When you are a professional writer, deadlines are the name of the game. You can’t really afford Netflix and Chill even during a pandemic, then add a day job (and if you have them) kids and pets.
I know this struggle all too well. My kids are on mandatory homeschooling until further notice, and unlike a typical school break, they are all stuck in the house because of my county’s shelter-in-place order. So what is a work at home person to do?
Lucky for you, I will give you a few helpful tips that will you more effective when you are a work-at-home parent.
Schedule Work Periods During Nap/Bedtime.
I learned early on to appreciate those quiet times. The only real quiet times you have when you have kids are in the early morning before they wake up, naptime, or when they go to bed for the night. Pick the best period that works for you and squeeze every bit of work in those quiet hours. If you have to do a lot of telecommuting and video calls, schedule those calls early in the morning or during your kids’ nap time.
Ask For Help!
If you have a partner, make a plan to switch off times when you are working and when you are taking care of the kids. This will give both of you some quality work time. If you are a single parent and you have both older and younger kids. Pay the older kids a little extra to watch the little kids for a few hours. In my house, my older kids (they are teenagers) and my mother takes turns with babysitting duties when I’m working from home during a school break. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Keep To A Schedule
When you are a parent, you know that keeping your kids on a routine (even on school breaks) is super important. Kids thrive best when they have a consistent routine. Find the times that work best for you, hash it out with your family and when you all agree on a schedule, stick with it!
Find A Quiet Space.
Finding a quiet space is critical! Look for a place in or around the house that is both quiet and you can work easily from. For me, this place is my bedroom. It’s the one place the kids are not allowed to go into, and I have my workspace set up there. For others, it can be a living room, a sunroom, the dining room, or even outside on the patio. Finding a quiet place is also necessary if you teleconferencing a lot. Your boss probably doesn’t want to hear your children screaming in the background during a Skype or Zoom session.
Allow Room For Failure.
When this COVID-19 virus hit critical mass in mid-March, no one was prepared for how fast everything would shut down. People had to learn how to work at home fast when they had no previous experience with it. Finding the right balance of taking care of your family and working from home is extremely hard. It takes time, communication with your family, and practice. Don’t get too hard on yourself if you are not as effective at your work as you used to be. Just take a deep breath and try again. It will get better with lot practice!
And those are my tips for being an effective work-at-home parent! Do you have a tip? Then drop a comment below!