Working from home has become the norm for many over the past 15 months. What started as a haphazard, quick solution at the beginning of the pandemic evolved into a widely accepted way of working. However, if you have a baby or toddler to look after, working from home gets tricky, and stress levels can quickly rise.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your productivity, minimize stress, and even rethink your work if that’s a part of the solution.
Forget Uninterrupted Time
No doubt, working from home with a child under two years old and no childcare is one of the toughest gigs you could ever land. Even if there are two of you working from home, it is hard to find long stretches of uninterrupted time.
Instead, try finding activities that keep your child entertained whilst requiring minimal input. If you have a very young baby at home, they may still be spending a lot of time sleeping. Use these hours for work whenever possible.
As your baby gets older and becomes more active you will need to become more involved, even if it is during working hours. Choose an activity your kids can do mostly by themselves and require minimal input from you. Maybe your toddler loves playing with water (keep a safe distance from your computer), or perhaps they enjoy fitting shapes into cut-out spaces.
Create A Safe Space
Space permitting, a safe playpen or a play yard are the perfect spaces for your child when you need time on the phone or on a video call. Choose a place from which you can monitor your child. Even waving at them or pulling a face can provide enough distraction to give you another five or ten minutes.
Spend some time curating activities for your toddlers. You do not have to invent them: check with other parents or look online for inspiration. Often, the simplest toys keep your child entertained longer than anything fancy would.
If you simply can’t stay efficient, don’t rule out the possibility of hiring outside help. Even if you don’t want people physically in your home, as Liverpool Echo suggests, a virtual nanny might be a smart compromise. With someone keeping their eye on your child while you’re in the next room, you can enjoy better focus as well as peace of mind.
Actively Reduce Stress
Stressful, busy days tending to work and the kiddos require you to be as comfortable as possible, and this especially goes for clothing. Choose stretchable and versatile clothes that aren’t binding and that can be worn various times of the day, and the stage of life you’re in. For instance, if you’re an expectant or new mom, Kindred Bravely offers super-comfy nursing lounge dresses that can double as nightgowns. Bottom line: Maximize the comfort level without sacrificing design. You’ll want to come across as professional on that next Zoom call, and be cozy at the same time.
Families are under a great deal of strain these days, and taking steps to reduce stress helps everyone maintain a positive and healthy atmosphere. National Geographic explains that an untidy, cluttered home, for instance, can contribute to tension and anxiety in the home. Go through your home and get organized, purging excess “stuff”. You also might consider adding some aromatherapy; studies indicate lavender is particularly effective in lifting the mood and reducing anxiety.
Of course, other concerns which you might think of as beyond your control may be contributing to your stress levels. However, there are usually ways to improve your situation if you reconsider. For instance, if money is tight, perhaps it’s time to explore the possibility of remortgaging through refinancing. Interest rates are tantalizingly low and property values are up, so the time is ripe. A career that has deadended or is dissatisfying in other ways can be refreshed. Turn a discerning eye towards your stressors, and determine what choices you have, rather than feeling stuck.
What About A New Job?
Despite the economic difficulties the pandemic brought with it, plenty of businesses are currently recruiting. If you are looking to take your career a step further whilst working from home, start by creating the best possible cover letter and CV.
If you feel this is an impossible task, you may be right, and it may be time to call in the professionals. Professional cover letter and CV writers are experts when it comes to making you stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Why A Professionally Crafted CV Is Worthwhile
Their job is to help your career shine by highlighting your achievements in a humble way. At the same time, they understand what needs to be included in your CV and which parts are unnecessary.
Professional cover letters and CVs have a price, but so do unsuccessful applications. Even with interviews done remotely, the time spent hunting for jobs will add up. You will still need to dress professionally, which means dry cleaning costs and more. Perhaps doing interviews via video call requires a stronger internet connection. Considering all of these, a standout CV will soon pay for itself.
Summing It All Up
Successfully working from home with babies and toddlers requires a degree of ingenuity. This is even more true if you are hunting for a new job at the same time. Enlist professional help where possible, and give yourself some credit: doing the best you can in a tricky situation is more than enough.
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