Learn From The Smartest Millionaire Minds in Business

8 Powerful Productivity Tricks When Working at Home with the Kids

Today's kids are exposed to many different influences, technologies, and situations - most of which this generation's adults didn't grow up with in their youth.

Parents working at home with the kids is one such situation.

We are learning together, how to navigate this rough sea of strange and interesting times.

Leadership Expert and Author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker, shares some first-hand tips from his team members at Harv Eker International on how they are making the full-house-work-from-home-with-kids-life work for them with no compromise on the quality or productivity of tasks.

Here’s the reality.  

Adjusting to social distancing by working from home is challenging enough.

However, adding KIDS to the mix?!  

Making sense of how to meet every demand while nurturing the kids with meals, overall well-being and homework, and the endless list of to-dos?

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There are worse things in the world, and just like any life adjustments — you make it work.

Now, you’re either a reactive individual, or someone who simply suffers through all the chaos… 

OR, you could be a PROACTIVE somebody who plans and thinks ahead on how to maximize productivity, make the most of your time,  and let the situation work for both you and your kids, during social distancing

Your days need not be manic, and work need not ache with neglect simply because suddenly the little ones are home.

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1. “Set a Daily Schedule for the Whole Family”...

Set dedicated ‘work’ hours for yourself so that the kids know what time is ‘work’ time and when you have meetings and are occupied and not-to-be disturbed.
If you live with a partner who also works, the two of you can switch on and off with your hours or work in shifts so that one of you can be available to the kids if they need help with something, while the other is guaranteed to be able to focus on work. -HEI Operations Manager & mother of 2 (8yo & 11yo)

Surprisingly, LESS time to get work done could aid MORE efficiency during hours of work. 

It forces your focus to get things done faster which ultimately helps your business or career.

In addition, ensure to create a schedule for your offspring as well, a list of things which must be completed (include daily school work) before they may seize free time once the day is done.

For example:

  • General Hygiene, Shower / Bath, Dress for the day
  • Daily Chores
  • At least 1 hour of outside activities
  • Create something - write a letter, build legos, build a pillow fort, craft
  • Read for fun (age relevant) 

Plan your breaks at the same time the kids have theirs and set precise times for meals & snacks - have these together.  

This will satisfy their expectation of when lunch will be on the table and mitigate the interruptive “How much longer till lunchtime?”.

For kids too young to attend school yet, invent “school” activities for them to stay busy with while their siblings work.  

During junior’s nap time, allow the older kids a break which will give you some time to check emails or complete tasks.

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2. “Set Clear Expectations from the Get-Go” 

Distraction and overwhelm on making sure everything on everyone’s to-do-list is achieved can result in a sense of frustration and an inkling to give up.  

Therefore, by first creating manageable daily checklists of what must be completed, for yourself as well as your kids, you are setting clear expectations at the starting line.

If your kid is doing online learning, make them a digital checklist of what’s expected from them to do each day.
Some teachers may already be providing lists like these, or you can create one based on what they’ve been assigned.
You can also take advantage of the power of positive reinforcement by offering kids a reward once they’ve checked all their tasks off the list. -HEI Marketing Manager and father of 3 (15yo, 10yo, 7yo)

To let you work, the kids must occupy themselves during their daily gaps.

Draft a daily list consisting of extra assignments, homework, household tasks or chores to be prepared for when they approach you saying they have nothing left to do.

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3. “Create a Daily Checklist & Time Block Your Calendar”

Set a personal daily checklist for yourself as well, whether you pen the tasks into a day planner or include them electronically in your calendar.

Since our days are so filled with unpredictability right now, listing out everything that needs to get done before calling it quitting time will help you stay focused and motivated to keep pushing forward.
Setting aside dedicated blocks of time for each task will also help you to stay on track and make sure everything gets done during working hours. -HEI Executive Assistant and mother of 4 (11yo, 9yo, 8yo, 2yo)

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4. “Get Up and Get Dressed for ‘School’ and Work”

Social distancing is no green card for an all day pajama day!

Make it a habit to still get out of bed, shower, get dressed in something other than PJs or sweat pants, and keep up with your regular grooming routine.
You’ll feel better, and you’ll be more confident and motivated, which will project during all of those Zoom or Google Hangout meetings with colleagues.

Need some persuasion? 
A study recorded in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology concluded that doctors wearing their lab coats placed more focus on their duties, which is reasonable. 
Looking professional helps us act professionally. 
Of course when we look chaotic, we will likely feel chaotic too.

Bottom line: you’re probably going to be more attentive and focused when you wear your regular, work clothes than when you’re in your sweatpants!

