How to be Productive Working from Home with Kids

by - March 19, 2020

Raise your hand if in the last week or so you've found yourself thrown into being a work-at-home parent. Extra points if you usually work in an office. Even though I've been working from home for going on two years now, I was not thrilled at the knowledge that I would be working around an almost 5 year old for three weeks in the middle of a pandemic. Not only am I trying to reassure my clients and readers (ahem, that is to say I'm trying not to lose too much money), but I also can't rely on many of the out-of-house activities I normally use to break up the monotony during school breaks. I figure many of you are in this same predicament, so I wanted to share some of the ways we're surviving while still being productive.

1. Set daily schedules. Our daily schedule changes from day to day because my daily tasks vary pretty drastically from one day to the next, but I've found it's important at the beginning of each day to have a clear picture of how the day should go. Some days I set things up to work in the mornings, but other days I don't sit down at my desk until early afternoon.

2. Daily To Do Lists. I do this whether Alexis is home or not. If I don't have a list of things to get accomplished every day, I often find myself flitting mindlessly between tasks without really getting anything accomplished. Having a to do list gives me daily goals, and it feels really good to check them off.

3. Keep Home & Work Separate. This one is tough. Maybe the toughest thing on this list in fact. Avoid the temptation to take a break to wash dishes or do a load of laundry. If you feel like you can't get away from it (hey, I get it!), schedule it into your day.

4. Set Timers or Alarms. If I didn't set alarms for myself, I would work through lunch (or be late picking Alexis up from school). I also set alarms for how long Alexis gets to do certain things. It helps keep us on track.

5. Ask for Help. This is another tough one, especially for us moms who so often feel like we have to do everything ourselves. But let's be honest. Working from home with kids, no matter their ages, constantly needing something can be overwhelming. So if you've got someone (who isn't sick) that you can ask for a little assistance, do it. There's no way I would have survived last summer without my parents and in-laws stepping in to keep Alexis on more than just weekends.

What other tips or advice do you work-at-home mamas have to make the most out of your work day?

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