A lot of things have changed over the last year. Schools have closed, daycares have closed, maybe grandparents who were once watching your kids during the day are no longer able to. Maybe you’re trying to save on the costs of daycare to make your budget work and make up for loss income. Whatever the circumstances are, I have some great tips if you’re trying to get work done while your kids are home.
- Flex Your Hours
This isn’t always possible or ideal, but if you can, as an entrepreneur, it might be worth flexing your hours a little bit. It might include getting up earlier and working before the kids get up, or working once they go to bed (or even both). You know your family best, so you’ll know what works for everyone.
- Time Block and Schedule Work
Maybe you’re only getting small chunks of time to work during the day. If you’re kids are napping, that’s great, but if you have older ones at home, it might be challenging. If you have a meeting or something that’s time sensitive, let your kids know that you need to work and set them up with a small activity or task so you can work (somewhat) uninterrupted. Maybe it’s quiet time in their room, maybe it’s outside time (for older children), or maybe it’s even a bit of screen time. When you’re not working, try to make the best of your time. It could be something like “I have a meeting for about an hour, so I’m going to set you up with a picnic lunch and a movie. Then, when I’m done, we’ll go to the park” (or bake cookies, or have a bath – really whatever your kids love!)
- Keep a Running To-Do List
As tasks come up add them to your to-do list. This will help you prioritize what you need to do when you get a chance to sit down and do it. Remember, you might only have a time block of 30 minutes or an hour and you want to make sure you’re using that time to the fullest. Not spending it trying to figure out where to start.
- Schedule Virtual Babysitters
If grandparents were your go-to babysitters see if they can hop on a zoom meeting and entertain the kids for an hour. Maybe you can plan a craft that they can all do together, virtually. Hell, if grandma and grandpa are really tech savvy, you can set up all sorts of interactive games with them. Even a story time with Grandma can be a big hit.
Reach out to other friends and family members too. You can even reach out to other parents in the same boat as you and see if trading off on virtual babysitting sessions would be beneficial. Get creative and have fun with it!
- Lower Your Expectations
These are unprecedented times and you are not alone. So, lower your expectations. Release the parent-guilt about too much screen time. Release the guilt about household chores. Hell, release the guilt of your kids being in the pajamas for the 4th day in a row. As a business owner, be honest with your clients about your situation and your workload right now. Release the guilt of letting clients down, and trust that they will understand your circumstances. Remember, you’re not alone in this and trust me, no one else is keeping score except you. This is all temporary and you’ll have the rest of your life to make sure your kids are dressed and to clean your house.
If you’re working at home with your kids, you need to make a schedule that works for your family and remember it’s all short term. And, lucky for you, you can change and modify your schedule as needed. It’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur!