The new year marks one year of working as a full-time freelancer and over two and a half years of Household Mag. Through trial and error I have learned the do’s and don’ts when it comes to working from home with a toddler, especially after our international travels this summer. I get messages almost daily from those of you who are interested in doing the same with your little ones, so I figured I would throw my top ten tips together for working from home with a toddler. If you have discovered any additional tips I would love to hear them in the comments below and please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me if you have any other questions for me! Hope these are helpful.
1. Create a schedule. This seems simple, but I cannot tell you just how long I attempted to just work “whenever I could” and it was the source of a great deal of stress. I never really felt present in my work or my personal life. As much as the flexibility of a freelance schedule is appealing, I’ve found that it’s important to set boundaries and to set aside dedicated time to work.
2. Set up a reliable internet system. We recently installed the Samsung Connect Home mesh Wi-Fi system and it’s been such a dream, especially in my parents larger home where Wi-Fi signals can sometimes get a little spotty if you’re too far from the router. It’s incredibly important for us to have corner to corner coverage since both Zack and I work from home and our business relies on having internet access. We set up Connect Home devices in each of the rooms I use the most in my typical work from home day – the kitchen, office/playroom and our bedroom. With Connect Home we’re able to pair it with our smart home products since it also works as a SmartThings hub, and we can manage all of our smart home products and our Wi-Fi from the Connect App. Everything through ONE app! The app even guides you to the best areas in your home to place the hubs for the best signal. Plus I love the ultra sleek design – bulky routers no more!
3. Use a computer that can move with you. Between traveling and chasing Owen around, having a laptop has been essential for managing my work-from-home life. Luckily with Connect Home I’m able to ensure that I will have a strong Wi-Fi signal wherever I plant myself to work throughout the day.
4. Find a workspace where you can be completely alone. Of course this only really happens when Owen is napping, in bed for the night, or when I have extra hands to help with him. But when it does, it’s magic. I save my larger writing projects or more research based work for this time.
5. Work outside your home when you can. Sometimes you just need to shake it up and work outside your home from time to time, especially as a creative. Whenever I’m in the midst of writers block or just feeling generally uninspired or unproductive I head to a local coffee shop and it always seems to do the trick.
6. Start or find a group of creatives. This can be online or in person, but working from home by yourself can be really isolating from time to time. I’ve found it super important to have a few other creatives that you can bounce ideas off of and chat with as you move through growth or challenging times in business.
7. Grocery shop and meal plan. Something that tends to take a huge chunk out of my day is having to stop to make / pick up lunch. I always benefit when I plan head, grocery shop and prep meals in advance for workdays.
8. Find music and podcasts to help you stay focused. I tend to lean toward podcasts when I’m editing photos and music when I’m writing. Having something to listen to that helps to remove distractions is key!
9. Know what you can multitask with your little one around. As much as I know what I need to save for times when Owen is either sleeping or being watching by someone else, I also know the few small tasks I can accomplish while he’s playing or eating. Taking time to cross these sorts of items of the list throughout the day keeps me afloat.
10. Honor your off time. By setting a schedule and following the tips above I’ve really learned to value and appreciate my dedicated time with Owen. We use this time to go for walks, play outside, play with his toys or snuggle up and watch a movie together. With Connect Home we’re able to stream movies with zero connectivity issues.
I’d love to hear from you! Share your tips below.
This post was sponsored by Samsung.