If you’re working from home with a toddler, it is going to be challenging! Any parent knows that getting anything done with a toddler around can be almost impossible.
However, there are some great tips you can follow to make it much easier. It can take some time to find the right balance. Here are some of the best ways you can effectively work from home even with kids in the house.
1. Create a routine early on.
If you used to go to the office everyday and are now working from home, this is a new experience for both you and them. If you just took on a new job that now requires you work from home, this is an adjustment too!
You will need to adjust your routine to reflect this. Kids thrive with a routine so make sure you all have set wake up, meal and bedtimes. Try and schedule time you can spend together on your breaks too. That way, they are still getting one to one attention from you.
2. Prepare your workspace.
You will need a quiet workspace. Having an area purely dedicated to working will help you to separate work from leisure. It should be away from all distractions and ideally, you shouldn’t be disturbed while you’re there.
This can be tricky. But it will help to make it part of your routine, and to ask for help in implementing it. That said, don’t feel guilty if you need to take a break from work to attend to your toddler.
3. Eliminate unnecessary distractions.
Let’s make it clear. Your toddler is NOT a distraction. True, having your family around can distract you. But that’s not the distraction that I’m talking about here.
I’m referring to unnecessary distractions. Whether it’s the phone ringing, the temptation to check social media, or the television – it’s easy to procrastinate with so many distractions around you.
4. Prepare for the day ahead.
When you go out to work, you know there are things you need to do to get ready for the day. You have a routine that prepares you for work. However, when you start working from home you may not really have that.
Create a morning routine that sets you up for work. Make the effort to get dressed. This also sends a signal to your toddler that, “It’s time for mommy to work!”
Then after getting dressed, you can have a quick activity with your toddler. This can be as simple as a cuddle and a special song that you sing before going to your work space. Transition activities like these will help your toddler adjust to the work-from-home setup.
5. Use independent play time.
When you need to get on with an important project, it can help to get your toddler immersed in an engaging activity. Check out these articles on stress free toddler activities and how to encourage independent play.
6. Take breaks to connect with your child.
If you can take this outdoors, that’s a great bonus! Being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to productivity. It can cause issues with low mood and leave you feeling less motivated to get through your workload.
By taking regular breaks, connecting with your child, and making time to get out into the yard, it can really boost those productivity levels. Even just a 10-15 minute break will help refresh productivity levels.
7. Take advantage of nap times.
If your kids are still quite young, make sure you take advantage of nap times. These are the perfect opportunity to get a block of quiet time for your work.
8. Single task as much as you can.
It’s common to try and multitask when you’re working at home. Whether it’s trying to work on two different projects at the same time, or trying to work and take care of the kids, multi-tasking may be more stressful and take up more time than single tasking.
Instead, try to focus on just one task at a time. When you focus on just one thing, it makes you far more productive. You can group similar tasks together can help you to complete them much quicker. There may be times you’ll still need to multitask, but hopefully this tip reduces your stress and overwhelm.
9. Set realistic deadlines.
A good time management tip when you’re working from home is to set realistic deadlines. Compile a list of the most important tasks you need to complete that day. Then, work on them in order.
Set a specific amount of time for each task. This helps to keep you focused on the job at hand. It also helps you get more work done in a shorter time. You’ll be less likely to check things such as social media when you know you only have a set amount of time to complete what you’re working on.
10. Have reasonable expectations.
As moms, we always have a long list of things on our plate.
Keep the house clean and tidy. Fill our kids’ days with stimulating activities. Prepare cute costumes for holidays and celebrations. Cook elaborate and delicious meals. Keep up with the demands others ask from us. The list is endless!
But don’t have unlimited time and energy to do all these. We need to decide what is important for us.
For example, our toddlers are likely to make a mess! Do we need to constantly clean up after them, or can it wait? Maybe we can even wait until we can clean up the mess together – and it will be a life lesson for them too.
To help you decide what to prioritize, get the Toddler Parenting Starter Guide. So that, on the days that you’re absolutely exhausted and you’re down to our last bit of energy, you know what to use that last bit of energy for.
Have your own experience or tip to share? Let me know in the comments below!