Tips for getting work done while watching a toddler?

Submitted via Workfrom Slack :slight_smile:

I posted some general tips in another topic, How to stay productive with children at home:

  • Accept limitations! You won’t be as productive as you’d be by yourself, but you can still get some stuff done.
  • Plan your schedule ahead of time. If there you have mindless tasks you need to do, save them for the days where you’re sole caretaker. If you have tasks that require a lot of focus, save them for nap time, screen time, or when a partner / caregiver can take over.
  • Also be flexible, for those days when nap time doesn’t happen :slight_smile:
  • Take frequent short breaks for your kids. Try to explain, “I need to do work for a while, then we will read a book / play this game / etc”
  • Accept that sometimes your kids will get mad at you because you can’t give them attention. Don’t get mad back, just take it in stride – you need to work to support them, and they don’t understand, you just need to bear some screams and tears from time to time

Some more specific things that help me:

  • Duplo bricks encourage self play, I find them to be a really good toy for work from home. You can also have small interactions, like helping put a particularly tricky pair of bricks together, and then go back to work, giving you child some micro-interactions to help them do self play more.
  • Read a book with your child when you’re taking a work break. It’s good because it has a definite end, so easier to say, “OK, I need to go back to work now”
  • Let the kids emulate you, sit with you for a while with their toys so they can “work”. My son has a little toy laptop, but he did this mirroring before he got that, and we also make a Lego phone and mouse to help him do his “working”
  • On your breaks, really put work DOWN. Give your kids your full attention at these times, so they will feel better about doing self play the rest of the day. Don’t look at your phone during lunch, talk to your toddler. If possible, and activity like a walk over lunch break is good to let them expend some energy.
1 Like