And get your kids to do the same! Get them in the habit of starting their day as if they were headed off to school.
The more “themselves” they feel while doing their schoolwork at home, the more productive they’ll be, and the easier it’ll be when they finally do go back to school. -HEI Editor-in-Chief and mother of 1 (14yo)

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5. “Set a Dedicated Work or Office Space”

Staying in your PJs and working from the couch, the bedroom, or whatever the coziest spot in the house can be tempting.
But even though your daily commute just got a whole lot shorter, designate a space that is strictly and consistently used for work purposes so that you’re not tempted by distractions (the TV, package deliveries, etc.).
This will also help you resist the urge to “half” focus on work while playing with the kids at the same time.

Set boundaries for the kids to know not to disturb you while you’re in your workspace.

When you have a dedicated office space, you can also add some lightheartedness to the day by bringing your kids “to work.” 

If you have school-age children who are old enough to understand that mom/dad needs to work, use this time with them at home as a teaching lesson by “taking them to work” with you for a few minutes each day.
Explain to them what you do, go over your daily tasks, and remind them why it’s so important for you to keep doing your job.
They’ll gain a better understanding of what you are doing during work time, and they won’t feel as left out of your day. -HEI Social Media Specialist and mother of 2 (6yo, 1yo)

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6. “Accept & Expect that there Will be Hiccups”

There will be times, nothing goes to plan despite having established your daily schedule.  

To maximize efficiency, focus on the completion of one task only, at a time - lower those expectations!

Don’t expect to get 4 hours of uninterrupted work done. It’s not going to happen with the kids at home.
Break up your day, do 30-minutes of work, then 30-minutes of family time, helping your kid(s) with their schoolwork, etc.

When working from home, with your children, surrender all expectations and allow flexibility.

Are your kids having more phone/tablet/TV time than you’d usually let them have? Don’t beat yourself up over it.
You’re not a bad parent.
This is a special circumstance, and it won’t last forever. -HEI member

working-at-home-with-the-kids-requires-adapting

7. “Make Time for Fun & Play”

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you need to spend every single second working.
In fact, this is the best time to practice self-care and invest in yourself and your well-being.
Make time for a walk outside, an online yoga glass, or soaking up the pages of a good book.
Play, laugh, and take time to relax together as a family.

Remember that while the adults are experiencing cabin fever, the kids may be feeling the same way.

Be empathetic with what they’re going through. Give them space to just BE and have fun. -HEI Wife of MD & CEO and mother of 1 (9yo)

Kids are accustomed to their school routine, usually surrounded by classmates and friends, and having sleepovers or playdates.

Spend some play time with them, book a game night for the family or set up an online playdate so they can see their friends.

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8. “Make Time for Emotional check-Ins”

Having emotional check-ins with the kids will allow them to express their feelings about what is going on.
This is a really hard time for everyone, and children are just as sensitive to this change as adults are. -HEI Head of marketing and father of 1 (3yo)

Make sure your kid(s) are okay by talking to them.

Ask them what support they need and ensure they are aware that all of us are in this together.

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9. Some Final Words: Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

There’s nothing normal about how we’re living right now, everyone’s doing their level best to survive this pandemic day by day.  

Although there are many ways to ensure productivity while working from home while the kids are there, get creative - “hack” the structure in ways that serve you.

Sure, some days will be more productive than others.

The glad tiding though, is that we have so much more time available to catch up, should we fall behind.

breathe-and-dont-be-too-hard-on-yourself

Conclusion: When Working at Home With the Kids, Where There’s a Will, There is Always a Way!

Everything is possible when your desire to make something work, overrides your fear of uncertainty.

Your mindset is your strongest faculty so get creative, turn overwhelming odds into abundant blessings by recognizing opportunities for growth and doing things differently.

After all, we are built to adapt! 

faq-frequently-asked-questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Working at Home With the Kids


Can you work from home with a child?

Although it is not something most of society is accustomed to, it has become more common and is entirely possible.

Of course there have to be ground rules, designated spaces, block out times, activities and connection to keep a healthy balance in such circumstances.

Surprisingly, LESS time to get work done could aid MORE efficiency during hours of work. 

Working from home and parenting?

By setting clear expectations, having routines, making deliberate time for assessing everyone’s state of mind and entering the situation with a success mindset, it is possible to balance parenting and work when you’re doing it all from home with the kids.

Ask them what support they need and ensure they are aware that all of us are in this together.

Working from home without childcare?

We are more than capable of caring for our own children and working when we are willing to learn how to adapt, and adopt a mindset that functions on reason.

Although having an extra hand may help you feel more productive, and definitely lightens the load of responsibility of everything that needs to get done to keep a household running, we often forget that by reframing interaction, activities and spaces, as well as managing time differently, can win us far more in that we get to witness our children grow, rather than just waking up one day wondering when and from who they learned certain things. 

What is vital, is structure.