Battling the household and running an online business at the same time is hard work. A business requires just as much of your time, if not more, as do your children. Both will create more work and stress, but you can manage.
The following are five household management tips for parent business owners:
#1: Work in Batches and Block Schedules
Keep similar work together and schedule work time in batches. If you know your kids need to get to school at a certain time, for example, schedule a block of time around that. If you can get two hours of work in before they need to get ready, then find similar activities you know you can do in that time, like checking email or creating your daily to-do lists. Block these times out in your schedule and let your household know when you plan to work. Put the schedule somewhere they can all see it and treat it no differently than you would if you were to clock in for a shift somewhere else.
#2: Designate Workspaces and Keep Them Out
Create an area in your house that everyone knows is only for working. Please don’t allow them to come in at any point. It may sound harsh or brutal to do at first, but over time everyone will understand that this area is not for fun, only business.
Establishing appropriate boundaries like this is crucial to create a distraction-free workspace. When you are in this space, you work. When you leave this space, you get to take a break or have free time and stop working. Likewise, you won’t need to work when you’re in your other spaces.
#3: Schedule Special Time with Your Kids Away from Business
Always add time with your kids and put it in your schedule. This way, you know you always have time to be with them. Don’t expect yourself to use after work or school hours to do it.
If you don’t schedule it, you will give yourself permission to be distracted. You don’t have a boss to tell you to stop working. You have to set those boundaries yourself. Scheduling your personal time and time with your family is a way to ensure you stick to your work hours.
#4: Create Daily To-Do and Expectation Lists for You and The Household
To ensure you have the time you need to get work done, make daily to-do lists for you and the household. Include chores or fun activities they can do while you need to work. Set up timers and don’t allow them to finish until it’s done. Make sure the tasks you do can be done within these times. Don’t use this time for any critical tasks that require more of your attention.
#5: Communicate as Much as Possible and Expect to Make Compromises
Most importantly, you must communicate. You can’t expect others to know what to do just because you work from home. Creating your own home business comes with compromises from you and the entire family. While it provides you the freedom to be a parent and make money, it can also be disrupting. As a carefree space of their home is now for business. Proper communication and not expecting perfection will go a long way to ensuring your success.
As you can see, running a business and your household as a parent is possible. However, you must know what it takes to set yourself up for success realistically.