With Covid-19 spreading all around the world, many people are bound to work from home. On one hand, work from home is a blessing for many people as they do not require a fixed schedule to work. Some people who prefer to work at home like it better rather than leave their kids to the nanny and then go to work.
Apart from all the advantages, work from home at the time of crisis can be tiring and troublesome for many. The parents who do not afford or trust a caretaker prefer to look after their children themselves. This is one of the reasons why they choose to work from home and not an office-based job. Whatever your reason for working from home is, if you are a parent, it is going to be tough. You need to learn the tips to balance your office work with your house chores.
Follow the following hacks for a productive work-from-home lifestyle.
Find an Ideal Location
The office is made to work. It has that environment which encourages all the workers to spend time working. At home, you have to create the whole office-like ambience yourself. The first step is to find a permanent place where you can sit in peace and work for the required hours. A spare bedroom can be converted into a home-office easily but make sure no one else uses it. If that room is in use by your spouse or children, it is never a good choice. Because you have to avoid every sort of distraction. If getting a spare room is an issue, then you can take your laptop and go where there is peace- someplace your kids do not usually go such as the garage if it is comfortable and neat. You can also go and sit outside under some tree to get a tranquil state.
Dress up like you would do for the office. Why? For psychological reasons. When you get ready for office, your children will take you more seriously than they would take you in your pyjamas. Create an impression of work too. Moreover, it is good for the self. When one gets up at the same time every day and puts on the formal attire, it becomes a routine. You would put in effort in freshening up and that will help you stay active for the rest of the day. Comfortable clothes can make you feel easy which can lead to you taking a nap often.
Make Yourself Comfortable
By comfortable, it does not mean that you get as comfortable as you are at home. At home, you have to take some rest, relax and play with your kids. Home-comfort is different from office-comfort. Being comfortable in an office means to have all the right office equipment and environment. Get an easy chair for yourself. The cushion of the chair must be comfortable, the armrests, height and back adjustable. The height of the chair should match that of the table so they fit in with each other. Also, keep a footrest for further ease. A good ergonomic chair prevents the body from aching and you can work for longer hours. Make the best of the few hours you get away from your family.
Keep a Schedule
Separate your family-time from office-time. Since you need both of these for a balanced life, you have to make a balanced routine. First, do some brainstorming and thinking of all the details, arrange your schedule. This schedule will help you adjust your office-hours with the hours of feeding and bathing your kids, doing your house chores and spending time with your spouse. Make this schedule mentally first. Then put it on a paper. Follow it for a week and then observe what needs to be changed. Change that from it. The changes will make it practically perfect too.
The first rule of winning is to not try too hard. Sometimes we stick to one thing and then get stressed over it. Remember it is okay to not get things done the way you planned them. It is okay to make mistakes. Do not be hard on yourself and try to forgive your blunders. For example, if a teacher had to check forty papers in a week as per her schedule but did only thirty, it is okay. The whole schedule will need changes after one mistake but that is not more important than your mental health. Do not blame yourself and be flexible enough to adjust the twenty missed papers in other days. If you stay rigid in your plans, even a tiny mistake will break your heart. A stressed person can neither work nor take care of his or her family.
Negotiate with your Family
If your children are mature enough to understand what you are saying then convincing them is not a big deal. Make them come and sit with you. Talk to them in detail about your routine. Tell them that it is crucial to do office work. They will understand. But if you think they do not, tell them you will reward them with something. You know what your kids like, don’t you? Bribe them with a toy or food of their liking and see them understand. Do not forget to talk to your spouse too. Both of you can adjust your timings and look after the children one by one.
Give the Kids Projects
You do not want your kids to miss out on their studies and informational activities while you are at work, do you? So do not just make a schedule for yourself but also give your child a timetable. Write the assigned tasks you want him to do. After work, you can check the work and correct him where needed. This will save you time and give him something while you are busy. If your child is not yet admitted to the school, then give him fun projects. A scavenger hunt is always a good option. Hide things in the house and the clues will engage him for quite a while. A puzzle can help too. The simplest of tasks for kids of all ages can be drawing. Give them some papers and their fav colours. When you know your child is sitting at a single place and working, you will be able to focus on your work more.
Let Them Have a Sense of Freedom
While you are working, it is important to keep your kids away from danger all that time. Fool your children by giving them an array of safe games and activities. Let them decide what to do from the things you offer them. Tell them they have to do these five things in the specified time. Also, let them decide which thing to do first. Taking the decision themselves will make them feel they have things under their control. Every child likes to have control over their activities. So give them this luxury. When your kids are safe, you can work in peace and use your mind solely for working.
Keep the Gadgets Away
The gadgets that we think are our friends are in reality our enemies. We use phones for communicating and informational purposes less than shopping online, watching movies/shows, Instagramming photos and then counting our likes and other useless reasons. Sometimes, these gadgets are devils in disguise. You need to stay clear of these while working. You will waste an hour on it without even realizing so keep the phone on silent and focus on your work.
Save Some Energy
Energy can be divided into four types- emotional, physical, spiritual and mental. Make sure you do not lose any of these. Spare free time for yourself. Go for a walk. If your child is an infant, it will help both of you. You can take him in a stroller and while you clear your head, he can have a sound sleep. Once asleep, you can concentrate more on your work too. The walk will energize you physically, emotionally and mentally. A happy individual is always more productive so keep an hour or so for yourself. Do what makes you happy. This can be early in the morning or late at night when everyone is asleep.
Working from home with kids appearance a difficult task at first. But with a few tactful moves- like scheduling everything, you can make it easier. Work from home is advantageous in many other ways too. Travelling to and from the office every day can take half your strength every day. Doing the same thing at the same time and the same place daily can make your life colourless. At home, it is your choice to select the place and time. A slight change in routine can make an individual healthier, happier and more productive.