As if my life wasn't already exciting enough, an unexpected surgery this weekend has me working from home for a few days. A lot of mothers especially new moms like myself often prefer to work from home whenever possible. I think its a great alternative to going into the office and at times can prove to be more productive. When working from home its important to avoid as many distractions as possible and maximize productivity.
Being an independent consultant, I do a lot of my side projects from home obviously. It's a little bit different when you bring your corporate work home and you have certain deliverables to complete and deadlines to meet. I'm pretty good at getting things done on time, but it can become a bit challenging when you have an extremely active infant or toddler to look after. Go-2-Baby is very observant and she tends to get into everything she comes into contact with. There are a few things I've learned over the last few days that has helped me stay on task while working from home. Here's a quick list of five best practices that will help make your work-from-home experiences effective.
- Designate Your Workspace: It's a good idea to clear out a space to work from. If you have a desk, be sure that you have all supplies you may need for the day. There's nothing that wastes time more than having to find something you need to work with. These items may include a computer, power cords, notebook paper, pens, a printer, stapler, documents, files and anything else you typically use while in the office.
- Keep Baby Busy: This of course seems like a no brainer but it's not always easy to do. For some it might be easy if your child has a favorite television program or activity that keeps them occupied for long periods of time. Go-2-Baby has a short attention span for the most part. She enjoys programs with lots of music and colors so Netflix has become our best friend.
- Make The Most of Nap Time: Try your best to accomplish as much as possible while your little one is napping. It makes sense to complete all small tasks firsts to check items off of your list and then move on to the tasks that take more time to complete. This way, you have a better chance of completing your to-do-list.This may also be a good time to make any phone calls necessary to minimize background noise.
- Take Necessary Breaks: Sometimes all your little one needs is a little affection to keep them happy. Use your lunch hour or small break periods for mommy and me time, feedings, diaper changing and whatever else is needed to keep your child comfortable.
- Stay on Task: Sometimes the comfort of ones own home can be a distraction in itself. Be sure to avoid any unnecessary distractions like personal phone calls, text messages and social media networks while working from home.
Everyone has a different situation of course, but these are some of the things that have helped get me through the last few days and any other time when I need to work from home. Working from home if often considered to be a privilege which means you want your employer to feel as though you can be trusted to work remotely. I'd love to hear from other moms who work from home occasionally. What are your best practices? What are some challenges you face? I welcome all comments and opinions.