When the summer holidays come around, work from home parents everywhere groan. Although having the chance to spend more time with your children is beneficial in itself, there is no denying that it is disruptive to your working day.
During the school holidays, when your children are off school ill, and at the weekend, demands on your time are increased. This can harm productivity, which is always detrimental when you are self-employed and working from home.
Fortunately, there are ways you can keep the kids distracted and happy while getting on with your work.
Most parents will have to turn to the television when it comes to keeping their kids busy as they work. Although it is tempting to plump for CBeebies or the Disney Channel, the ad breaks can soon leave your children wandering around or pestering you.
Invest in some good DVDs, a Netflix subscription, or a Love Film package so you can provide them with movie entertainment. Although this is not an all-day solution, it does keep them distracted as you work for a couple of hours.
If you have a laptop and the weather is good, head for your garden and do some work there.
Most children feel happier when they are able to run around outdoors. Similarly, most adults feel happier when kids are not running around inside their home threatening to destroy everything.
Make this more successful by investing in some large garden games, a sandpit, and a screen glare guard for your laptop. By doing this, you can make sure your children stay entertained, and you can remain focused on your work.
When the rain comes, as it so often does in Britain, you need to keep your children entertained indoors. Arts and crafts always go down well, especially when you schedule fun activities. Prepare paints, glue, stickers, and paper the night before in your kitchen.
Another great activity is creating a den and kitting it out—children can whittle away the hours easily in an indoor den. If you fancy a painless afternoon, try investing in a large packet of crayons, get out your printer, and provide them with free colouring pages. Crayola.co.uk offers dozens of free pages, which means your children can stay distracted as you work.
Ultimately, you need to accept that some distractions will arise. Being flexible in your approach, and considering the possibility of working into the evening after they sleep, will ensure you meet deadlines and stay productive.