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Working from home with small children

I have been working from home with two small children ever since starting a business. I know there are many other people doing this at the moment during COVID-19 lockdowns. Some for the first time.

As you can see in this picture of me working with a baby on my knee at a messy desk, things can get pretty crazy when you work at home with small children.

I've had some time to practice and perfect working with a baby and a toddler in the house. Here are my top tips:

1. Prioritise what needs to be done:

In the morning (or the night before) make a list of the things you absolutely must do. Prioritise those things only. Think about what can be done another time, or what can be outsourced.

2. Schedule meetings strategically:

If you have Zoom meetings or phone calls, plan them for times when you know your children will be asleep, or entertained, or when your partner will be home. Don't try to talk to clients while you've got a screaming baby in the background.

3. Separate parent time and working time:

Don't try to do both at the same time. Spend some time working while the kids watch TV, and then have time to be present with your children. Trying to play with a toddler or make snacks can't easily be done at the same time as working.

Above is a photo of my daughter "helping" me make some hampers.

4. Set up a snack and drink station:

This one is a game changer. Kids always need snacks and drinks and will be constantly asking for these. Set them up in advance with snacks and drinks that they can help themselves to, or that you can fetch for them quickly.

5. Work while your kids sleep:

This can be the only time you can get work done, especially if your children are little and your work requires lots of concentration. Work as much as possible while your kids sleep so you can enjoy your time with them when they are awake without worrying about work.

What other tips do you have for working at home with kids?

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