As a parent, you know working at home is going to save you time and effort. You also know there's one big challenge you'll face: How to get work done while your children are also at home.
1. Set up a private office in your home where you do all of your work. Ideally, it's a separate room with a door you can close to keep everyone, including your children, out while you're working.
If you don’t have an extra room, you can set aside space within a larger room that you can call your office.
Everyone in your family should know that when you are in your office working you are not to be disturbed unless it is an emergency.
It's also a great idea to make a sign that indicates when you're at work and unavailable. One creative mom created a color-coded sign that showed her kids when she's available. It starts with:
Then color coding, similar to an electric stoplight, tells them what they can and cannot do.
She uses a chip clip to indicate which color is being enforced.
So get creative! Maybe you could even have your children create the sign for you.
2. Work when you are most productive and have the least chance of being interrupted by your children.
For some parents, they have specific times of the day that they get their best work done. You will find you can cut back on the number of hours that are required when you are working at home if you’re more productive at the time you work.
Think about the times your children are asleep. That's a great time to get work done. Perhaps it's in the morning before they wake up. Maybe it's in the evening after they've gone to bed.
3. Schedule daily activities with your children. Know in advance exactly when you will be spending time focused 100% on them and let your children know.
This could be specific times each day when they need your help with their school work or other activities. By sharing the time you're available exclusively for your children, and teaching them to keep those times sacred, they will learn the value of spending time with you based on a schedule. Then you can get your work done before or after the scheduled time with your children.
Creating a schedule isn't an instantaneous miracle. It takes consistency and patience for both you and your children to get used to. Once it's ingrained in everyone's schedule, it works because it gives everyone something to look forward to.
Working at home with children will always have its challenges. However, the rewards of being there for your children and being able to make money working at home make solving this challenge worth the effort.
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