Working at home with kids can be tough, trust me, I know. But keeping a few simple rules in mind could help your productivity (and your sanity as well). Check out these top seven tips for organizing your days better:
Sleep, what sleep? Okay, so not all mothers have the luxury of a schedule, or a guaranteed two-three-hour window every day when their little ones take a nap. If you’ve got a new-born on your hands, you can pretty much forget it!
But once things get easier and their sleeping schedules are more predictable, you should find there will come a time when they’re napping for a prolonged period. Once that happens, don’t nap yourself! Don’t do housework and don’t sit on Facebook. This is the time to get down to business.
Delegate or outsource what you can – If you don’t have the luxury of having hired help, day care, or grandparents who live around the corner; think about outsourcing. If you provide writing or translating services, try sites like Upwork for finding people who can do chores for you online.
Get your partner to help – Even if it’s just for an hour or two, any working mother knows that every minute counts. Close the door, turn on the computer and resist the urge to get up and help if you hear any noise.
Leave the house if you have to, but make sure that this hour or two every day, every other day, (or even only on the weekends) is uninterrupted.
De-stress and know it might not be perfect – While you can plan for everything to be perfect during your conference call, and your kids always sleep at 11 am; know that the best laid plans can (and probably) will go wrong with kids around.
They will wake up that day, your Internet connection will go down, or a dog will bark or children scream during your call. Have a sense of humor; your clients are human too.
Plan independent activities – If your kids are old enough, there are things they can be doing while you’re working; playing with each other, coloring in, stacking blocks, etc. And if you have a baby, she can stay on her activity mat, vibrating chair, or swing while you get stuff done.
Set limits for yourself – We’ve all done it; let work take over and spent hours in front of the screen. There may be times where it’s unavoidable, but your partner will soon get tired of spending time alone while you work on the business. Try to set limits for yourself where possible to keep the love alive.
Make time for family fun – Don’t let running a business or working from home invade your life. Oftentimes we’re too busy to play with our kids and enjoy the time we have with them, let alone keep in touch with relatives.
Even when the heat is really on, remember you’re probably not saving the world with what you do. Your kids are only kids for so long. Make time for some fun with them.
Above all, be sure to give yourself a break, both mentally and physically. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if it takes a bit longer to get your business off the ground than you would like, know that it’s for a good cause.