When I first started my design business, Ellie was just a baby. It was easy to swaddle her up in my lap and get work done. Now that Ellie is older and work has picked up a lot, I’ve had to rearrange how and when I work during the day. Sometimes it can be a bit challenging, but it’s totally doable! Here’s a few tricks and tips I use when working at home with a toddler.
1: Utilize nap time I always use nap time as “my” time. I love designing, printing, and packaging so I try to get most of that done while Ellie naps. Ellie loves to help out with chores, so I save the cleaning for when she is awake. If the house really needs it, I do a quick “ten minute room rescue” before I get to work. I also try to get up before every else and stay up late to finish up some work a few times a week. It is not the most convenient hours, but it works well.
2: Make a to-do list I’m a big list maker and I find extreme pleasure in crossing items off my list! Having a “business” to do list helps me stay on track during my working hours, aka nap time. Pull out that cute notebook or a piece of scrap paper and write it all down! I try to not overwhelm myself with a ton of items, just the necessities for that day.
3: Turn off distractions While I love to catch up on my favorite TV shows during nap time, I have noticed they tend to distract me while working. If I have a busy day or a long to do list, I have found I’m much more productive if I turn off the distractions. And that means logging out of facebook and not checking instagram ;) However, if I have a slower day, I will allow myself to watch an episode as a treat.
4: Let your toddler help Ellie loves to be involved in whatever I am doing. If by chance I didn’t get everything done during nap time, I try to involve her as much as possible. If I am painting, I pull out her watercolors and let her paint too. If we are cutting and packaging, she gets to pretend “cut” the scraps and helps me stick on shipping labels. During product photo shoots, she helps me “style” different items and I teach her how to take a picture. Often times, this makes the work process
a bit a lot slower. However, we usually end up giggling over piles of scrap paper that Ellie turns into “hats.” Definitely worth the time it takes!
5: Remember what’s more important When it comes down to it, my toddler comes before my work. I can always catch up after bedtime or the next day. E grows so fast and I don’t want to waste any of that precious time if I don’t have to. So, I’m choosing not to stress, plan accordingly, and enjoy my little one.
Do you have any other tips that you would add? I’d love to hear them!