I dipped my feet into the warm dreamy waters of working from home after ditching my day job four years ago. I envisioned a cozy life, blissful even. The plan was to achieve my career goals while savoring my kids’ milestones and giggles. I felt like a cute little ice cream cone topped in caramel syrup.
Three months into this new arrangement, I was worried stiff. I seemed to be writhing in a pool of distraction, tardiness nipping at my heels. I nonetheless clutched tightly to my dream and sought ways of making things work.
Four years later, I can’t quite claim to have aced this work from home (with kids) arrangement but I am in a better place. Granted, I am perpetually huffing and puffing as I try to bulldoze my days into submission. But I have made some good strides.
Now that many of you precious parents have hopped into the work at home bus, allow me the pleasure of welcoming you. Please find yourself a snug seat near the window. You will also need to buckle up as there are a series of bumps along the way.
But most importantly, arm yourself with heaps of patience and resilience. Some days will be better than others but you have to keep your nose to the grindstone. Here are some tips that will hopefully put a sparkly ribbon to your work from home experience.
- Rise with the Birds
Though this may seem like the ideal time to hog some extra sleep, please trash that idea. You are after all used to rising early to groom, sneak in some breakfast and beat the traffic. Your best bet at productivity is if you stick with your early morning routine.
Let your kids sleep in for as long as they wish but don’t join their camp. Waking up early gives you sufficient time to get your act together. You get time to pray, meditate, plan and jump into your work while the kids are still snoozing.
2. Draft a Schedule
Working from home connotes freedom and flexibility. You finally feel like an uncaged bird as you swiftly drift away from your supervisor’s keen eye. Fresh air fills up your lungs and you flirt with the scent of your newly found freedom. I hate to burst your bubble but you do need a well laid out schedule in your quest for productivity.
Draft a to-do list and stick by it. In fact, set for yourself mammoth goals and try to hit them all. If you fall short, you will still have made commendable progress. There are many organizational tools such as online calendars and planners that can help you work smarter.
3. Keep the Kids Busy
As long as your kids spot you around the house, they will want to hang around you, totally enthused and eager to make up for lost time. You need to come up with creative ways to keep them engrossed.
The internet has oodles of both indoor and outdoor activities to keep them tied down. Such activities may include treasure hunts, blowing bubbles, washing their toys, indoor basketball among many others.
4. Schedule Breaks
As you wing your way into this new arrangement, avoid sitting hunched over your computer for hours on end. Sprinkle some breaks within your day to help restore the spring in your step. Your breaks will also offer you a chance to play and interact with your kids. Take a walk, exercise or dance with them during your time off.
5. Nip Distractions in the Bud
Achieving productivity while working from home is an intricate affair, like trying to solve the Rubik’s cube. You, therefore, need to weed out the distractions that lurk around you.
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most alluring distractions. Do yourself a favor and shut off all notifications or log off from your social media accounts.
If possible, set apart a dedicated work-space with a comfortable chair. Ask your family members to steer clear of your working area as you beaver away.
In a normal world devoid of Coronavirus, home is where we retreat after a hard day’s job and let our guard down. Home is our reprieve from the pressure of work targets and tight deadlines.
This ruthless pandemic has however tossed normalcy out the window. Our apple carts are tilting furiously.
In many countries, learning in schools has been suspended and in the same breath, companies have urged their employees to work from home. Parents are suddenly holed up with their energized wide-eyed kids while trying to churn out reports and draft proposals.
Having been at it for four years, I know that kids and work rarely mix. With careful planning, however, you can totally knock it out of the park. We trust that the tips we have shared will help inch you closer to productivity.