Law Firm Suites’ own Megan Hunt shares how she is working from home and being productive while being a great mom to a young child at the same time.
Often, when we think about working from home, we think that it will be a relaxing time of binging our favorite show while sitting on our couch working on our laptop. For those of us with young children that is not the reality. The reality is our relaxing workday WILL BE interrupted by the needs of our tender young ones.
We understand that life tends to throw many twists and turns that shouldn’t hinder our business from succeeding in any way. Especially in times of hardship, staying focused on our business goals is just as important as staying true to our family.
Here are a few tips to help you focus while still being able to spend time with your family:
1. Set realistic goals for what you want to accomplish for the day:
Just like if you were in the office it is imperative to set personal goals for your workdays. The night before you’re set to work from home take a few minutes to write down what you want to accomplish the next day and then stick with it. Writing it down will force you to be more accountable, just think of how rewarding it will be to literally cross that objective off without having to go into the office to do so. Set goals. Write them down. Then go do it!
2. Set a schedule for the day:
Create a schedule for the morning hours that includes schoolwork, learning and sensory activities, then leave the afternoon for more free time and creative activities. For those of you whose children are older ask them what they would like to do during the day and integrate those activities in to the schedule.
By creating a conversation you are providing them with a sense of importance and will boost their desire to give you space as you accomplish your personal work. While your children are occupied with their scheduled activities this gives you the chance to focus on your daily tasks as well.
3. Pre-prepare meals and snacks:
Get a head start in the morning and set up a bin of snacks for your children to pick from during the day. This gives them the freedom to eat when they want to without having to stop your workflow in order to prepare their snacks. By doing this you are also controlling what snacks they are eating, it is important to make sure that there is a good balance between healthy and fun snacks. Also, reuse-able thermoses and water bottles are great tools to ration out drinks as well.
4. Initiate a rewards system:
By integrating positive reinforcements your children are more susceptible to working independently throughout the day. Rewards can be a variety of things like added screen time, extended outside time, monetary, extra family time, even a special snack or dessert can be used. Rewards also give the parent an excuse to let their creative juices flow as well. There is no limit to what can be used as positive reinforcement.
5. Take breaks:
Having a cool-down moment during the day is the most important tip! By taking breaks you are not only giving your mind rest from working but you are also showing your children that they take precedence as well. Fit breaks into your schedule but also leave room for unexpected breaks. These cool down moments do not need to be multiple hours, it is up to you to use discretion. Taking a moment to have lunch, clean up, and have a fun time with your children are all acceptable reasons to take a break. Even a 5-minute break to read to your child can reduce the anxiety of both of you. During break time be sure to not check social media, read or answer emails, etc. Take this time to create memories and bonding experiences with your children.
6. Leave the stress at your desk:
When you do break away from work to interact with your family or even when your workday is completed be sure to not dwell on anything work-related. Clear your mind and be mentally and physically present for your children. Show them that even though you have to work that they are ultimately number one in your life.
It is important to make sure that you and your family needs are met during work from home days. Some days will be easier than others and it’s imperative to understand that even on the hard days to stay mentally sane. Neglecting your mental health while trying to balance work and children is one of the key factors in unnecessary stress. If you stay true to these tips you will be able to not only successfully navigate working from home but it will make the workday breeze by quickly.