Remote work boomed during the COVID-19 quarantine period, and while quarantine has ended in the US, remote work continues to thrive. While some companies have insisted on a return to the workplace, others have recognized how productive employees can be at home.
A unique subset of remote workers is those of you that run a home business. You've been working out of your home long before it was mainstream... and while you have many of the same challenges as others working remotely, your additional tasks as a business owner make the stakes of your productivity a bit higher.
Balancing parenting and a home business can be challenging, but being purposeful about how you manage both can help. This post offers 5 tips on how to do just that.
make a schedule
One challenge of a home business, or working from home in general, is the separation of time and space. Sit down and create a weekly schedule that outlines parenting and family responsibilities like doctor appointments and soccer games. Then create a general daily schedule that has specific work hours. Just like leaving for a commute in the morning and going to work, head to your office and have your workday.
The next tip is about that office space.
set physical boundaries
Creating a schedule helps separate your two spheres - work and family - in terms of time. But you also want to have separation in space. Not everyone has the space to have a dedicated office space. If you're setting up at the dining room table every day (and then cleaning up) keep a tray or box with dedicated items, like your laptop riser, mouse, and keyboard so it's easy to get them out. Other desk accessories can help make your space feel more business than dinner time.
prioritize your tasks
Identify and prioritize your most important goals and priorities both at home and in your business. Focus on high-priority tasks during dedicated work hours and save less critical tasks for times when your attention is not as focused. You can do this by time of day, if you know you're sharper in the morning and crash in the afternoon, or if you have feel better having mundane tasks out of the way first thing in the workday.
create a village
In the work world, delegating tasks that you need to get done but don't have to do yourself is important to help manage your time. Whether that delegating is to an employee or a productivity software, it's important to maintain organization of your business.
In the family world, it also takes a village. In your family schedule, include time when you can share or offload parenting responsibilities to your partner, to a reliable daycare service, or form a group with other work-from-home parents to rotate care.
fill your bucket
You can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself. If your wellness is a bucket of water, you give water best to others when your bucket overflows. Many tips for focusing on wellness are similar to these tips we've shared for balancing parenting and your home business.
Remember that finding the right balance is an ongoing process, and it's okay to adjust your strategies as needed. Put a reminder on your calendar to re-evaluate your work and home schedule to make sure everything continues to work. Flexibility and open communication with your family can help you navigate the challenges of balancing parenting and a home business successfully.
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