Thursday, 13 October 2016

Working from home with kids is possible

Working from home is not always easy. If it is true that we don't have to face the bad weather, the traffic and public transports, on the other hand we have an endless number of distractions that keep us from the essential and a huge difficulty in maintaining the motivation of not leaving what we are doing and go folding the laundry.As if working from home wasn't enough for distraction I often have my children around, at least half of my working day is w«in their company. Imagine how it would be if you had to take your children to work every day. Well ... it's not easy but even with a thousand complaints and despair plaguing me from time to time, I would not trade this for anything. I know that next year I will have a few more extra hours of  home alone and that motivates when things doesn't look pretty.Over the years I have tried to find what helps me in this process of working from home and with children around and today I am sharing with you some tips that I note to myself:
  1. Dress accordingly - I do not use makeup or wear formal outfit. As Iwork a lot with materials that will spoil my clothing to the smallest distraction. And probably, even if I was working miles from home I would not wear it anyway. I dress myself in a practical way although I do my morning routine as if I was leave for work. Inclusively I also have my breakfastand put my shoes on.
  2. The workspace - unfortunately my workspace has undergone changes here at home due to family needs. The major function of the house is being a home, so family needs are always first. Anyway, I try to work in the room of the house that has more light and that I feel more comfortable. Comfort, organization and ambience is important to feel good while working. There is no rule, you just have to find your way of feeling well in your workspace.
  3. Having a break - there are lots of moments during the day when my children come to me. I'm so close and yet so far and this can sometimes cause them confusion. Stop whenever you check an item of your daily to do list and see if your children are hungry, if they need something, have a chat with them, hug, have yourself a coffee or grab a piece of fruit. This will decrease the likelihood of being stopped in the middle of a thinking process that will make you lose even more time to find what you where doing before you have been interrupted, it will frustrate you.
  4. Realistic schedules - there's nothing better than getting to the end of the day with all the items of our daily list done. It gives us a sense of achievement, productivity and personal and professional fulfillment. In this type of situation, when we work at home and with children around, we should know before-hand that we can not be as much productive as if we were alone at home or in another workplace. By organizing our schedule is important to take this into account and set realistic and achievable goals. - I need to work harder on this, am still too optimistic on this.
  5. Socializing - there is no more time consuming than social networks, email and phone. Limit the time we spend with this is essential and necessary. Decide in what time of day you will make the phone calls you need,  the social media promoting and/or the catching up with your email box, set the time that will be devoted to it and, most importantly, be firm in not crossing the line.
  6. Stay focused - our home is a world of distractions and temptations. The pile of laundry to ironing, the dishwasher to fill up, the books to tidy , the toys scattered on the floor... If you are like me, who can not live in the disorder, these are all reasons for you to stop what you are doing and starting the washing up and then, you look to the side and you see that the stove is dirty, the messy cabinets, the floor needs a broom and when you see, the time has  passed. The house is looking a little bit better but you are sad, prostrated and frustrated. Your agenda has all items unfulfilled, the day is ending, you are too tired to think and do serious work. Set a day for weekly cleaning needs (ironing, vacuuming, dusting, etc.) and keep faithful to it. Try to keep the house more or less in order during the week, leaving a few minutes in the evening to organize your daily mess. Try to sensitize the rest of the family to do the same. If all get their own things tidy at the end of each day, no one is overloaded. 
  7. Relax - sometimes by working at home, we get confused at setting boundaries between work and personal life. There are times that I'm just watching a movie when I could also be with the computer on my lap writing a blog post for Monday. What a waste of time, right?. Wrong! Stop! Just doing one activity that makes you relax is not a waste of time. It is essential for your mental health and for your family too. Remove at least one day a week from your diary. On this day there is no schedule. You will be living an doing what gives you pleasure and being with those who wish us well.
If you can meet these seven points. Working at home with children around is not impossible. It's not easy, it is much harder to manage and spend much of our physical and emotional energy, but it is possible. And, if it is to make a dream come true, is worthy.

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