With the COVID-19 situation, many of us need to work from home while schools and daycares are closed. Therefore, we are looking at least 3 weeks at home with our kids while balancing work. It is going to be a very challenging time for all of us.
In my situation, I am expecting to work from home for the next 3 weeks, while keeping the kids with me. As I’m thinking about the near future and my best tactics to complete this (impossible) mission I would like to share with you all my best practices.
Here are some helpful tips to make work from home with kids as productive as possible.
Tips For Working From Home With Kids
1. Schedule your day and create daily routines
Time management is the main key to success here. Plan your days and schedule your activities in advance. Dedicate time to a morning routine, breakfast, lunch, nap time, screen time, bedtime and more. Communicate this schedule to your partner and even print it and hang for everyone to look. Scroll down to check my recommended schedule
2. Powerful Morning
Create powerful morning routines to start your day. Have your coffee, exercise for 15 min or so, journal and have your mindset ready for a new productive day. Get your kids ready for a new day the same way you would for a regular school day. You can read more about the powerful morning here.
3. Prepare for the workday as usual
Wake-up, take a shower and get dress. Change from your PJ to a comfortable work outfit. Most importantly, you also want to be ready for video calls with your colleagues. Getting ready as usual will set the tone for your day and will help you make the shift from bed to a new working day.
4. Work when you’re the most productive
Set up a “Tiger-time“. This is the time you know you are the most productive and can finish as much work as possible. Know your own patterns, plan your schedule around that. In addition, in your “Tiger-time” work with zero interruptions as possible so you will be able to finish the most important tasks of your day.
5. Create a schedule that works for you
The benefit of working from home is the flexibility. You have an opportunity to work out a schedule that works best for you. For instance, when I work from home, I take advantage of the early morning time: 6- 8 am before my kids are up. During this time I try to finish as much as possible. You can also plan to finish your remaining tasks after your kids go to sleep.
In addition, Keep in mind that you can also work during the weekend and work fewer hours during weekdays.
6. Keep a dedicated workspace
If possible, create a dedicated workspace for yourself. Have everything you need close by. Your workspace (if possible) should be separate from the play area or living room. This way you can be as productive as possible.
7. Schedule your day with your partner
If your partner works from home as well, you can work together on a schedule that will suit both of you. Every night you can plan together your next day according to your meetings and workloads. Additionally, plan when each of you gets the time to work in optimal conditions and when you can take breaks.
8. Schedule Breaks & Leave Home
It is important to take breaks and schedule them in your calendar. Let your kids know when is your break and dedicate this time to cook lunch, eat together and play a bit. Keep in mind that younger kids do not understand the concept of working from home and they will need your attention. Moreover, When you take your break make sure you are dedicating this time to family activities.
Schedule For Working From Home With Kids
This is the schedule I created for my family for the next few weeks. Adjust your schedule to your family and your routines.
Go to bed early in order to work early before your kids get up.
- 5:30-6:00 am Waking up and get ready
- 6:00-8:00 am Working time for parents
- 8:00- 9:00 am Breakfast for kids and getting ready for a new day
- 9:00-10:30 am Activities for kids with one parent
- 10:30 am -12:00 pm Screen time for kids
- 12:00-1:00 pm Lunchtime
- 1:00- 3:00 pm Nap time for younger kids and playtime (alone) for older kids.
- 3:00- 4:00 pm Activities for kids with one parent
- 4:00-5:00 pm Screen time for kids while parents work
- 5:00- 7:30 pm Family time and dinner. If necessary, one parent can work during this time.
- 7:30- 8:00 pm Bedtime for kids
- 8:00- 9:00 pm Working time for parents
Here is my schedule for working from home with kids in a one table
|5:30 – 6:00 am||Waking up and get ready|
|6:00 – 8:00 am||Office time for parents|
|8:00 – 9:00 am||Breakfast for kids and getting ready|
|9:00 – 10:30 am||Activities for kids with one parent||Office time for one parent|
|10:30 am – 12:00 pm||Screen time for kids||Office time for parents|
|12:00 – 1:00 pm||Lunch||Lunch|
|1:00 – 3:00 pm||Naptime for younger kids|
Older kids play independently
|Office time for parents|
|3:00 – 4:00 pm||Activities for kids with one parent||Office time for one parent|
|4:00 – 5:00 pm||Screen time for kids||Office time for parents|
|5:00 – 7:30 pm||Family time and dinner|
|7:30 – 8:00 pm||Getting ready for bed|
|8:00 – 9:00 pm||Office time for parents|
I invite you to read my previous post about how to survive your winter maternity leave – I posted a few tips there on how to survive a long period of time at home.