3 Tips for Maintaining Productivity While Working at Home with Kids

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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.

Hands-free

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).

Bluetooth

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.

Allowance

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.

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Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor

Daniel is a freelance writer working out of his home in Secane, Pennsylvania. He likes eating cheesesteaks, listening to the blues, and reading great non-fiction. You can email him with questions or moral dilemmas at daniel@danieltaylorwrites.com

7 thoughts on “3 Tips for Maintaining Productivity While Working at Home with Kids

  • October 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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    Great article. Working from home with your kids is one of the biggest challenges that I have faced in my work-at-home journey. I wish that I would have known about the Dragon speech software because this could have saved me so much time and headaches from having to constantly stop and save everything and then try to pick it back up again. Being able to speak to the computer would have definitely made things go a lot faster.

  • August 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm
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    For a long time I would keep my mini headset clipped on my shirt, it worked for my home phone as well as my work and cell. It was a blessing to go hands-free no matter who I was on the phone with. When they are young it is hard so any trick to save time, patience, money or a hand is a blessing.

  • July 19, 2015 at 9:08 am
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    Great ideas! I had a hard time doing anything with the kids at home. One of them was stuck to my side on a constant basis. It wasn’t until they were a little older that I could get things done. My desk was in a position to see them all the time and they learned to play without always having me there with them.

  • July 19, 2015 at 9:08 am
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    Great ideas! I had a hard time doing anything with the kids at home. One of them was stuck to my side on a constant basis. It wasn’t until they were a little older that I could get things done. My desk was in a position to see them all the time and they learned to play without always having me there with them.

  • June 23, 2015 at 10:09 am
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    I think it is harder when the kids are young and over the years I have had some tough times but as the kids get older it seems to get easier. One of the things I share with everyone is that you need to dedicate time to your work, get a quiet place, remove the distractions and pay attention to the time. Working from home does not mean you are playing on your computer all day long like a lot of people tend to think.

    • July 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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      I think as they get older they are able to amuse themselves without constant supervision, so that gives you more time to work. I think some people view working at home as a cushy job where you can laze around without doing much of anything. They don’t realize sometimes it is harder to work at home.

  • June 15, 2015 at 9:00 am
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    Great tips! I know first hand just how hard it is to get things done with kids around and these suggestions will work perfectly. I think the best one is the traffic signal, every kid knows just what that one stands for. What I usually end up doing is I try to get up early and work before they get up, or stay up late after they have gone to bed. This usually works for me.

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