How To Be Productive While Working From Home With A Baby
By: Jessica Goodwin
A few years ago, when my son was born, I left my 13-year teaching career to dedicate my time to writing. I was so excited to finally start my new gig as a SAHM and writer. But…with what time, exactly? I had no idea how I was going to do it. Or when. It took me a while to settle into a routine but here are my tips for being productive while working from home with a baby.
Get up a little earlier.
It can be hard, especially when you’re sooo tired, to make yourself get out of bed a little bit earlier but even if it just gives you time to plan and organize the rest of your day it’s worth it.
Staying up late can be rough, too, but it’s another opportunity to prepare for the next day or finish up any tasks that you have left on your to-do list. I leave my clothes out the night before, we set up the coffee maker, we prep lunches ahead of time, and we tidy up. The dishwasher is running, the toys are put away, my desk is straightened up. That way, when I sit down first thing in the morning, I don’t have to worry about getting organized – I’m ready to go!
Take advantage of nap times.
I know they say sleep when the baby sleeps, but once I was finally able to get him sleeping either in his pack and play or in his crib and not on my chest I was amazed at the amount of time I had to actually get some work done.
Write it down.
Whether it’s on a post-it note or a fancy productivity app, keep track of all of your to-do lists. The work stuff, the doctor appointments, even the most minor things you need to remember. Mom’s brain is real, y’all.
Knowing that I was working around a baby’s schedule and that there was always the possibility of interruptions. I got into the habit of breaking projects into smaller tasks. If I was working on a project that required a lot of research, I tried to get that all done in one sitting, if possible. When my next chunk of time became available, I would get to work on writing. And then hopefully in my next chunk of time, I could proofread.
My husband has always been great about making sure that I have my time to do what I need to d. Whether it was work, my master’s thesis, or even just sitting in a bubble bath with Netflix. I initially experienced some FOMO because I was so used to always being the one getting most of the cuddles and the baby laughs but it was also nice to look at it like my husband and son were getting their own special one-on-one time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You don’t have to do it all. Talk with your partner and figure out a plan for housework, dinners, shopping, errands. Don’t forget to plan some time for exercise, me time, or date nights!