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How To Successfully Work From Home With Or Without Children

Hello & Welcome to all of those new to the Work From Home World. I’m Jazmine and I’m going to be sharing with you some useful tips and advice to help you be successful!

Let me share a little bit about myself. I am a corporate employee. I work in medical compliance and I’ve been with the same company for almost 13 years. I have also worked from home several days a week for several years now, so I know a thing or two about making it work.

Working from home, while a wonderful thing, requires a strict level of discipline. Why? Because you’re at home, in your sanctuary, with several distractions. Your TV, your bed, your fridge, and the ever so lovely gift of not being seen.

For myself, I’m on my laptop all day, and my team and I communicate via an online messaging system. If your place of employment is like mine, they can track your every move, but if you’re disciplined and doing your job, shouldn’t be a problem right?

Now, let’s throw in another factor. Working from home itself can be challenging, but working from home with children is even more of a challenge. Right now we are in a crisis, and most schools are closed due to Covid-19. My children are out for a month. So this means for some not only is working from home new, but working from home with children is also new!

Today I’m going to share with you some Do’s & Dont’s to help you transition, and these tips should also be helpful to those who currently work from home.

The Do’s

• Develop a daily routine & plan your day. I find a planner helpful for this, physical or digital.

• Set a time to get up and stick to it. Get up like you’re going to work. Yes, this means getting up to shower and get dressed. You can even throw on a little make up. Remember folks, you are still going to work. I’m not saying, a full beat face, power suit and heels. Yours pants or sweats are definitely allowed.

• Eat breakfast. I can’t stress this enough! Some people aren’t breakfast people, I’m one, but remember that food is fuel. Even if it’s a smoothie, put something in your stomach.

• Meal Prep! Thank me later. Even if you work from home, meal prepping is a life and time saver. You can meal prep breakfast and lunch. One of my go-tos, boiled eggs and yogurt bowls. You can boil enough for the week, put them in baggies, and the do just fine in the fridge. I buy individual yogurt cups (link to my favorite brand) I then bag up my granola and fruit. Lunch, I’m a sheet pan meal prep girl. Chicken and veggies. Salmon, potatoes and asparagus. All you need is parchment paper, a cookie sheet and an oven. Quick and easy.

• Work in an office space (if you don’t have a dedicated office space, create a nook/corner. You can use a TV tray or whatever)

• Take breaks – if you work an 8 hour day, follow the 1 hour lunch and two 15 minute break rule. Take a real lunch. Here is a bonus of working from home. You can use your lunch to, walk your dog (if you have one). Start dinner. Do some laundry, or…work on your blog.

• Create business hours and limit your contact with your family and friends. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Let you friends and loved ones that you’ll be unavailable except for emergencies during these hours (whatever you choose). I know this one well and learned the hard way.

• Be mindful of your posture and take stretch breaks. You don’t have the ergonomically created space that you do in the office, at home, so make sure you aren’t slouched all day. We don’t need no hunchbacks later in life. Also, work in good lighting. No need for unnecessary eye strain.

• Keep track of time and create timelines. For me, everyday I have assigned cases with some ad hoc stuff so I prioritize! Prioritization is a life saver. I dedicate a certain amount of time to cases, because those HAVE to be completed because of regulatory rules. I then create windows of time for everything else.

• No TV. I mean hey, if you feel like you can do both, then by all means, but TV is a distraction. If you need noise, turn on some music. When I’m in my office, my headphones are in my ears ALL DAY.

The Dont’s

• Do not, I repeat, DO NOT work from your bed. One, it isn’t good for your back. Two, it’s a setup.

• Don’t skip breaks and lunches in the name of work. I find that I work more when I’m home than when I’m in the office. This can be avoided by creating balance and keeping your in office mindset while at home.

• Do not take personal calls if you aren’t on breaks and lunch. You must create boundaries to get your work done.

• Stay off social media. I know, I know, but it’s another distraction that you don’t need, and trust me, it can wait. They ain’t talking about nothin but Covid-19 anyway.

Working from home with kids:

Now depending on the age of your child/children, this is going to vary.

• Create a schedule for them. This can apply to the 2+. You’d be surprised at how well younger children adapt to routines. Contrary to popular belief, kids crave structure. Now, what should the schedule look like? That’s completely up to you. Things you can use; arts & crafts, online learning and screen time. Yes folks that’s right, screen time is okay. Everything in moderation.

• Nap time for those with littles. Naps are God’s gifts to parents and they are meltdown preventatives.

• Feed them when you feed yourself and for those with little rebellious ones, if they don’t want to eat when you eat, make sure you have pre-planned snacks. Having snacks readily available is so helpful.

• For those with older children like myself, have “the talk”. The just because I’m working from home doesn’t mean I’m not working talk. Let them know that you are not available to make breakfast or lunch. Let them know that they don’t need to bother you in your space unless it’s an emergency. Create boundaries with them. Don’t be an ass about it, but set some ground rules.

Whew, I know that was a lot! I hope that this information is helpful to you.

Let’s use this time of crisis to get closer to our loved ones. Spend the quality time with your children, your mate and your family member. Use this time to experiment with new dishes, to eat more healthy. Start those projects you’ve been putting off. Launch that business. Activate that dream. Start that YouTube channel. Batch write and film film film! Limit your time watching the news, that mess while informative can drain your spirit. Oh, and remember to wash your hands 😉.

Remember, I am no expert. I am just sharing from my experience. If this was helpful to you, leave me a comment and please feel to share!

Until next time…🦋

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