Tips for Working from Home: Part 1

I work from home.  I may not have to go into an office, but I do have “office hours” at home that I need to be able to count on.   Whether or not it’s a holiday, a snow day, a sick day {self or kid}, or just a burned out day, I still have deadlines to meet.  So, unexpected and even expected breaks from my routine is tricky.  Like today, when my normally robust 6 year old stayed home for the third day with the flu while my baby is cutting 4 molars.  While this isn’t the first time I’ve had to think on my feet and with my arms full, it’s still hard to cope when those deadlines are looming.  As a work from home, stay at home mom, not all days are created equal, that’s for sure.

Working from home can prove quite challenging.  While each care giver/parent has his or her own needs and preferences, here are some tips for balancing home and work that should apply for all with kids at home.

Tips for Working from Home

Working from home can be challenging even in a silent, kid-free house.  Throw in a few kids, holidays, summer vacation, the flu, etc., and making deadlines can be tricky indeed.  Here is what has worked for me for 5 years now as I have gone from 1 easy child at home to 3 somewhat easy to mostly sassy children.  My most important job is taking care of my kids, so these tips have been designed to maximize kid time and still get the work done.

  • produt02-350x320-350x300Make a plan.  For me, this means sitting down and mapping out what needs to be done.  Every job is different, but we usually all have deadlines or goals to meet.  I print out a physical calendar and write down when projects are due so I can see it all visually and have it in my hands.  Others prefer online calendars.  Do what suits you and motivates you the most.
  • Make a schedule.  Based on how much work I have to do and when it’s due, I make a schedule of when I can work.  I mark off time each day to work at least 5 days a week; I am just as careful to schedule time off so I don’t kill all my downtime and also have a little flex time for when things don’t go the way I planned {insert child throwing up or a snow day.
  • Make changes in order to be productive.  This can mean a lot of different things.  First, find a consistent space to work, whether it’s an actual home office or just a corner of the living room.  Next, clear your work space of distractions.  It can be helpful to get organized, get rid of trash, and get some distance from the TV.  Finally, try a sound machine to tune out unwanted noise that can steal your focus.

Hopefully these tips will help you maximize both your family time and your work time.  Be sure to check back next time for more tips for your kids.