in the sand.
For example, one rule that I strongly enforce in my house is that the kids are not allowed to play in my work area.
6. Relax Screen Time Rules
I’ve never been a fan of letting the kids watch too much TV and that’s why I had created some screen time rules.
However, with the pandemic, a lot of things have changed.
The kids are at home the entire day and keeping them entertained while also trying to work isn’t easy.
So, when I have something urgent to do at work or a deadline to meet, I let the kids watch a little more Tv so I can get some work done.
However, I try not to make it a habit because I know that it’ll be very difficult to get them away from their screens once the situation goes back to normal plus, it’s not healthy.