At Parental Journey, we know that working from home can seem impossible for parents of young children. Babies and toddlers require constant attention. How can you get anything done when you’re facing a constant stream of interruptions? Believe it or not, you don’t have to have superpowers to hold a remote job while managing your young family. It’s all about acknowledging your limits, making time for self-care, and asking for help when you need a hand. Check out these tips to help you make it work!
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Creating a clean and clutter-free home workspace can make it much easier to stay focused when you’re working from home. In a dedicated home office, you won’t be distracted by all the little reminders of things you need to get done around the house—like unwashed dishes on the kitchen counter or laundry piling up by the bedroom door.
Try to keep your office free of clutter. The less stuff around you when you’re working, the easier it will be to focus on the task at hand.
Share the Workload
Do you and your partner both work from home? Look for ways to divide your childcare tasks evenly so you each have a few blocks of undistracted work throughout the day. Take shifts tending to your children. This is much more efficient than working through constant distractions for the whole day. Motherly suggests approaching this conversation with your partner as a collaborative effort to arrive at a win-win situation in which you both feel happy with the balance of work and parenting responsibilities.
Tackle Your Most Demanding Work While Your Baby Sleeps
Your work likely involves a mix of highly demanding projects and tasks that require less cognitive effort. Try to schedule tasks that require the most mental energy during times when your child is napping. Nap times are fantastic opportunities for deep work sessions. The key to getting the most productivity out of your deep work periods is understanding how you work best and protecting your deep work time by removing distractions. Save your shallow work—like replying to emails, using social media, filling out forms, or sitting in on group meetings—for times when you need to multitask work and childcare.
Juggling Business Details
Running a business from home can be a juggling act, especially for busy parents of young children. In addition to caring for your family, you also have to manage your business finances, meet deadlines and keep track of customer payments. Fortunately, there are some helpful apps that can make this process a lot easier.
For example, there are apps that can help you manage your accounting and keep track of your business expenses. If you need to get paid quickly, this tool should get you started when it’s time to run branded invoices. And if you’re struggling to stay organized and meet deadlines, project management tools can be a lifesaver.
Dress for Your Job
Getting dressed for work can help you tap into the right mental state when you’re having a hard time transitioning from parenting to professional work. As HuffPost explains, getting dressed—even if this means putting on leggings and a simple shirt—can have a positive impact on your overall mood. Put together work-from-home outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident. For example, nursing moms can opt for a dress that pulls double-duty, offering a stylish look while being functional when it’s time to feed the baby. Breezy tunics, maxi skirts and soft tees can also be great for postpartum moms working from home.
Use the Weekends to Prep for the Week
Maximizing the use of your available time is one of the keys to working from home with young kids. Take advantage of any free time you have on the weekend to prep for the week ahead. Cook a few simple breakfasts, lunches, and dinners so they’re ready to grab and go during the week. Take a look at your work schedule and determine which days you will need uninterrupted time to focus on demanding projects. Clean and organize your home so you can start the week with a clutter-free mind. Preparing for the week can eliminate a lot of stress!
Staying focused while working from home is hard enough for people without children. If you have a baby or toddler on your hip, try to go easy on yourself. Make time for self-care, even if it means neglecting some of those never-ending household chores. Remember, your well-being should be your top priority!
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