In recent years the number of people working from home has increased substantially. Working from home online is a very real career option, one that people have been taking full advantage of (and rightfully so). One of the greatest benefits of working in this manner is being able to take care of your kids more easily. However, that carries with it its own issues.
Namely, it’s a huge blessing being able to care for your children and work from home at the same time. However, that also means that you need to adapt somewhat to the entire situation. The noise, the attention, the drama – it’s not going to be easy, and you know it. Read the article below and check out some of our tips on how to work from home while being distracted by your kids.
Steal some time
One of the best things you can try is to just wake up before they do. This is basically stealing some time, being efficient with it. Namely, if the kids are getting up at 7 in the morning, you should get up at 6. Read, clean the house a bit, or just get a short workout in every other day.
Furthermore, use every scrap of free time you can get your hands on. The moment the kids are distracted, the moment they are in front of the TV, playing, or doing basically anything that doesn’t require your supervision, you should spend it on some kind of work. While we understand that you can’t really write a report in seven-minute bursts, you can organize your files, respond to emails, send invoices, or do get some cleaning done.
If you have the option, try to delegate as much as your work as you can. Get your parents involved, maybe a cousin, or just hire a babysitter for only two hours every day so you can get your work done. Another option is hiring someone to handle part of your work, like some basic accounting, or some easy jobs. Try to transfer everything but the most important jobs to someone else. Get as much help as you can.
Other times you need to accept just how tired you are, and how you shouldn’t really handle serious documents without help. This means anything from double-checking financial documentation and your taxes with somebody who slept more than a total of 20 hours in the last week, down to getting some advice from professional commercial litigation lawyers in case your work requires it.
Schedules are vital
A schedule is vital if you want to get your work done and take care of your kids at the same time. You have twice the workload of somebody in your position in front of you, and you need to work and act accordingly. The chances of you getting confused or overwhelmed are high, and you simply can’t hold everything inside your head. For this reason, we suggest you write down a schedule for the following day before bed. Don’t expect anything to go according to plan unless you want to go crazy. However, just knowing the order of the things you have to do will serve as a reminder. For example, remembering to first get the washing machine going and then helping the kids with their homework makes you more efficient than just starting the thing later and waiting around, twiddling your thumbs.
Keep the kids entertained
Keep the kids entertained and get yourself some time. Whether you get them to sit in front of a movie for two hours, or maybe an hour of video gaming, you will automatically get some time you can use for your work. Even better if you can get them doing some kind of extracurricular activity. This gets them doing something beneficial and productive, while giving you an hour or two to focus.
Interruptions will happen
No matter how wonderful your kids are, know that an interruption will happen. This might not be such a big deal if you are writing a paper or filling out an excel spreadsheet, but it does pose an issue when you are on an important phone call. In such situations, you have a couple of options. One is learning how to become fast on the trigger, or rather, on the mute button. The other is being clear on how you’re working from home, and apologizing. Ninety-nine per cent of the time the client will be fine with that. However, getting some type of non-verbal, “do not disturb” sign and explaining it to your children can help you get your kids to behave at least for a moment.
However, keep in mind that this does not mean you can miss out on deadlines or that you can bring in shoddy work. Playing the parent card isn’t fair to the client, and it isn’t fair to your kids either. You made your choice, you need to own it.
And there you have it folks, some tips on how to work from home if you have kids. It’s not going to be easy, but with the right organizational setup, we are certain you are going to make it. Stick to your schedule, keep the kids entertained, delegate some of the work, and try to get an hour or two before them.
About the author:
Alexander Hunkin is an Australian based startup advisor with in-depth experience in growing business. His meaningful and strategic advices have helped in setting and growing many startup companies in Brisbane and Perth. Alexander is also a content creator for different niches. The top ones are business, career, finance and marketing. He aspires to share his experiences and is always on the lookout for the next opportunity to enhance his skills. When he isn’t busy working, you can find him cooking exotic meals, scuba diving and cycling.