Your first step to making your WFH lifestyle work for you
When I had my newborn, working-from-home was manageable because my little girl sleeps most of the day. I was able to do so many things from simple housework to project presentations. But things were constantly changing as she began to sleep less. And the reason why I was able to keep up with work while being hands-on was that I keep a schedule and flexible work routine which I regularly update to match my baby’s needs.
Follow these work-from-home hacks dedicated to hands-on parents:
Create a work area that is also safe for small children
When my daughter was still an infant, I had no issues with working in my work area because my baby spends most of her time in her crib. As soon as she learned how to crawl, she began climbing on my lap and then eventually climbing my home-office chair. Unfortunately, these cute little humans have no concept of boundaries which is fine when you’re not on a deadline. You can create a small pretend office area for them or entertain them with their own toys.
Try block scheduling or working on smaller tasks on different blocks of time during those hours that your baby’s calm or entertained with toys. You can block an hour in the morning for client meetings or at least 30 minutes in the evening to catch up with a client who prefers end-of-day meetings.
Break time could be play time
One of the things I learned from working-from-home while taking care of my kid was that no matter what age they are in they would always need playtime sessions with you for social interactions and development. Reading books to my baby was one of my favourite home activities. I would always read parenting and advertising books to her. But as she turns into a playful infant to a toddler, I started giving her age appropriate educational toys that we play together during those 15-minute breaks. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
Use online tools to make your work easier
Back in the day, we are limited to using paid productivity and office software to help us with our office work. Today, there are so many free and paid online tools that will help you work efficiently while saving you time. I for one uses those scheduling and calendar apps that send notification about my appointments and meetings. You can also check out this list of online tools that I personally use to help me with my digital consultancy business.
Recharge with a 20-minute afternoon nap with your baby
Most of the time parents, especially moms, have to tend to their babies several times a night to care for their babies. It becomes less as soon as the baby learns to sleep through the night but it doesn’t mean work-from-home parents get the right amount of sleep. Instead of binging on caffeine, have a quick nap with baby in the afternoon. It will help your baby sleep quickly knowing you are in the bedroom with them while you get the much-needed rest.
Outdoor activities for you and your kids
When you work-from-home chances are you see fewer people every day compared to when you were working in the office. It could get really lonely and boring sometimes. Luckily, you have your kids with you who will remind you how important it is to spend your day outdoors. Take your kids to the playground, schedule a trip to the farm or explore nearby museums. It will help you appreciate how much you actually own your time as a work-from-home parent.
“Your work conditions determine your success in your work-from-home career.”
– Elle Anorma –
Get a part-time house helper
If there’s one crazy mistake that every newbie parent like me have committed that would be trying to do it all. Parents, you have to understand this, you can only choose to do at least two or three roles at home and delegate the rest of the household chores to a house helper. You can choose to have a part-timer or a stay-in house helper. It will give you more time to care for your kid or work on a project while providing an income to a trusted house helper.
Be in the loop
Working-from-home doesn’t mean you won’t have access to the latest news and tools about the industry you’re working on. Create your own list of industry leaders to follow to learn more about the space. Join groups that share your interest and passion and connect with them through sharing some tips in the comments.
Set at least 3 to 5 hours of uninterrupted work time
While I’m a huge believer of block scheduling, it’s also important for me to have hours of uninterrupted work so I could focus more on those tasks that require my 100% attention. Normally, I wake up at least three hours before everyone does to create my content, edit vlogs, plan my next trip with my daughter and so on. And then I would spend at least two hours more before bedtime to check my team’s work and plan next day’s to-do list.
Dress the part
Although you are staying at home most days of the week, it doesn’t mean that you should look like you’re a plain home dweller because you’re still working even if you are at home. Be video-call ready for a quick chat with a client. Saying you need 5 minutes to get ready was cute a few years ago but not in 2019.
Your work conditions determine your success in your work-from-home career. As soon as you have your work conditions figured out, it’s now time for you to prepare yourself to get a job!
Check out the blogs below for your next steps:
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