Until recently, I worked full-time in a traditional office setting. Every morning, I followed the same routine. I woke up at 4:30AM to begin the mad dash of getting myself and the kids ready to leave the house by 6:20AM. I struggled to keep my sanity as I dropped one child to daycare and two others to elementary school so that I could make it to work for 7AM. The stressful mornings weren’t the half of it. After enduring eight stressful and demanding hours at work, I raced back to school to pick up children before the carpool cut off. Once we finally made it home after after-school activities, we rushed through dinner and homework in an attempt to squeeze in every missed experience in the hour before bedtime.
Now that I work from home full time, I have more flexibility in my schedule. No more super early mornings. No more mad dashes to drops offs and pick ups. No more speeding through evenings to enforce the strict 8PM bedtime.
Working from home comes with a lot of perks, but with a three year old “working at home” with me, I had to make changes to my working style.
Here are a few things that help keep my days productive:
- Scheduled Lunchtime – Even though I don’t follow traditional work start and end times, I always make sure to block out time for lunch. Everyday at noon, my daughter and I sit down for lunch. She helps me plan and cook lunch everyday.
- Designated Workstations – My daughter and I both have our own work area. When it’s time for me to concentrate on work, she is able to go to her table to work on her puzzles or coloring sheets.
- Outside Time – Just like kids at school and daycare, my daughter also needs outside time. When the weather is nice, I sit with my laptop outside while my daughter plays.
- Stock up on Learning DVDs and Toys – My daughter’s choice of activities changes each day so I make sure to have lots of options for her to play with.
- Flexibility – Even with a tight schedule and a constant flow of activities, moods change. I try to let our moods dictate when and how we work.