Today, a record number of people work from home, and a bulk of them earn a pretty penny. Moreover, it is argued that working like this is one of the best ways to strike a fine life-work balance. At first glance it seems as though everything in the home garden is rosy. Alas, our hectic daily lives already plague us with many time-management problems and numerous stress inducers. On top of that, family life can also interfere with your ability to stay on top business tasks and goals. Thus, as a work-at-home parent, you might feel like dwelling in a frenetic jungle.
Fall from heaven
So, the first thing to keep in mind is that parents working from home have to put up with the noise and interruptions coming from the rest of the family. In such a situation, staying focused on the tasks ahead is a tough ordeal, and some individuals decide to simply throw in the towel on a bad day. However, that is not always the option for everyone as things usually need to get done no matter what! Therefore, it is a good idea to deal with the activities like cooking in advance and to avoid multitasking. It only divides your attention and puts you at risk of merging work with daily routines, turning it into a lengthy muddle.
Divide and Conquer
To ensure productivity, separate the home office from the rest of the living space. Some people can ignore heaven breaking loose around them, but most of us are better off shutting the distractions out. This means you should set clear ground rules and boundaries, and explain to others the importance of the uninterrupted flow of productivity. Kids are quite adept at entertaining themselves, but they are not overly eager to restrain themselves. Thus, close the door and put a red post-in note if necessary. In some cases, it makes sense to choose the most isolated rooms for the office, even if it is not the most comfortable one.
Once you pick the spot for the office, see to it that the conditions are appropriate. Office furniture makes long hours of work much more comfortable and takes care of your body better than random kitchen chairs. An adjustable office chair is essential, and the same is true for the table. If you spend a lot of time before the screen, make sure its height is on the appropriate level. Parents often opt for assembling office workstations that enable parents to have the prime work ambience. Just pay attention to its location, as you need proper lighting to keep the concentration.
Finally, remember that you can be your own greatest enemy in terms of productivity. It is of the utmost importance to make a schedule and stick to it. What is more, it is advisable to make your intended work hours known to your family. There is nothing wrong with flexible work hours as long as they align with other obligations. It turns out that time-management becomes the crucial skill that can make or break your work routines. Learn to turn off the work at the end of the day and embrace the family life. Turn full attention to your kids, and melt that accumulated stress away.
The good, the bad, and the lousy
If you really mean business, declare your zone of work free of any disturbances. Have an open conversation with the family members and make sure you are on the same page about the work hours. You must not only set firm rules, but also enforce them. These may include noise levels, open/closed door policies, and dealing with other possible interruptions. Keep the family and the business world from colliding and creating a devastating explosion. There will always be overlaps, but they need to be controlled if you are to avoid being both a bad parent and a lousy businessman.
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This article brings back so many memories ... some good ... some down right frustrating! My husband and I both work from home and have raised 5 kids at home (they are all teens now). One thing I tell people to remember is that usually our kids are the reason we want to work from home ... and then we forget that and end up resenting their "interruptions" during our work day. If kids are raised around work at home parents ... they will learn as they get older how to respect you and your time as a work at home parent. You mentioned the open/closed door and once your kids are old enough to entertain themselves for periods of time this really does work. We say if the door is closed please knock a couple of times (lightly) and if we address you then you may open the door and let us know what you need ... if we don't respond we are either on the phone or in the middle of something we don't want the interruption so please wait unless there's a true emergency. Good article. Thanks!