Working from home definitely has its advantages. But it can also pose some unusual challenges, especially when you’re a parent. People working in an office most likely aren’t dealing with crying babies or barking dogs.
To manage both working from home and parental responsibilities, consider these eight tips:
1. Hire a Babysitter
Although you may be physically in your home, occasionally you may have to concentrate on what you’re doing without any distractions around. Having a babysitter come to the house for a couple of hours would greatly work in your favor. Not only will you have the opportunity to complete the work at hand, but you’ll know that your child is being well taken care of in the next room or down the hall.
2. Schedule Your Week
One of the best ways to be productive when working from home is to get organized. Know what you’re going to do, when to do it, and how much time you have to spend. Give yourself an hour or so during the weekend or even bright and early every Monday morning to map out your plans for the week. You could choose to use a work-from-home app that allows you to manage your schedule from your phone, print out a Microsoft Excel sheet that clearly states your to-dos, or rely on a pen and paper to create an old-fashioned checklist. Recording the tasks you need to tackle each day will make working from home with a baby much easier to manage.
3. Expect the Unexpected
Even if you are an exceptionally well-organized person, things can still go awry, especially when a baby's involved. So be flexible and prepare for the unexpected. Try not to stress out, and adapt as best you can.
4. Tell Your Friends and Family When You’re Unavailable
Dealing with distractions is one of the biggest challenges of working remotely, whether you have a baby or not. You may have some friends or family members who are tempted to check in with you during the day because they know you’re home. Gently inform them that you need to be left alone so you can get your work done.
5. Invest in a Good Baby Monitor
Thanks to technology, parents nowadays don’t even have to be in the nursery to keep an eye on their children. Look into getting a baby monitor with video capability so you can watch your child while you're sitting at your desk. This way, you’ll know when nap time is over.
6. Take Advantage of Nap Time
There’s so much that you can do when your baby is napping. Take advantage of that time, no matter how short it may be, to get as much work done as possible. Maybe you have a list of phone calls you need to make and would prefer not to have a baby crying in the background.
7. Pick up a Secure, Hands-Free, Baby Carrier
You only have two hands. A hands-free baby carrier isn’t useful just when you’re running errands; it can also help moms or dads working from home. It lets you use your computer and phone, write important notes, and do anything else for that matter. It doesn’t even have to be work-related. You can even make a quick lunch or fold some laundry, all while keeping your baby close by.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Day Off
Some people believe that they cannot justify taking time off because they don’t commute to work. But this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, you may be home, but you’re working like everybody else. Don’t hesitate to use sick days if you or your child is feeling under the weather. Take a vacation day when you want to plan a fun getaway with your family.
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