If you work from home, you know first-hand how difficult it can be to split your attention between your children and your business when the kids are home for a holiday or illness. But those temporary difficulties pale against the challenge of trying to create a workable balance between family needs and business requirements when the kids are home for summer vacation.
Today we continue our list of tips for keeping your home business running smoothly while the kids are home from school (see our previous post for more tips):
- Eliminate distractions. It can be hard to focus on your business when you’re distracted by household chores or daily clutter. Create a family chore list to tackle laundry, dishes, unmade beds, toy room clutter and other distractions that prevent you from focusing on your work. Set a time at the start or end of each day when the family mobilizes to tackle chores.
- A phone of your own. Especially if you have teenagers a designated business line is a necessity. Invest in a wireless phone with multiple extensions so you can pick up business calls from anywhere in the house. Get a model with a built-in answering machine to pick up missed calls. A mute button is also critical so you can mute family squabbling as you walk back to your office to handle the call.
- Make office supplies off limits. It’s frustrating to find that your children have walked off with supplies you need for a work project. Keep a separate stash of school and art supplies for your kids and make office supplies off limits.
- Let children help. Find age-appropriate ways to let your children help with your business. Children may be able to help with packing and shipping, computer research, filing, etc. As their skills grow, so can their responsibilities.
- Reward good behavior. Schedule special treats to reward your children for being helpful.