Depending on where you are in the USA, you may have your school-age children home with you now either full-time or part-time. Some school districts have elected to provide options for learning either in-school, remotely, or a hybrid method of in-school and remote learning.
How can you juggle your child's home learning and running your Virtual Assistant or Virtual Expert® business at the same time?
Let's talk about some ways you can work from home -- while your children are with you.
Determine if your family needs to have a dedicated schedule for the day. If your children are younger and need your help to accomplish their daily learning, you will have to adjust your work-time to accommodate their school time. If your children are older, they may be able to work independently and only require your limited attention. You will need to assess your family's needs and determine the best times for you to complete your work. Maybe you will need to get up an hour or two before the kids to focus on your business or plan your day.
You will need to set expectations for your children and yourself. There are many factors to consider. What is each child capable of accomplishing? What can each child be responsible for around the house? When will you need to work to meet your client's expectations? What cooperation do you need from your children? How much can you realistically expect to accomplish in your day?
Do you need uninterrupted time for client calls or client work? A simple boundary could be when Mom's office door is closed, you cannot enter. If you do not have a dedicated office, you could post a sign near your work area, indicating when you should not be disturbed. (I saw a suggestion that when Mom is wearing a tiara, she should not be disturbed. That is one of my favorite ideas!) You may also have to set boundaries to prevent one child from intruding on another child's privacy. Having clearly defined guidelines will alleviate a lot of stress.
Is there a family member, neighbor, or friend who may be able to supervise the kids to give you some uninterrupted work time? Can you and your spouse alternate work schedules? Brainstorm to find ways to get the assistance you need to be able to spend some time on your business.
Even the people who know you best cannot read your mind. Keeping an open dialogue with all family members is critical to being able to work from home with your children. Schedule a family meeting at least once a week to discuss what worked and what needs to be adjusted so you can get your work done, and they can get the most out of their at-home studies.
Flexibility is vital when working at home with children of any age. Older children can work independently on most of their studies, but that doesn't mean they aren't going to need your attention at some point in the day.
It won't be easy, but hopefully, these tips will help you find a less chaotic approach to running your Virtual Assistant or Virtual Expert® business from home with children.
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