There’s nothing quite like nearing the end of a successful meeting, feeling relieved that it went exactly how you hoped, feeling on top of the world, only to have your toddler casually stroll into your office blasting his harmonica.
Quickly wrapping up the phone call, explaining a jazz band has unexpectedly begun touring your office, you gracefully end the call, feeling a tad less professional than when the call began. This may not be a typical day for any working parent, but most likely a pretty common scene for a parent who works from home.
And most of the time, it’s a good thing. We cherish our children and long for the best of both worlds—to be present parents and productive dream chasers. It’s why we opt out of office life and commit to the chaos of working while parenting.
As a mother of two young children, I would be lying to your face to claim that working from home is simple. It is, however, doable, and completely worth the sweet struggles that come with it.
After all, what is better than being able to skip the morning traffic, wear yoga pants all day (never mind that you didn’t actually practice yoga today, we won’t tell on you), or being able to see those sweet faces whenever you please?
You would be hard-pressed to find a work from home parent who doesn’t appreciate having the best of both worlds, and yet earning a living from home provides its own set of challenges.
To be successful in both areas of your life, it takes a great deal of self-motivation and productivity. Try out these 8 tips to help you stay on your game as a work-from-home parent:
1) Become mindful of your time.
Sometimes a to-do list just doesn’t cut it in the world of on-demand child-rearing. Plan and actively dedicate your time to certain tasks, and you will be less tempted to give into distractions, unhealthy decisions, or projects with lower priority. Be the boss of your own time so that you can check out of work and into life when the work day ends.
2) Embrace the present.
Commit to the moment and give it your all. If you are working, eliminate all personal distractions and immerse yourself in the task. When you are spending time with your kids, unplug and give them your undivided attention. Multitasking tends to leave you in a dazed fog where you feel you aren’t quite doing anything to the best of your ability, so clear the cobwebs and bask in the joy of the present.
3) Adopt a minimalist wardrobe.
Reduce your options. Steve Jobs was really on to something. No, I’m not referring to the iPhone invention, but rather his self-prescribed uniform. Wearing the same thing every day most likely means you’re wearing something you love every day, and it eliminates a decision that might otherwise use unnecessary time and energy. While you’re at it, simplify your kids’ wardrobe, too! (Less laundry. You’re welcome.)
4) Simplify your health.
Maintaining a gut healthy lifestyle with a busy schedule is easy as long as you keep it simple and approachable. Start your day with a quick spirulina smoothie, prep your food in batches so you have a delicious salad ready to go at lunch, or take a brisk walk around the block while on a work call. Incorporating good habits into your day will make for a healthier lifestyle, a clearer mind, and better productivity.
5) Move your body every single day.
Whether it’s waking 30 minutes earlier to squeeze in yoga, chasing your kids around the yard in the afternoons, or taking a family walk in the evenings, you will embrace every other part of your day with more positivity and energy when you get moving.
6) Establish daily rhythms and routines.
Meditate every morning. Drink tea at night. Have a pre-meeting dance party. Take evening bubble baths. Treat yourself. Leave your house at least once per day. Setting a gentle rhythm for yourself is beneficial for both you and your family.
Laughing produces antibodies and releases endorphins, making you feel all the good feels. A high-stress day or week at work can sometimes get under your skin, so be sure to laugh and connect with your team and your family. At the end of the day, the real barometer for success is to feel joy.
8) Carve out a consistent place to work.
If you don’t have a home office, designate a regular space to retreat to for business every day. Hopping around from the dining table to the sofa to the patio may interrupt your productivity and organization. It doesn’t have to be a formal office but it should be comfortable and quiet, and a space that keeps you focused and inspired.
The thing about productivity “hacking” as a work from home parent is that there isn’t really a “hack” or obvious trick to making things work—you just have to step up to the plate and dive in...often before you’re ready. While parenting and working in the same space has its challenges, the rewards are some of the best in the world.
Amy Vigilante is a health writer for Hyperbiotics and a mom to two sweet little boys. She is passionate about healthy cooking, being outdoors, traveling, and helping others find happiness and balance through health and wellness.To learn more about how a healthy microbiome can enrich your life, subscribe to our newsletter.
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