Written by Sara Clarke
There are plenty of mompreneurs and women entrepreneurs who work from home. With Christmas vacation coming up, this often means working from home – with children home in the process! Wondering how you can still get quality work done? Here are some tips to help you successfully work your business while the kids are ruling the homestead:
- Get Up Early: Now that you don’t have to get the kids to school by a certain time, you have freedom in the morning. Instead of getting kids ready for school and packing lunches, start your work day early and let the kids sleep in (if that’s even an option!). This way you get a couple of quiet work hours in and the kids are well rested when they awake. A bonus to this is if you work an eight hour day and start at 6am, you will be done for 3pm – add an extra hour for interruptions, such as making lunch, etc.
- Set the Breakfast Table the Night Before: This way when the kids wake up they can serve themselves and you can continue to work. This will teach them independence, and you spend 5 minutes saying good morning instead of 30 minutes preparing the meal.
- Have Lunch and Snacks Ready: Prepare this the night before. You are bound to hear ‘I’m hungry’ a few thousand times during the day. Having snacks and lunch on hand, where the kids can serve themselves, will save you many ups and downs from your desk. Have a selection of fruit, veggies, and treats. This way they get a feeling of independence in choosing their own food.
- Plan Activities: After hearing ‘I’m hungry’ a whole bunch of times, the next most popular thing you’re going to hear is ‘I’m bored’. Connect with your children in the evenings and ask them what their plans are for the next day – help them create a fun-filled day. A trip to the dollar store for craft supplies is always a great idea. Maybe include 1 movie in the plan, with popcorn that you made the night before. Plan to show the movie around 2pm, which gives you nearly two hours to wrap up your workday with focus while your kids are enjoying downtime.
- Use Signs: Connect with your kids and let them know when you cannot be interrupted. You know how it goes; the moment you pick up the phone for an important call and they come barging in asking for something? Hang a sign on the outside of your door, use gestures or even simple hand signs (other than the ‘shoo, go away’ hand sign, which tells your children that they are not important). Also have a sign or a process for them to get your attention in case of an emergency, and make sure they know that asking for food or saying ‘there’s nothing to do’ is not an emergency. If you used tips 3 and 4, you should hopefully not be interrupted during important phone calls.
- Them Time: Your children want quality time with you this holiday more than anything. Make sure to set aside time for you and your family. Communicate with your kids and let them know that once you are done work for the day you have planned some special time, activities, etc. with them. Make sure they understand that if you don’t get your work done you won’t be able to have the special time with them. Remember, using tips 1 through 5 will help you to accomplish tip 6!
Sara Clarke has worn many hats within the Mompreneurs® organization, and most recently, has taken on the role of COO, overseeing many of the directives and implementations of the organization in order to drive our team and our members to further growth and success across the country!
Sara is a wife and a mom of four boys, and has over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field. She carries degrees in Business Management and Bookkeeping, and is now working towards an Accounting Degree. She founded Martin Clarke & Associates in 2001, and has since processed over 33,000 hours of bookkeeping. She works alongside Roger, her husband of 15 years, where their firm works with multiple accountants and agencies across Canada. Sara has been a guest speaker and workshop presenter at the London Small Business Centre, Western University, and The Ivey School of Business, and also speaks throughout North America teaching business owners about bookkeeping, taxes, business development, money mindset and her favourite topic, mompreneurs. Sara is the recipient of the 2014 ‘20 under 40 Business Award’ with Business London Magazine, and 2014’s ‘Who’s Who Among Women in Eommerce’ with WE Magazine.
featured image: Lakov Filimonov, Shutterstock