Raising children and running a business are both challenging tasks that can become even more challenging when you’re trying to do both at the same time, in the same place.
How do you survive raising kids and running a home-based business at the same time? Here are a few strategies and tips to help you get through this challenge.
=> Create Uninterrupted Work Time
Create a set of expectations for your kids called “Work Time.” When mommy’s in “Work Time,” your kids would know not to interrupt you unless it’s truly an emergency.
Although you can’t make it “Work Time” eight hours a day, it certainly helps if you’re able to give your kids something to do (e.g. Lego) and go into “Work Time” knowing that you have a two-hour block of uninterrupted work.
Kids can actually be very respectful when they know what’s expected of them. Once they get in the habit of respecting “Work Time,” it’s easier to get them to stick to it.
=> Learn to Manage Interruptions
It’s unavoidable: Working from home with kids means you’re going to get interrupted often. It’s part of the package.
Managing interruptions is a skill. An interruption could cost you as much as thirty minutes of productivity. Or, when managed well, an interruption could cost you just a minute or two of productivity.
The most important thing is to shorten your distraction time before you start working. Most people when they sit down to work first check their emails, then maybe their Facebook, spend maybe ten minutes on various things then finally get to work.
If you’re doing this every time you get interrupted, you’re going to spend a lot of time doing unproductive things.
Create a list of your tasks and dive straight back into that task list every time you’re coming back from an interruption. An interruption will break your concentration, but don’t let that break in concentration create even more distraction when you get back to work.
=> Hiring Babysitters & Child Care
If you’re going to run a successful business, chances are you’re going to have to hire a babysitter at some point.
The easiest way to hire a babysitter is to just ask people for recommendations. Friends, family and other parents are great sources of referrals.
Alternatively, you can use an online babysitter listing service like Sittercity, which vets sitters, runs background checks and collects referrals from other moms before recommending babysitters.
Creating uninterrupted work time and learning how to deal with interruptions with minimal reduction in productivity can both go a long way towards helping you run a successful business, while raising your kids at the same time. At some point, it may be unavoidable to hire a babysitter. Reduce the time spent shopping for a good sitter by getting personal recommendations or using a well-vetted sitter from a site like Sittercity.