9 Tips on How to Work from Home by a Mom Travel Blogger - special to Parent
With the spread of the Covid-19 and Restriction Movement Order (RMO) by Malaysian Government, companies in Malaysia desperately need to find a way to allow the people to work from home or otherwise they have to endure losses.
This Covid-19 RMO also proves that work from home situation is doable as long as we have the technology, discipline and all the things needed with us at home. Eg; Computer complete with internet and software, book, calculator, stationery and a cup of coffee with us.
I have been working from home since 2018 doing freelancing and business. I have learned a lot on how to manage my work, optimize my time while raising a happy healthy kid at home.
Working from home is definitely not for everyone. It requires a lot of willpower, discipline, consistent self-control and a lot of self-love.
Here are a few tips I can give to enjoy and satisfy working from home:
1. Make a schedule and Routine
Yeah, it sounds like working in the office all over again. Wake up at 6, get the kid ready for school, get ready to office, do some prayer, make breakfast.
But NO. It is not like it. You can eliminate time in traffic, wearing makeup, ironing cloth, sending kids to school and walking to the office. That is actually a lot of time that you can use to do other things (relax wink wink).
You have to make a schedule and routine for your family so that the kid, house, and work is manageable. Regardless of what time you wake up, always start your day with a shower and some meditation/ subuh prayer. This will make you feel fresher throughout the day. (yeah the biggest problem at home is the lemau and lazy feeling.)
Continue your routine to clean up a bit, shower the kids, make breakfast and done. Then you can straight away start with your work. In the afternoon, start to prepare food for lunch. For me, I always allocate 2 hours to prepare lunch and eat. The partner will take two hours to eat and clean the kitchen and table.
From 24 hours, only allocate 4-8 hours for work and spent the rest of the day with the kids. Research already proved that in 8 hours working in the office, the average worker is only productive for 3~3.30 hours at the office. So why do you want to spend more working hours at home when you have cute little kids waiting for your attention all the time.
2. Have a realistic target
Like working in the office, have a realistic target of things to do FOR A WEEK. As an example, an engineer, plan to finish designing the whole one floor in a week, complete with CAD, section, and detail drawing. Discuss with your colleagues to finish and submit it at a target time. Once a week, do a progress meeting with your colleagues. This way, you can see the progress of your work from home.
Remember, make it a realistic target. Don't assume 24 hours at home is more than 8 hours at the office because you don't want to burden yourself and your family.
3. A nice, clean and comfortable workspace
Like in the office, you also need a nice, clean and comfortable workspace at home. If your workspace is messy with so many things, your mind will also get messy. I personally love to work at my dining table because it is the only place that I can sit comfortably and ergonomically for a long 2 to 3 hours. Other than that, I do most of my reading on the balcony so that I can read while enjoying fresh air outside.
4. Maintain a To-Do List
Before going to bed every night, make a To-Do list so that you are excited to start your next day. The list needs to be written in a book or on your phone cause you don't want to burden your brain with such complicated work.
Things that should be in your to-do list are
1) food that you wanna cook 3 times a day,
2) snack food,
3) kids nap time,
4) what work to be done by the end of the day
5) kid's activity
6) what house chores do you wanna do (laundry/mopping/organizing/change bedsheet/wash toilet/groceries shopping)
There are more food columns in the section is because kids eat a lot all the time. So be prepared to learn a lot of new recipes.
5. Optimize your communication time
I believe some jobs need to be in communication with many people either from the same company or a different company. So it is important to stay connected and keep the work progressing while working at home. Especially with kids to entertain in between.
Thus, always keep the communication below 15~20 minutes as we don't want a video call session to become a daily meeting which is a waste of time. Communication should be short and straight forward. And I hope the bosses would also be considerate to parent with babies as they don't follow the schedule. This make the parent unavailable sometimes. After all, everyone is affected by this Covid-19 RMO. Schools, nursery, even playgrounds are close.
6. Have a fixed proper eat time
To work effectively at home, people often forget that good health is the most important thing. Without good health, your house could not function well, your kids will be chaos and there is no work can be done. So it is important to have a proper meal at a proper time. Don't let yourself carried away by your work.
Set up preferred breakfast, lunch and dinner time. Stick to it every day. Like I said previously, take a two-hour break for lunch to (prepare food and eat) or (to eat and clean the kitchen). I always start cooking from 11.30 ~12.00 afternoon for my 1 o'clock lunch. (Don't forget to defrost your food earlier if you don't want long waiting time).
With constant intake and food on the table, kids will be happier and it will be easier for you to continue working again.
7. Have a playful / exercise hour
Taking care of yourself and your family health during RMO for Covid-19 is so important. So, take one or half an hour to do a little exercise or having fun with your child at home. There are countless kid's Zumba videos on Youtube where you can have fun dancing with your kids.
Other than that, you can play hide and seek, wash your car, jump on the trampoline, throw a ball, pillow fight or many more fun things to do with kids. At this time, don't leave your kids alone. They also lonely with no friends at home.
8. Work anytime anyplace
The good thing about work from home is you can work at any time anywhere. You can work till 2 am or 3 am after your kids' sleep or you can start work early at 5 am or 6 am when your kids still asleep. As long as you achieve your realistic target that week, you should be able to work anytime any hour. Bosses should also trust their staff. If not, why do you hire them in the first place!
By doing this, you get more time on daylight to play with your child, watch tv with them, teach them something and have a fun time at home.
9. Stick to your target, and to-do list
Last but not list, stick to your target and to-do list to complete everything and live a happy life at home during this RMO for Covid-19. Once you have done everything, tick DONE to your To-do list. This is really satisfying.
Lastly, you can see that regardless of working at home or office, planning is so important. Like Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
So, start planning and take good care of your physical and mental health for your family. If you fail to follow your plan, reconstruct it back. Don't push yourself too much. Have fun and take a long nap at home. Maybe this is the only time we gonna stay home this long.
Let pray for these Covid-19 viruses to be gone forever as soon as possible.
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