Tips For Working At Home With Kids While Social Distancing Or Self Isolating

How are you supposed to get any work done from home if your kids are off school?

In the troubling times in which we find ourselves, many of us are now working from home and surrounded by kids. Getting work done from home while self-isolating during the Coronaviris covid 19 pandemic will be challenging, but is not necessarily impossible.

As a work at home Mum of 4, I’m used to having to get work done with at least one child with me during term time or all 4 through the holidays. I have picked up tips and strategies over the years that allows me to be as productive as possible while working at home with kids, tips that I will share with you today.

Embrace The Miracle Morning

One of my favourite books for productivity and positivity that I mentioned in my Best Productivity Books For Working Mums post is The Miracle Morning.

The basic premise of the book is that by getting up an hour earlier, you can enhance your life and productivity by fitting some enriching activities.

The Miracle Morning suggests that we should all begin our days with;

  • Silence, meditation or prayer
  • Affirmations
  • Visualisation
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Gratitude journalling

These activities really help you to start your day in a positive way, meaning that you will be in the best possible frame of mind to be as productive as possible. We all need positivity, especially in these troubling times.

Are you struggling to get any work at all done when your children are awake?

If this is the case, then save activities like exercise for later in the day when you can work out with your children and use the pre-wake-up slot for focused work instead.

Set Up Your Work Space

If you do not usually work from home, you may not have a designated workspace. Wherever possible set one up immediately. It doesn’t have to be a complete office, but carve yourself out a space where you can sit and work. If you have somewhere to leave your computer and any other work essentials that you need, you will avoid losing valuable minutes getting everything out and putting it away again.

Try and make your space as clutter-free and calm as possible. The more pleasant your space is to work in, the more you will achieve in the time you have.

Plan For Productivity

When you don’t have much time, the last thing that you want to do is to waste half of it wondering what you should be doing. Planning is essential, so don’t sit down to work unless you know what you need to achieve by the end of the session. With a goal in mind for what you need to get done, you are far or likely to produce more work.

Stop Multi-Tasking

As women, especially as Mums, we are told that the only way to “get it all done” is to multi-task, but the truth is that multi-tasking is the enemy of productivity. If you are sitting down to work, darting from one task to email back to another task etc is a sure-fire way to end the day feeling like you have achieved precisely zero.

Instead of multitasking that way that we have always been encouraged to, try shutting down all tabs except the one that you are working on. Set your phone to “do not disturb” until the task is complete and avoid checking incoming messages.

While you will still have your children around who are likely to provide their own form of distraction, you can certainly limit distractions from all other sources and increase your productivity.

Stick To A Schedule

If you have read my Home Learning Schedule For While The Schools Are Closed post, you’ll know that we follow a home learning timetable that is designed to keep the children happy and allow me to work too. Click the button below for more information.

During certain schedule blocks such as the quiet learning block or when younger children nap, you’ll be more likely to get some work done. Plan the tasks that require the most of your attention for times like this quiet block or before the children get up or even after they go to bed. Schedule less taxing work for when your children are more likely to need more of your attention.

Plan Activities To Keep Your Kids Busy

The key to keeping your kids entertained is to plan and line up activities in advance. The schedule mentioned above gib]ves some idea of when to do things, click the button below for resources and ideas to keep your kids entertained with educational activities.

Prioritise Important Work Tasks

Is all your work equally important? If you think about it, then certain tasks are far more critical than others. In times like these where working conditions are tough, it is essential to pick off the most urgent tasks that will have the most impact and to do these as a priority. Although it may be simpler to pick off the easier items, keeping busy with busy work is not the way to be productive when time is limited.

Don’t Check Your Emails Until Your Key Tasks Are Complete

Starting the day (as many of us do) by checking your email immediately puts you on someone else’s schedule and in “reactive” rather than “proactive” mode. If you get the task that you have planned done before checking your inbox, you are far more likely to complete your work in a shorter space of time.

Get Some Fresh Air

As I mentioned in my Home School Schedule, fresh air is important for concentration. By taking breaks from work to take your children outside, you’ll all be more geared up for work when you return.

Self Care Saves Sanity

As Mums, self-care is something that is all too often ignored as we feel it’s “selfish”. Well, I’m here to tell you that self-care is not selfish. Think of your mind and body as a car – how well would that car run if you never serviced it or undertook any repairs? Your mind and body are the same.

To be our best selves, as Mums, as productive employees, business owners or simply as humans, we must take care of ourselves. In these worrying times, we must remember to take care of our mental health as a huge priority.

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