Tuesday July 14, 2020
School’s out for the summer, parents! Now let’s be honest, are you excited or nervous? With the quarantine extending into our 2020 summer, the kids will be home and bored more than ever during these warmer months. But for you, we know that if you are still working from your home office, entertaining the kids sounds like another full-time job!
We want to make sure you get your work done, the kids stay busy, and the family stays happy. It might take some getting used to, but fear not. Read our top seven tips for staying productive while the kids are at home this summer.
Create an Authentic Space, for You! 📍
Productivity starts with your surroundings. Whether you’re working in a home of one sleeping baby or five rowdy teens, creating a space that fuels your productivity is essential. Experiment with photographs of the family, adorable office decor in your pre-selected color scheme, or even a new super comfortable desk chair (that hopefully doesn’t put you to sleep 😉).
Try a different layout for your entire home office, or choose to work in a part of the house you always say, “I wish I spent more time there.” Try the “minimalist” aesthetic, and only keep with you what you need: your laptop, notepad, phone, and coffee, of course. Construct the space that gives you the most eased mind, and you’re on your way!
Work Smarter, Not Harder 🧠
For most parents (especially parents of teens) you will be waking up earlier than them. Do it! Wake up early! For parents, that could be anywhere from two to five morning hours of complete silence. And when you start hearing the movement of children at around noon, don’t sweat it, because half of your work day is already over. If this is the case in your household, use the morning as your most productive time, where you schedule Zoom meetings, take phone calls, and work on detail-oriented projects.
Making Working a Group Activity 💡
If your little ones can’t NOT be in the same room as you, first let us say, we get it. But who’s to say working can’t be a group activity? If your child has summer reading, summer school, art projects, video editing, or puzzles to solve, invite them into your work space for “quiet time.” Stress that it is a quiet space, and that it will be a fun time to get a lot of work done. Invite them to the party, and they’ll respect your rules.
Take Your Lunch Break Together 🥪
Everyone needs their lunch break! Strategically take your lunch break at the same time as your kids so everyone can be in the kitchen at once before retreating to the separate TV rooms and iPads. This allows you to catch up with their day AND limit noise during work time. Furthermore, prep the kids’ snacks the night before to save you time during the work day and make snacking easy as cake!
Set Boundaries 📝
Create an agenda for your kids’ day. Have them start with TV, games, or reading and create boundaries around what activities are allowed while Mommy or Daddy are working. Don’t be afraid to set physical boundaries too. For example, the upstairs is okay for playing with toys and the downstairs is for quiet time. Or maybe the kitchen must be at half-volume. Set these boundaries so everyone can have the respect they need throughout the day.
Reward Good Behavior Weekly or Monthly 🍦
On a weekly or monthly basis, incentivize awards for a productive and well-behaved week/month! Friday ice cream or pizza nights go a long way with the kids, and will create incentive to follow all of the boundaries you have previously set in place.
Practice Patience 🧘♀️
Throughout the summer, quarantine will force us to coexist like we never have had to before. For the work-from-home parent, you might occasionally find your patience running thin, and that is a reminder to enjoy what you have. Enjoy your kids at the age they are, because they’ll only be that age once. Enjoy every meal with the family and every movie night. Most importantly, love each day like you love each other, and you’ll be set for a fantastic, productive summer.
Thank you all for reading! We hope you take our tips and find the home/work balance easier as the summer progresses. Have a great week everyone and good luck in your home office!