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9 Tips for Working at Home and Staying Productive with Kids

9 Tips for Working at Home and Staying Productive with Kids

By Ana Garcia 

For better or worse, many parents are now working from home. 

If you’re in this boat, this may mean zero commute, no busy-body co-workers, and not having to deal with a morning routine.

But, you may also be dealing with a claustrophobic experience, especially if you’re at home with your kids, spouse, and even pets! 

At the same time, here at Pretzel Kids yoga, all our yoga instructors are finding new ways to stay productive while stuck at home. Many of our instructors are also parents – and they feel your struggle. Indeed, with remote school on the rise and many summer camps canceled, working from home is even more challenging! 

However, there is always a way to make it easier on you working at home with kids in tow. Here are 9 tips for staying productive while working remotely.

1. Carefully plan and structure things out ahead of time

It can be difficult to structure your work days at home, especially if you were used to doing things differently before COVID-19. But it’s never too late to re-invent your family routines! 

Young children have the tendency to stick faithfully to their own schedules, and during this time, it’s essential to have structure for you, too. So, be honest with yourself and with your supervisor at work about how long tasks will take to complete, while also knowing that you need to set aside time to take care of your children.

2. Blocking/getting things done at certain times

Structuring your work days is key to keeping your kids safe and happy while you increase your productivity. If your partner is also working from home, you should definitely consider building a family schedule – one that builds in quality time with the little ones and uninterrupted work tasks. If you’re still struggling with remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, read our story here for tips on working from home.

3. Organize your space

Don’t let clutter take over your house! After a few weeks or months of working from home, it’s easy to see your workspace invaded by your children’s toys. Don’t let it overwhelm you! 

Encourage your kids to pick up their toys, art supplies and clothes after they use them, and remind them to put all their belongings back in their original place. Reward them for being tidy and organized, or start fun competitions, like who can have the cleanest bed or closet. It can be a huge headache at first, but they will eventually get used to it, and even turn it into a healthy life habit!

4. Build in fun time with your kids 

Work might be overwhelming and time-consuming, but you need to make sure there’s always time to have fun with your kids after they have finished their schoolwork and tasks.

Here are some fun ideas: Story time, movies and snacks nights for older kids, indoor games and craft activities with different materials, and hide-and-seek games with your little ones! With a little creativity, you can come up with loads of ideas for entertaining kids from home.

5. Ask for help 

COVID-19 has brought entire communities together in solidarity with each other. If you happen to need to run some urgent errands, and you’re unable to bring your kids with you, ask your partner to take your place. If that’s not possible, rely on your extended family and neighbors. You can also connect with local teenagers to help with babysitting. 

Don’t be afraid to ask! Being in the position where you need to ask for help is never easy, and it can actually be anxiety-inducing for both you and your kids. If you need more tips on remaining calm and centered, check out our story here here with tips for practicing yoga to reduce stress.

6. Take a nap 

If your sleep schedule has been all over the place since lockdown started, you might consider taking naps to boost your energy during the day. Also, encourage your children to rest after finishing their homework. Remind your kids that it’s ok to take a rejuvenating nap. However, don’t let your kids sleep too long during the day – maybe an hour or two max! 

7. Keep children entertained while you work 

There are ways to entertain your kids when they are bored or if they have too much free time. For example, create a reward plan where if they complete chores around the house, they get more screen time on their mobile devices. It’s a win-win situation, because it will not only keep them busy and entertained, but you will get some help with household chores. How cool is that! 

8. Take yoga and mindfulness breaks

Even if you only have 10 minutes or less, you can totally do some relaxing and stress-relieving yoga asanas, (and some meditation too!) This will put you in the right mindset to continue on with your day. Your whole mood will improve too! 

But, don’t over-commit to your yoga practice by setting goals that are too hard to achieve. Start with steady, short, and easy yoga routines that you can follow on a daily basis. And, make sure you practice yoga with your kids! 

9. Set a start and finish time to your work day

Spending time together as a family should be a top priority. To do this effectively, set boundaries for “office hours” and “family hours”, and make an effort to stick to these time frames. 

Some tips: Limit your phone time and try cooking together. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to get the kids involved in the dinnertime process. You can even get creative making meals using your pantry staples!  

The Final Word on Working at Home with Kids

Working remotely can be challenging, especially if you’re stuck at home with kids. Parents from coast to coast are dealing with figuring out how to balance work with childcare. So, you are not alone! Yet, you can minimize your own stress by setting boundaries, relying on your community, and being more mindful. Are you ready to stay more productive while working from home? Give it a try! 

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