Working from home with kids is a blessing and a curse. It’s great to save money on childcare, it’s rewarding to get extra glimpses of them during the day, and it’s an incredible distraction that will continually destroy your productivity. Once you’ve committed to working at home with your kids around, you need to find ways to squeeze out every drop of paying work that you can.
Here are three ways to boost the crap out of your productivity.
When your kids require your constant attention, you can’t leave them alone while you get some stuff done on the computer. You’re going to need your hands (and at least one of your eyes) to keep them pacified, entertained, and quiet(ish).
If your work requires you to make or receive a lot of phone calls, then a bluetooth headset will quickly become priceless. It allows you to talk on the phone without wires, without sacrificing a hand, and without putting a crick in your neck. One-touch talking…it doesn’t get better than that.
Speech recognition software
Or does it? Speech recognition software, such as Dragon by Nuance, lets you speak commands directly to your computer. Whether you want to type an email or click save, you can do it all without letting go of your little one.
Red light, green light!
After the kids get a little bit older, you can let them play, watch educational videos, or read on their own, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to leave you alone. Try this out. Use red, yellow, and green construction paper to make up an office stoplight. Red means “don’t bother me except for emergencies,” yellow means “knock first,” and green means “come on in!”
Even young kids can understand these simple symbols and you can keep your privacy without constant interruptions.
A few years after that and you can begin to pay them off. Lighten your domestic load by assigning your kids laundry, dusting, or dirty dishes duty. Pay them according to how much work they do, how well they do it, and how old they are. Sure, you’ll put out a few extra bucks, but what you’ll gain in productivity (and peace of mind) is bound to be worth it.
Got any tips of your own? The more fun, the better! Share them below.