I’m so tired.
For the past two weeks, my daughter has been sick. It started off as a little cold and slowly progressed into a severe case of croup. After two trips to the doctor, a misdiagnosis, unneeded antibiotics, and countless sleepless nights we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As a mom, you know how difficult it can be to care for a sick family member, but when you also work from home, it throws a big wrench into your productivity, scheduled activities, and daily tasks.
Here are some ways that you can ease the discomfort of your child and your disrupted work-at-home routine.
Whether you’re telecommuting for a large corporation or you own your own business, you’ll need to communicate with your employer or clients about your situation. Let them know that you’ll be working odd hours or fewer hours because your child is sick. The key is to do this as soon as possible so that other arrangements can be made in your absence. You can also add an auto-responder to your email account, letting individuals know that you’ll be temporarily out due to an illness in the family. A short and sweet update on your social media accounts lets clients and associates know what’s going on in your life and to expect slight delays.
Having a back-up plan in place will be priceless when the unexpected happens. If you’re lucky enough to have paid time off, make sure to save a few days for this sort of occasion. If you’re freelancing or running your own business, it will be imperative for you to come up with some sort of automation plan. Keep a back-up supply of products, blog posts, social media updates, email templates, and canned responses for situations like these. Having these processes in place will help you to run your business smoothly while you focus on getting your child well.
Ask for Help:
Dealing with a sick child can deplete you mentally, physically and emotionally, so now is the time to call in favors and ask for help. Whether it’s in the form of your significant other bringing home dinner, or your parents watching your sick child while you focus on work, there is absolutely no reason to prove that you’re Wonder Woman now. Asking for help allows you some much needed time to focus on yourself and other tasks that need to be taken care of. Trying to do it all alone, stretches yourself thin and potentially puts you at risk for getting sick yourself.
When your time is limited, you need to prioritize your daily and weekly to-do lists. Sit down and figure out what tasks must be completed immediately, which jobs can be put on hold and which ones you can let go of. To make this task easier, it is helpful if you work off a monthly schedule and daily to-do list. Being proactive and staying organized on the front end, will always assist with your productivity on the back end – so start adding this step to your daily routine.
If your child is anything like mine, when they are sick, all they want to do is cuddle up next to mommy. The great thing about working from home is that you’re able to work where and when you need to. So move your laptop around the house with you, from the sofa to your child’s bedroom, or work on the run with your smartphone. With a large number of smartphone applications out there, you can do almost anything from your phone.
Hire a Virtual Assistant:
If you don’t already have one – get one! A virtual assistant can be utilized as little or as much as you need them, and there are hourly rates to fit every budget. Not only are they are great for doing those administrative tasks that take up so much of your time, but they can be utilized when you’re on vacation, or for when you have a sick child. By establishing a working relationship now, you’ll be prepared for the unexpected.
By creating a contingency plan ahead of time, you can smoothly manage your work-at-home obligations and nurture your sick child.
What productivity tips do you have for working from home with a sick child?
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Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she's been able to figure out how to find a career path that you're truly passionate about. Holly's had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.