Working from home with your kids around can be nearly impossible. It seems like kids reserve all of the things they need help with for the exact moment you start working, and then ask you for something every 10 minutes. This can do a real number to your productivity. This is exactly why I have enlisted my family and friends to help me with child care during times I really need to focus. However, there have been times when something came up and child care fell through.
I could have just thrown my hands up in frustration and given up. That would only lead to me needing to catch up later on, usually cutting into my family time. So, instead of giving up, I came up with a few different ways that I could still get my work done.
Every day is different – different weather conditions, different energy levels and moods for the kids, and different tolerance for interruptions on my end. Depending on the type of day it is, I will use a different strategy. These are some of the ideas that have worked for me when my child care fell through. These tips could also work for you never rely on child care when you work.
Take The Kids Outside
My kids love being outside. Now that the weather is nicer we go outside to play and enjoy the sunshine quite a bit. They can run around and act as crazy as they want and it isn’t as distracting. They can occupy themselves for a long time in our back yard digging in the sandbox, observing bugs and just being kids. I love to sit in a lawn chair with my laptop while the kids run and play. It is not only relaxing for me, but the kids can burn off all their extra energy.
Let Them Watch TV
I am not a huge proponent of screen time, but it sure can come in handy when necessary. If you really need to ensure that you will not be interrupted at all (think meeting with your supervisor) then TV can be a lifesaver. I don’t give my kids a lot of screen time in general, I save it for when I really need it. Because of this, once the TV is on, it’s like magic. The kids will sit still and watch TV the entire time it is on.
Save Work Until Bed Time
If you don’t have anything too pressing, it may be best for you to just wait until the kids are in bed. After 7:30, I know the kids will be in their rooms for the night and I will not be interrupted. This is a good time to get work done and be productive.
Wake Up Early
Like bedtime, I can usually rely on 5am-6:30am to be kid free time. This is a good time to focus and get as much done ahead of time as I can. I will always try and knock the most important tasks off my list first, which will leave me less stressed about getting things done later on.
Work During Quiet Time
Normally, I like to reserve Quiet Time for self care. In a pinch, I will use this time to get my work done. Quiet time is basically sacred to me so I will only use it as a last ditch effort. If you struggle with quiet time, I suggest you check out my tips for having quiet time here.
There are ways to get work done with your kids around. Having your child care fall through can throw a real wrench in your plans for a productive day of work. It is not the ideal situation, but these tips have all worked for me in a pinch. What has worked for you?