Working from home can be an extremely convenient opportunity, one I’m very fortunate to have the option of doing. Throughout my pregnancies there were days I couldn’t stand sitting at a desk for 8 hours, so to be able to still do my job while comfortable in my home was great. If Miss Toddler was sick during winter, I was able to stay home with her, and still get my work done. It works in favour of both parties, flexibility and convenience for the employee, and the employer still gets the productivity out of them, rather than having an employee on leave.
With this though, sometimes the line between working at home and being present at home gets blurred. If I’m partway through a task, why not just finish it, even if it’s an extra hour of work time than I would normally do in the office? As I get closer to returning to work, knowing that in the new year I’ll be starting to work from home, it’s been particularly important for me to ensure that I will know how to separate my work at home and my family life, making sure I am truly present for my family. Here are my three top tips that I intend to follow to be completely present during family time.
1. Disconnect from devices
I can’t concentrate on my family completely when I’m constantly checking notifications and emails. How often do you find yourself ignoring what your child has said because you’re checking the latest Facebook updates? When you’re a working parent it’s important to ensure that the time you spend with your kids is quality time, not distracted time. So disconnect. Unplug. Switch off. Eliminate your distractions, and listen to your children’s stories, join in their games, do activities with them. Let them know they are valued enough to have your full attention when you are with them.
2. Define your workspace
I believe in separating your workspace from the family living area. As comfortable as it can be to sit on the couch working while the kids watch tv, or play games around you, it starts to blur that work and family line. It’s so easy to be distracted when your kids are being cute, funny, naughty etc. And once you become distracted, you soon find an hour of work is dragged out to 3-4 hours. Decide on the amount of time you’ll spend working, head to your workspace and get the job done.
3. Commit to family only times
When we just had Miss Toddler, my husband would leave for work at 6am. I loved my mornings with her, and I was committed to that time being our time together. Each morning we’d have breakfast together and I’d watch her learning to feed herself, and feel so grateful I got the opportunity to be there in that moment every day. My husband’s time is the bed routine where he spends quality time with our daughter. I listen to them talking before he says goodnight, and I know he treasures that time with her.
Even if you only have one hour of committed time each day, that one hour of truly being present can mean more than a whole day of you being distracted.
What tips do you have for separating your family time from working at home time? I’d love for you to share with us.