How to be more productive with your kids around you.
Working from home can be a great way to save time and money on commuting, and it can be a more relaxed environment than a traditional office. However, working from home can also be challenging and sometimes even very stressful, especially if you have young children.
If you are finding yourself stressed because you are constantly having to switch between mommy mode and work mode, make sure to read these tips on how to be more productive with your kids around. And you will find yourself getting more work done than before.
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Oh and by the way, cut yourself some slack, you are REALLY doing a great job mom! Here are a few tips to help you be more productive while also taking care of your kids. And get less overwhelmed!
Create a dedicated workspace
It is important to create a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living area. This will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions. Now, if you have children that are very young, I encourage you to also create a dedicated space for your child that is fun, but also safe at the same time. If you need to step away for a meeting, or any other reason, it is important and reassuring to know our babies are safe, while we get done what we need to do.
Wake up before your family wakes up
I highly recommend waking up before your family does. I like to wake up at 6 am, make myself some coffee and set a plan for the day. I prioritize my to-do list and I set out a plan for that day. I then enjoy my coffee, sometimes I work out, take a shower and get ready for the kids and stick to my schedule.
Schedule your work hours around the kids
Additionally, try to schedule your work around your child’s nap time or bedtime. This way, you can have several hours of uninterrupted work time. Plan your day in advance, as described in my previous top, and try to stick to your schedule as much as possible. This will help you to make the most of your time and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Stay focused during work hours
The lines between work and home can often become blurred when you work from home. You may find yourself working late into the night grabbing your laptop to finish up a project during a break. Although it may seem like no big deal, this can actually be detrimental to your work-life balance.
Working all hours of the day can lead to burnout, and it can also make it difficult to focus when you are at work. If you are constantly feeling like you need to be working, then it is time to take a step back and reevaluate your work habits. Make sure to set boundaries between work and home, and stick to them. This will help you stay focused during work hours, and it will also give you time to relax and recharge outside of work.
Yes, you’ve read that right. WORK LESS! Of course, we would all like to work less. But how can we actually achieve this? A lot of people do not realize how much time they waste throughout the day. If you don’t believe me, how about you go to your phone settings and see how much time you spent on social media in the last week. Go ahead, I will wait….
If we want to work less, we have to come prepared and stay laser-focused. Before we start our work shift, make sure you have a list of things that are priorities and need to get done for that day. You can even create a sub-list, in case certain things on the list have more than one step. Check your calendars, and to-do lists and prioritize what needs to happen. When you start working, tackle each and every one of them in the following order or priority. Make sure you do not get distracted. Time management is the most important key to becoming more productive.
Check the next tip on how to stay focused.
Stay focused and put your phone on Do-Not-Disturb
When I need to focus and get a lot of work done, I put my phone away or on the Do-Not-Disturb setting. I often have the tendency to ”just look something up real quick” and then end up in a pit of endless scrolling and distractions. Make sure you stop fooling yourself and put your phone away if you are easily distracted.
Use the Pomodoro technique
If you are anything like me and often get distracted by anything that your eye lands on, try using the Pomodoro technique. This technique will help you stay focused and reward yourself with your distractions after you’ve been productive. I like to set a 15, or 25-minute timer, depending on what kind of task I have to take care of. In those 15 or 25 minutes, I do everything in my power to finish that task, as if I am doing a workout.
For instance, I will set a 15-minute timer and clean everything in my kitchen that I can get my hands on. Or I set a 25-minute timer and will study an assignment for school, or edit photos for my portrait photography business. Once that timer is done. I stop what I am doing and allow myself to use my phone, or check Facebook for about 5-10 minutes. I also set a timer for my breaks. Then once my reward break is done, I go back to my next task and set the timer again. I typically work two 2-hour shifts per day and use the Pomodoro technique within those shifts
Give your kids activities that will keep their brains going while you get some work done.
When I have to do a lot of computer work, or work where I have to pay attention and focus. I like to sit with my kids at the dining table and set them up with something that will keep them entertained for a while. Something that they enjoy, and that they can take responsibility for. Like reading a book, coloring, building legos, or an educational app on their tablets.
Take breaks throughout the day
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day and give yourself some time to relax. This will help you to avoid burnout and stay fresh for the next day. Also, the moments you take your breaks, try to hang out as much as possible with your kids. This is a great moment to give them the attention they love, while we are just taking a breather. Also, make sure you eat well throughout the day to stay properly energized.
Take a break after your workday
Working from home often makes you feel like you can’t leave work. It can be easy to fall into the trap of working all the time and never taking a break. However, it’s important to take a break after work in order to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. Taking a break can help you clear your head and relax so that when you come home you’re able to focus on your personal life. Otherwise, you might find yourself constantly thinking about work and never feeling like you’re truly done for the day. So take some time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes, and you’ll be able to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Learn to say no
I know, it is hard, but sometimes we have to say no whether that’s to a girl’s night with your friends that you have scheduled weeks in advance or expectations of your own. When you push yourself into finishing up that to-do list before midnight, or put the laundry in the dryer before you go to bed. Sometimes you just have to say no, and deal with it the next day. Another thing, you also don’t owe anyone an explanation. Sometimes it is okay to say you are just not available, rather than explaining all the reasons why you are not available.
Utilize technology to your advantage.
There are many productivity apps and tools available that can help you to stay on track and get work done more efficiently. I love using my apple watch with Siri’s assistant. I ask Siri to remind me ALL. THE. TIME. I also like using apps like calendars, reminders, to-do lists, and Goodnotes.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. If you need someone to watch the kids for an hour so you can get some work done. And also be available for them if they need your help. This way others don’t mind helping out when you are in need. It takes a village to raise your kids, let alone raise kids while getting work done! Don’t be afraid to ask, you might be surprised!
Hang in there, moms!
I work from home, and I have two young kids. I completely get how hard it is to try to balance everything. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone, but it’s important to remember that we can’t do it all. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack and take things one day at a time. Just do what you can, and don’t forget to take care of yourself first. You are not Supermom, and that’s okay. We all do the best we can with what we have. So take a deep breath, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve got this!
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