As of the time of this writing, my 3-year-old daughter is reading a book next to me on plants while my 2-year-old is getting ready for a nap. It’s definitely a blessing to see my kids more. It’s also harder to make sure that you remain productive. You may be wondering how to remain productive while working from home with kids. The purpose of this article is to provide some ideas about how you can remain productive while working at home with small kids.
1) Be purposeful on the time you set aside for work
You know yourself best, so you will know how to operate your schedule accordingly. You may want to work before breakfast, take a break to have breakfast with your family, and get back to work.
It’s also important to build in margins and plan for interruptions. Your kids may not understand how important your conference call is at 3:00 pm or they may not understand that it may not be the best time to speak with you, so it’s important to build in time for these interruptions.
If it’s possible, you may want to schedule important meetings during times where it’s the least busy such as during nap time or during mealtime. If your spouse and you also work, you will want to draw out a schedule for both of you that will work, checking it often to make sure it continues to work for your schedules.
2) Be okay with working less traditional work hours (if your boss permits)
Your attention is vital while you are working. In his New York Times article, Adam Grant stated, “Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments.” To get things done, you will need to take breaks and you may need to work less traditional work hours (if your boss is okay with this).
This may be working early in the morning before the kids get up or later in the evening when the kids go down. It may be prioritizing important tasks during nap time or focusing less time during the day on work if you are home with the kids and are the primary caregiver. The key here is to speak with your boss to set expectations. You may not want to attempt to do this without your boss knowing as your manager may not know why you aren’t on at a certain time of the day.
3) Take meaningful breaks to spend time with your kids
Your kids want and need your attention. Now that you are working from home, they might not understand that you still need to work and need to concentrate. You can still remain productive when you prioritize breaks to spend time with your kids. Your kids will appreciate the attention and you may be more productive when you get back to work with fewer distractions because you have provided some time to connect with them in a meaningful way. Mental health breaks are crucial for your job performance and life performance (ie. family life) as well.
Emma Seppälä Ph.D. stated in her article Connect To Thrive, “Social connectedness therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.” When you take the time to connect with your children throughout the day, your children and you will both have a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical well-being.
You may be working from home with kids and wondering whether you will ever be as productive again. Hopefully, these tips will help. When you are purposeful with your time, schedule breaks, and engage with your children, both your children and you may be grateful and you may be more productive in the long run.
Ben Tejes is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ascend Finance, a platform to help people achieve self-improvement in the area of personal finance. He is a writer for the Thermal Bankruptcy News and Living New Economy Blog. He writes on topics such as Chapter 13 and 7 Bankruptcy Texas, Georgia Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and SBRA chapter 11 subchapter 5 to help people get out of debt and experience financial freedom.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.