Creating a balance between your work and private life, especially when you have kids, might be more challenging than it seems. It requires specific skills in priority setting, how productive and creative you are, and how you can jiggle between your responsibilities.
Working from home when kids are running around can be quite difficult, couldn't it? One is crying and wants to eat lunch, the other makes so much noise while you're in a meeting with your team. You probably have no idea what to do and how to handle these situations so that your productivity and work quality can increase.
In this article we will give you some great tips for organising your time when you're working from your home office and your kids want all of your attention to themselves.
Plan the day ahead
Creating a plan for the day ahead is essential if you want to keep things under control. Or at least you're willing to try. Make a schedule for the whole family – when you will be getting up, when you will be eating, when are your working hours and when you will go out with the kids for some fun.
This way, everybody will know what they're doing throughout the day, and you'll know how much of your time you can spend working and how much – entertaining and taking care of your kids.
Delimit your work area and your kids’ play area
You can easily put a line between your working area and where your kids play or do other activities. This way you will be more focused and won't get distracted by them running all over your personal space. You can let them play in their room while you sit in your cabinet and work. If they're old enough to understand, you can ask them to knock on the door before their get in or try to keep quiet while you're in a meeting.
Think about ways how to keep your children occupied. For example, you can create games for them, motivate them to read a book or just watch a tv show while you're finishing your work. It's normal if they're more energetic than normal, so you can take them out for a walk or ask someone else to do this for you, as you'll have to work until a certain hour.
Try working with headphones
It’s quite difficult to have important meetings, negotiations, or answer e-mails while your children are screaming, laughing and running around the house. The solution is simple – buy wireless headphones. They isolate ambient noise well and have a microphone so you can go on with your meetings while you walk around your place.
Explain that you need silence
Even if your new home office is not a separate room and you're staying with the rest of your family, it can be easily turned into a real office. You have to explain to the other family members that you need silence in order to work effectively.
When you're on the phone or have a meeting, the others should remain quiet and respect your personal working space. This includes no shouting and crying, or at least not when you're online with your colleagues.
Prepare food in advance
Prepare your family's food in advance or at least try to do this with breakfast and lunch so you won't need to get up at 6 in the morning just to make breakfast for all of them.
Think about what healthy snacks you can buy or make at home, so when your kids are hungry during the day, you won't need to finish your meeting just to make them something to eat. For example, you can make mini sandwiches, muffins, pancakes or healthy snacks such as protein bars, yoghurt with fruits and so on.
Motivate your kids to be more patient
If you want your kids to keep quiet and be patient while you're working, you've got to motivate them to do so! This means that you can promise them different awards such as sweet treats, new toys or going out to the cinema together.
A kiss, a hug, or a verbal expression of gratitude will also do an amazing job. You have to show them how thankful you are because they were playing games in their room and didn't make noise while you were in your meeting.
By telling them how much this means to you and how proud you are, you will help them understand why it's so important to behave well when somebody asked you to do so.
Invite your kids’ friends over
No matter how old your children are, they will always be happy when spending time with their friends. You can invite them for a sleepover or just for the day, and let them play together while you're working from the other room. Don't forget to make up some rules so that they don't turn the house upside down.
If you want more space and time for yourself, you can send your kid to your best friend's house and let your kids play together. Don't worry - they'll be so busy entertaining themselves, that you may not even realise that they're not home with you.
Working from home when your kids are around may seem like living hell, but it's actually an extra time you can spend together. When you establish "home office rules” and show your children that you need some quality time to do your work, you will be surprised how well they can behave and how productive you're going to be.
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