How to Maintain Great Focus as a Working from Home Parent
AMZ Seller Financing • January 14, 2019
hildren are undeniably super adorable. And regardless of how crazy they drive you sometimes, you love your kids beyond measure.
However, if you are working from home, your children can be quite a handful. Especially when you have to finish an important task or meet a strict deadline.
While working from home may provide you with a greater amount of flexibility as compared to an office job, it is still a professional job. And it requires you to be on your toes at all times. It can be exceptionally hard to strike the perfect balance between home and work. Especially if you have kids around.
Creating a balance also means staying utterly focused, attentive and being able to ignore all kinds of distractions around you.
When you work in a proper office or workplace, it automatically draws a fine line between work and family. However, when running a home-based business of your own, it is you who has to draw that line.
Here are some practical tips on how to maintain great focus as a working from home parent, and effectively balance the demands of your family and work life.
Create a Timetable
This is the first and the most important thing for you to do when you are working from home. It is extremely essential for you to line up your day carefully especially with kids in the picture. Creating a well-thought out schedule also includes things like deciding on how many hours you will work on a given day, what time you will allot for making calls, etc.
They key here is to work smarter, not harder. Smart planning will help you tick off a greater number of goals from your to-do-list than working really hard and ending up not having accomplished any of your goals.
Establish Ground Rules
Since you are working from home, you will obviously have a lot of people around you, like your kids and your partner. This means that you need to set ground rules for everyone in the house.
While you definitely have the liberty of creating a flexible schedule where you can also fit in some quality time with family, you still have deadlines to meet, customers to respond to, pack and deliver orders, etc. All these factors really depend on the kind of home-based business you run.
Regardless of that, your kids must be clearly aware of how they are supposed to behave when you are working and that they mustn’t bother you unnecessarily. Unless, of course, it’s an emergency.
However, it is not just about establishing rules for those around you but also for yourself. You must exercise self-discipline and restraint if you are to successfully meet your goals for the day without wasting time and getting distracted. Establish clear rules about the number of hours you put in your business on each given day and strictly follow them to get your work done in time.
Designate a Particular Area for Your Work
When working from home, it is important that you specify a particular area or space that will serve as your “home office”. Your kitchen or your bedroom certainly doesn’t make the cut for an optimal office space.
Once you have designated a particular area for your work, perhaps a spare room with a proper table, you will be able to organize all your files, data, papers, and other business-related materials in a single place without having to get all flustered and look for them here and there.
Your kids will also know that it is your office space and they must not make noise around that area while you are working.
In other words, this means hiring a part-time baby-sitter. Or having someone over like your mom or relative to look after your kids while you work. This is particularly essential if your kids are very young. You can’t possibly run back and forth between your children and your home business.
And let’s face it, there will be days when you need an extra set of helping hands to help you manage everything. And that is totally okay.
A nanny or a baby-sitter will help you finish your day’s tasks while he or she looks after your kids. Once your office hours are up, you can take it from there. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help because after all, it is not easy to juggle home and work simultaneously, all on your own.
Planning ahead is always useful considering the fact that you don’t know what each new day will have in store for you. Make it a point to add a few extra hours to each project or work deadline and get started immediately. Don’t wait till the last moment to get started because procrastinating will just keep adding tasks to your to-do-list for the day.
Imagine a situation where you are working at home and your kid ends up facing a minor accident. Despite how much work you have to do, you certainly won’t prioritize your work over your kid’s health and wellbeing. The next thing you know, as you are tending to your kid, it has cost you hours of your work, which wouldn’t have happened if you had planned ahead.
Start Your Day Early
Being an early riser is one of the best ways to maximize your productivity and successfully manage your home business. Your kids probably won’t be awake in the wee hours of the morning. This creates the best opportunity for you to knock a few items off your to-do-list. You are also likely to be much more focused and organized in those hours of the morning with very few or zero distractions around.
Kick start your morning with a steaming cup of coffee and begin your work. By the time your kids are up, you probably will have finished more than half your work!
As an ending note, always remember to pat yourself on the back. Balancing children with a full-fledged home based business certainly isn’t child’s play. And you deserve every bit of appreciation for being able to successfully do that.