98% of people would like the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers- and I won’t blame them.
You can walk to the fridge and back, make as many cups of coffee as you’d like and squeeze in chores all on your demand.
At home, aside from working in sweatpants, my morning commute was merely a minute long.
As the COVID-19 pandemic had the globe’s majority at home, the trend of remote-working skyrocketed.
However, an unhealthy temptation lingers with this convenience- the temptation to sit at your home office and work until all is complete.
Though your goal may be to increase your productivity as if you were at work, you don’t want to compromise family time for this.
If you have kids especially young ones like myself, you’d understand that taking care of them is not a walk in the park and you can’t just stay for 5 minutes and then run back to work. They need your time and attention as well.
So, how exactly do we go about balancing work and family time at home?
I’ve compiled five sure-fire tips in this article to help those busy work-at-home parents make time for their little ones.
Tip #1: Plan Your Day Ahead of Time
Most people habitually create their daily plan or to-do list early in the morning when they go to the office.
I too, was loyal to this habit until I recently started making my list the night before.
I found that this strategy helped organize my thoughts and tasks earlier in order to give them extended consideration.
Writing your list beforehand then makes you realize that your initial list isn’t really set in stone. You’d have more time to analyze your listed tasks, prioritize and come to terms with the fact that you may not get every item done.
When I’ve slept on my action list, by the time I’ve woken up I’ve had more time to think about what tasks I can realistically accomplish.
Whereas, if you were to schedule your daily tasks in the morning you may feel overwhelmed at the impractical workload.
Tip #2: Communicate Your Intentions
Essentially, when we communicate our intentions to our kids, we’re trying to reach a compromise.
They may not be aware of it but it’s somewhat a trade-off. You have to explain to them what exactly you want to get done and what they need to do for you to accomplish that.
It may be a stretch to call this a negotiation but truly you do have to negotiate with them.
However, they’re kids so you also need to try subtly and nicely persuading them.
You can do this by letting them know that if they allow you to do your work, then they’ll get to spend time with you, which is like a reward for them.
Or you can maximize on their want to emulate adults. You may tell them that if they’re a big girl or a big boy, then they’ll do whatever follows.
They look up to you and want to be just like you. They want to be big like you, so by considering this desire you can get them to agree on the bargain.
Although they may still come knocking at your door throughout the day, they’d soon get used to your schedule and respect it once you stand by your word.
Like training our customers or training our leads, we can train our children to abide by your schedule.
Tip #3: Use Available Tools
There are numerous applications and programs at your disposal that allow you to schedule and organize your tasks at hand.
Google Calendar, for instance has become one of best friends, it’s revolutionary.
As your business grows, your career paths change, or you’ve been a part of different organizations, like me you may have close to a million e-mail addresses.
I can easily compile these accounts in one place- my Google Calendar. Even my time allotted for family I schedule in.
Using Time Management Tools allows you to stay organized, accountable and clears the clutter in your mind that makes your workload overwhelming. One tool that I’ve recently been using for tasks with clients is Monday.com
Tip #4: Set Your Working Hours
Standard working hours set for employees are generally from 8:00am to 4:00pm. This is the time you dedicate to your employer.
Similarly when you’re working from home as an entrepreneur, you are your employer.
Therefore, you have to set your own time-frame for working. It’s important to also communicate your work time-frame to your children.
It’s important to note that you aren’t bound by chains by your working hours.
Naturally when you’re at home there will be distractions and interruptions, especially with kids.
Your schedule may have to tailor to theirs when they want to go outside to play, need to be fed and when they’re put to bed.
And into the bargain, their schedules change all the time- it may not be the same everyday and that’s okay.
You’ve got to be okay with knowing that your Monday schedule won’t particularly be the same as Tuesday’s schedule.
Tip #5: Be Present
Being present with your children means that you devote time to spending with them and basking in their presence.
This also means that all other distractions should be put on halt.
If you’re in a meeting or talking to adults, you’re focused and present and taking notes. The same should be done when we’re having family-time.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get absorbed by your devices like cell phone or computer.
Put the phone down, let the person call you back in 15 minutes or just return the calls you missed.
You should not let your work-time coincide with family-time. Rewire your focus to just one at a time.
What you may find is your child actually giving you time for yourself when you give them your undivided attention- even if it’s for five minutes.
Working from home is no excuse to compromise time spent with your kids.
Planning your daily tasks the night before would give you enough time to decipher between what you can and cannot realistically get done.
Once you communicate your intentions with your family, they would get insight on your schedule and act accordingly.
Become familiar with and make use of management tools that are available to you. They would create a more systematic plan to your day and keep you on track.
Setting your working hours is instrumental in planning what your day comprises of. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to work relentlessly for these set hours but have in your mind when you do and don’t want to be working and account for disruptions.
Lastly, you’re home with your family- enjoy their presence. It’s not always about work. Family-time needs just as much focus as your time spent working.
Let me know how you ensure that work doesn’t consume and you get that time to spend with family in the comments below.